Jonathan Frakes may be best known for playing "Commander William Riker" in Star Trek, but he began his career nearly a decade before scoring the famous role! Frakes came from humble beginnings, and decided to seriously pursue acting after he graduated from university.
Not only did Frakes end up appearing on-screen in one of the biggest sci-fi franchises, he has since directed several films and attended many fan conventions. He has also continued working in the entertainment industry. Click through the slides to find out about the actor's career over the years!
Through The Years With Actor Jonathan Frakes
Early Career (Mid-1970s)
Jonathan Frakes began school as a psychology major before becoming intrigued by the world of acting. He chose to change his major to theatre arts, and after graduating Pennsylvania State University in 1974, Frakes made the move to New York City. There he took on a variety of odd jobs while auditioning, and even appeared in a Broadway musical, Shenandoah. Shortly after landing his first television role in soap opera The Doctors, he relocated to Los Angeles, thanks to his agent's advice.
A Guest Star Before Star Trek (Early 1980s)
Frakes soon made appearances some of the most popular shows of the time, with guest starring roles on Fantasy Island, The Dukes of Hazzard, and more. This later led to his biggest role to date as "Marcus Marshall" in the 1980s soap opera Bare Essence; however, after the show's spinoff failed to gain traction, Frakes was back looking for work. While playing "Stanley Hazard" in the war miniseries North & South, he ended up falling in love with co-star Genie Francis. If it hadn't been for Francis (and her family!) urging him to audition for a new project, Frakes may not have become a household name...