Brent Spiner Poster


Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Family (2)  | Trade Mark (1)  | Trivia (25)  | Personal Quotes (2)  | Salary (1)

Overview (3)

Born in Houston, Texas, USA
Birth NameBrent Jay Spiner
Height 5' 10" (1.78 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Brent Spiner, whose primary claim to fame is his portrayal of the beloved android Data on the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987), was born and raised in Houston, Texas. His parents, Sylvia (Schwartz) and Jack Spiner, owned and operated a furniture store, and were both from Jewish immigrant families (from Austria, Hungary, and Russia). Jack died of kidney failure at age 29, when Brent was 10 months old. When he was 6 years old, his mother married Sol Mintz, who adopted Brent and his older brother Ron. Although his mother divorced Mintz after 7 years of marriage, Brent retained his adopted father's last name until 1975, when he took back his birth name.

Spiner first began pursuing his interest in acting while in high school. There his inspirational drama teacher, Cecil Pickett, gave a great start to the careers of a remarkable group of aspiring young actors (and directors), including Spiner, Cindy Pickett (Cecil's daughter), Randy Quaid, Dennis Quaid, Trey Wilson, Robert Wuhl and Thomas Schlamme, all of whom later attained success in Hollywood. After graduation, Spiner followed his mentor to the University of Houston and other local colleges, while also launching his professional acting career in theater (The Houston Music Theater and other regional theater) and in film (My Sweet Charlie (1970), which was shot on location in Texas). After a couple of false starts in New York and Hollywood, Spiner eventually established himself as a stage actor in New York, appearing in a number of off-Broadway and Broadway plays, such as "A History of the American Film" (1978), "Leave It to Beaver is Dead" (1979), "Sunday in the Park with George" (1984), and "Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" (1985). While in New York, he had a bit part in Woody Allen's Stardust Memories (1980) and starred in an independent film called Rent Control (1981). The play "Little Shop of Horrors "brought Spiner to Los Angeles in 1984, where he eventually took up permanent residence.

In 1986, after a number of character parts in television series and movies, such as Robert Kennedy and His Times (1985), Crime of Innocence (1985), Manhunt for Claude Dallas (1986), and Family Sins (1987), Spiner snagged the role that would bring him international fame: Data, the endearing android, whom Spiner played "by tapping into his inner child." Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987), the sequel to the original television series Star Trek (1966), became hugely popular, moving to the big screen for four films (so far) after its 7-year run on television. Aside from these films, Spiner has made cameo appearances in a number of films directed by his friend and old schoolmate Thomas Schlamme, such as Miss Firecracker (1989), Crazy from the Heart (1991), and Kingfish: A Story of Huey P. Long (1995), and has appeared in small roles in more recent films, such as Dude, Where's My Car? (2000) and The Master of Disguise (2002). Arguably his most popular film portrayal was Dr. Brakish Okun in Independence Day (1996), a role that elicited his unique eccentricity and sense of humor. He reprised the character in the sequel, Independence Day: Resurgence (2016).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Lyn Hammond

Family (2)

Spouse Loree McBride (? - present)  (1 child)
Parents Schwartz, Sylvia
Spiner, Jack

Trade Mark (1)

Lieutenant Commander Data on Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987)

Trivia (25)

Has one son: Jackson Spiner (born June 29, 2002).
Godfather of Gates McFadden's son James Cleveland.
Changed his last name to Mintz at about age six, readopted Spiner as a stage name at about age 20.
He was a groomsman at Marina Sirtis' wedding, and served as best man at Patrick Stewart's wedding.
Attended and graduated from Bellaire High School in Bellaire, Texas (1968).
Attended and graduated from the University of Houston in Houston, Texas (1974).
In October 2004, he began three guest appearances on Star Trek: Enterprise (2001) as Arik Soong, an ancestor of Noonian Soong, the creator of Data, his character from Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987). He also played Noonian Soong in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Brothers (1990) and Star Trek: The Next Generation: Inheritance (1993).
He was the only Houstonian, and for that matter, the only Texan, who appears in The Aviator (2004), whose subject, Howard Hughes, was born in Houston.
Has appeared with Erick Avari in three different productions: Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987), Independence Day (1996) and The Master of Disguise (2002).
Has played five different members of the Soong family on "Star Trek": Lieutenant Commander Data in Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987), Star Trek: Generations (1994), Star Trek: First Contact (1996), Star Trek: Insurrection (1998), Star Trek: Nemesis (2002) and Star Trek: Enterprise (2001); Dr. Noonien Soong and Lore in Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987); B-4 in Star Trek: Nemesis (2002); and Dr. Arik Soong in Star Trek: Enterprise (2001). Data, Lore and B-4 were all androids made in Dr. Noonien Soong's image and Dr. Arik Soong was his great-grandfather.
Along with Jonathan Frakes, Marina Sirtis, Michael Dorn, Colm Meaney and Jeffrey Combs, he is one of only six actors to appear in the series finales of two different "Star Trek" series (Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) and Star Trek: Enterprise (2001)).
Has appeared in episodes of three different series with Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis: Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987), Gargoyles (1994) and Star Trek: Enterprise (2001).
He is the only Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) regular to share scenes with all three original Star Trek (1966) series cast members who appeared on that series: DeForest Kelley, Leonard Nimoy and James Doohan.
Has played a fictional character, James Campbell, on Friends (1994) and himself on the spin-off series Joey (2004).
His character, Lt. Commander Data's line "Intriguing!" went down in Trek history as replacing Mr. Spock's world-famous line "Fascinating!".
Genre enthusiasts liken Spiner's Data to another intelligent golden automaton: C-3PO of the Star Wars trilogies.
When added to the Broadway cast of "Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn", he replaced another future Star Trek actor: Rene Auberjonois.
Has played the same character (Lt. Commander Data) on three different series: Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987), Star Trek: Enterprise (2001) and SpongeBob SquarePants (1999).
He starred as John Adams in the Broadway revival of "1776" for which he received a Drama Desk Award nomination for best performance by a lead actor in a musical.
He is the only actor to be nominated for the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor twice in the same year, for both Star Trek: First Contact (1996) and Independence Day (1996); he won for the former.
His parents, Sylvia (Schwartz) and Jack Spiner, were both from Jewish immigrant families (from Austria, Hungary and Russia).
Released the album "Ol' Yellow Eyes is Back" (based on an old crooner song of the 1940s) with his male co-stars from Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) singing backup vocals. The album's title refers to Data, whom he plays on the series.
Has appeared in three science fiction films in 1996: Phenomenon (1996), Independence Day (1996) (released on the same day), and Star Trek: First Contact (1996).
Has appeared on Star Wars: Rebels (2014), making him the first Star Trek actor to appear on the animated series, soon to be followed by Clancy Brown and Simon Pegg.
He was considered for the role of the Master in the television movie Doctor Who: The Movie (1996), which went to Eric Roberts.

Personal Quotes (2)

[on his action figure of Lt. Commander Data] At first, I was reluctant. But then I figured, if it's good enough for Alec Guinness, then it's good enough for me.
[September 12, 2006] I don't think I should play Data anymore. I think I'm too old to play him anymore to be honest. I think it would look stupid putting that make-up on me at this point. There are certain characters that I think work in a youthful way and I think I really skated along the edge in the last couple movies as it was.

Salary (1)

Star Trek: Insurrection (1998) $5,000,000

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