Brent Jay Spiner (/ˈspaɪnər/; born February 2, 1949) is an American actor, comedian, and singer best known for his portrayal of the android Lieutenant Commander Data in the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation and four subsequent films. In 1997, he won the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Data in Star Trek: First Contact, and was nominated in the same category for portraying Dr. Brackish Okun in Independence Day, a role he reprised in Independence Day: Resurgence. He has also enjoyed a career in the theatre and as a musician.
Spiner at the 2016 San Diego Comic-Con International promoting Star Trek: Discovery
Brent Jay Spiner
February 2, 1949
Houston, Texas, U.S.
|Other names||Brent Jay Mintz (1955–1975)|
|Alma mater||University of Houston|
|Occupation||Actor, comedian, musician, singer|
|Lt. Com. Data in Star Trek: The Next Generation and four subsequent films|
Brent Jay Spiner was born on February 2, 1949, in Houston, Texas, to Sylvia and Jack Spiner, a Jewish family who owned a furniture store. After his father's death, Spiner was adopted by Sylvia's second husband, Sol Mintz, whose surname he used between 1955 and 1975. 
He attended Bellaire High School in Bellaire, Texas Spiner became active on the Bellaire speech team, winning the national championship in dramatic interpretation. He attended the University of Houston, where he performed in local theatre.
Spiner moved to New York City in the early '70s, where he became a stage actor, performing in several Broadway and off-Broadway plays, including The Three Musketeers and Stephen Sondheim's Sunday in the Park with George. He had a brief nonspeaking role in the film Stardust Memories, credited as "Fan in Lobby", the one with a Polaroid.
Spiner appeared as a media technician in "The Advocates", a second-season episode of the Showtime cable series The Paper Chase. In 1984, he moved to Los Angeles, where he appeared in several pilots and made-for-TV movies. He played a recurring character on Night Court, Bob Wheeler, patriarch of a rural family. In 1986, he played a condemned soul in "Dead Run", an episode of the short-lived revival of Rod Serling's series The Twilight Zone on CBS. He made two appearances in season three (1986) of the situation comedy Mama's Family, playing two different characters. Spiner's first and only starring film role was in Rent Control (1984). In the Cheers episode "Never Love a Goalie, Part II", he played acquitted murder suspect Bill Grand. Spiner also appeared in the Tales from the Darkside episode, "A Case of the Stubborns", as a preacher. He portrayed Jim Stevens in the made-for-TV movie Manhunt for Claude Dallas.
In 1987, Spiner started his 15-year run portraying Lieutenant Commander Data on Star Trek: The Next Generation, which spanned seven seasons and four feature films. As a main character, he appeared in all but one of the series' 178 episodes; he was not in the episode "Family". He reprised his role in the spin-off films Star Trek Generations (1994), Star Trek: First Contact (1996), Star Trek: Insurrection (1998), and Star Trek: Nemesis (2002). Although billed as the final Trek movie for the TNG cast, the ambiguous ending of Star Trek: Nemesis suggested a possible avenue for the return of Data. However, Spiner opined that he was too old to continue playing the part, as Data does not age, whereas Spiner had already aged considerably during the years in which he played the role. In addition to the series and films, he voiced his character in several Star Trek video games, such as Star Trek: Generations, Star Trek: The Next Generation - A Final Unity, Star Trek: Hidden Evil, and Star Trek: Bridge Commander. After appearing in several episodes as Arik Soong, the ancestor of Data's creator, Dr. Noonien Soong, Spiner also recorded dialogue as Data that was heard in the final episode of Star Trek: Enterprise, "These Are the Voyages...", which aired in 2005, bringing the Star Trek TV franchise Spiner had helped establish 18 years earlier to a close.
In 1991, Spiner recorded an album of 1940s pop standards entitled Ol' Yellow Eyes Is Back, the title of which was a play on the yellow contact lenses Spiner wore as Data, and the title of a Frank Sinatra record, Ol' Blue Eyes Is Back. In 1997, he returned to Broadway, playing John Adams in the Roundabout Theatre Company revival of the musical 1776. The production was nominated for a Tony Award. A cast recording was released of the revival production.
Spiner has appeared in the television series Deadly Games, The Blacklist, Dream On, Frasier, Friends, Gargoyles, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Mad About You and The Outer Limits. In the series The Big Bang Theory and Joey, he appeared as himself. He has acted in the movies The Aviator, Dude, Where's My Car?, I Am Sam, Independence Day, Independence Day: Resurgence, The Master of Disguise, Out to Sea, Phenomenon, The Ponder Heart and South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut. His television-movie appearances during this period include the 2000 musical Geppetto and the role of Dorothy Dandridge's manager and confidant, Earl Mills, in the HBO production Introducing Dorothy Dandridge.
In 2004, Spiner returned to Star Trek when he appeared as Dr. Arik Soong, an ancestor of Data's creator Dr. Noonien Soong, whom he also played, in a three-episode story arc of Star Trek: Enterprise: "Borderland", "Cold Station 12", and "The Augments". He also briefly reprised the role of Data for the series, providing a voice-only cameo in the Enterprise finale "These Are the Voyages...". Spiner guest-starred in Friends as a man who interviews Rachel for Gucci, and later cameoed as himself in the Friends spin-off Joey.
In 2005, Spiner appeared in a short-lived science-fiction television series Threshold, which was canceled in November of that year after 13 episodes. In 2006, he appeared in a feature film comedy, Material Girls, with Hilary and Haylie Duff.
In 2008, Spiner played Dr. Strom in the feature film parody Superhero Movie. In February 2009, he played William Quint in "The Juror #6 Job", an episode of the drama series Leverage directed by his Next Generation co-star Jonathan Frakes. That same year, he voiced himself in the Family Guy episode "Not All Dogs Go to Heaven".
He appeared as Dr. Kern in the September 12, 2011, episode of the Syfy channel program Alphas entitled "Blind Spot". In October 2011, he appeared as himself in the episode "The Russian Rocket Reaction" of The Big Bang Theory. The day after his guest appearance, it was announced that Spiner would guest-star in the Young Justice episode "Revelation", providing the voice of the Joker. Spiner has also guest-starred on the Syfy program Warehouse 13 as Brother Adrian in the third and fourth seasons. In episode seven of season four, the character Pete Lattimer jokingly describes another obsessively tidy character in this episode as "Commander Data".
Spiner's web site is at therealbrentspiner.com. He selected that domain name because someone else bought the domain name brentspiner.com before he could do so, and he was not amenable to paying the price the owners demanded for it, which Spiner called "inflated".
|1970||My Sweet Charlie||Local||Uncredited|
|1980||Stardust Memories||Fan in lobby|
|1981||Rent Control||Leonard Junger|
|1982||Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains||Corinne Burns's Boss||Uncredited|
|1985||Crime of Innocence||Hinnerman|
|1986||Sunday in the Park with George||Franz/Dennis|
|1986||Sylvan in Paradise||Clinton C. Waddle|
|1986||Manhunt for Claude Dall||Jim Stevens|
|1987||Family Sins||Ken McMahon|
|1989||Miss Firecracker||Preacher Mann|
|1994||Corrina, Corrina||Brent Witherspoon|
|1994||Star Trek Generations||Lt. Commander Data|
|1995||Kingfish: A Story of Huey Long||N/A||Uncredited|
|1995||Pie in the Sky||Upscale Guy|
|1996||Phenomenon||Dr. Rob Niedorf|
|1996||Independence Day||Dr. Brackish Okun||Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor|
|1996||Star Trek First Contact||Lt. Commander Data||Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor|
|1997||Out to Sea||Gil Godwyn|
|1998||Star Trek Insurrection||Lt. Commander Data|
|1999||South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut||Conan O'Brien||Voice|
|2000||Dude, Where's My Car?||Pierre||Uncredited|
|2001||I Am Sam||Shoe Salesman|
|2002||The Master of Disguise||Devlin Bowman|
|2002||Star Trek Nemesis||Lt. Commander Data/B-4|
|2004||The Aviator||Robert Gross|
|2006||Material Girls||Tommy Katzenbach|
|2008||Superhero Movie||Dr. Strom|
|2010||Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey||Coach Mackey||Voice|
|2016||The Midnight Man||Ezekiel|
|2016||Independence Day: Resurgence||Dr. Brackish Okun|
|1978||The Dain Curse||Tom Fink||Unknown episodes|
|1981||Ryan's Hope||The Doctor Examining Kim||Episode: "#1.1442"|
|1984||The Paper Chase||Student in Reeve's Class||Episode: "The Advocates"|
|1984||Tales from the Darkside||Reverend Peabody||Episode: "A Case of the Stubborns"|
|1984||One Life to Live||Ralph Harley||Episode: "17 December 1984"|
|1985||Robert Kennedy and His Times||Allard Lowenstein||Unknown episodes|
|1985||Hill Street Blues||Larry Stein||Episode: "The Life and Time of Domonic Florio Jr"|
|1985–1987||Night Court||Bob Wheeler||6 episodes|
|1986||The New Twilight Zone||The Draft Dodger||Episode: "The Leprechaun-Artist/Dead Run"|
|1986||American Playhouse||Dennis/Franz||Episode: "Sunday in the Park with George"|
|1986||Hunter||Willie Vaughn||Episode: "The Contract"|
|1986–1987||Mama's Family||Billy Bob Conroy||2 episodes|
|1987||Cheers||Bill Grand||Episode: "Never Love a Goalie (Part 2)"|
|1987||Sledge Hammer!||Soldier||Episode: "The Spa Who Loved Me"|
|1987–1994||Star Trek: The Next Generation||Lt. Commander Data/Lore/Dr. Noonien Soong||175 episodes|
Nominated—Viewers for Quality Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Quality Drama Series
|1988||Reading Rainbow||Himself||Episode: "The Bionic Bunny Show"|
|1991||Crazy from the Heart||N/A||Television movie; uncredited|
|1995||Mad About You||Bob, The Dog Agent||Episode: "Just My Dog"|
|1995||Deadly Games||Danny Schlecht||Episode: "The Practical Joker"|
|1996||Dream On||Dr. Strongwater||Episode: "The Spirit of 76th & Park"|
|1996||The Outer Limits||Professor Trent Davis||Episode: "The Deprogrammers"|
|1999||Introducing Dorothy Dandridge||Earl Parks||Television movie|
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film
|2001||A Girl Thing||Bob||Television movie|
|2001||The Ponder Heart||Dorris Grabney||Television movie|
|2003||Frasier||Albert||Episode: "Lilith Needs a Favor"|
|2003||An Unexpected Love||Brad||Television movie|
|2004||Friends||James Campbell||Episode: "The One with Princess Consuela"|
|2004||Law & Order: Criminal Intent||Graham Barnes||Episode: "Shrink-Wrapped"|
|2004–2005||Star Trek: Enterprise||Dr. Arik Soong/Lt. Commander Data||4 episodes|
|2005||Joey||Himself||Episode: "Joey and the Premier"|
|2005–2006||Threshold||Dr. Nigel Fenway||13 episodes|
|2009||Leverage||William Quint||Episode: "The Juror #6 Job"|
|2009||Family Guy||Himself (voice)||Episode: "Not All Dogs Go to Heaven"|
|2010–2013||Generator Rex||Dr. Gabriel Rylander (voice)||4 episodes|
|2011||The Guild||Himself||Episode: "Ends and Begins"|
|2011||Alphas||Dr. Kern||Episode: "Blind Spot"|
|2011||The Big Bang Theory||Himself||Episode: "The Russian Rocket Reaction"|
|2011||Young Justice||The Joker (voice)||Episode: "Revelation"|
|2011||Fresh Hell||Brent Spiner||15 episodes|
|2012||The Simpsons||Robots (voice)||Episode: "Them, Robot"|
|2012||The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes||Purple Man (voice)||Episode: "Emperor Stark"|
|2012||Warehouse 13||Brother Adrian||6 episodes|
|2013||Robot Chicken||Dr. Noonien Soong, Gondola Jack, Medic (voice)||Episode: "Caffeine-Induced Aneurysm"|
|2013||Wendell & Vinnie||Himself||Episode: "Swindle & Vinnie"|
|2014||Ray Donovan||Therapist||3 episodes|
|2014||Star Wars Rebels||Gall Trayvis (voice)||2 episodes|
|2014||Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.||Silver Surfer (voice)||Episode: "Fear Itself"|
|2015||Comedy Bang! Bang!||The Sandman||Episode: "Zach Galifianakis Wears Grey Corduroys and Brown Leather Shoes"|
|2015–2016||Blunt Talk||Phil||4 episodes|
|2016||The Blacklist||The Architect||Episode: "The Architect"|
|2017||Justice League Action||Edward Nygma / The Riddler (voice)||Episode: "E. Nigma, Consulting Detective"|
|1978||A History of the American Film||Hank|
|1984–1985||Sunday in the Park with George||Franz/Denis|
|1984||The Three Musketeers||Aramis|
|1985–1987||Big River||The Duke|
|1997–1998||1776||John Adams||Nominated—Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical|
|2003||Life × 3||Hubert|
Data ( DAY-tə) is a character in the fictional Star Trek franchise. He appears in the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG) and the feature films Star Trek Generations (1994), Star Trek: First Contact (1996), Star Trek: Insurrection (1998), and Star Trek: Nemesis (2002). Data is portrayed by actor Brent Spiner.
Data was found by Starfleet in 2338 as the sole survivor on Omicron Theta in the rubble of a colony left after an attack from the Crystalline Entity. He was a synthetic life form with artificial intelligence and designed and built by Doctor Noonien Soong in his own likeness (likewise portrayed by Spiner). Data is a self-aware, sapient, sentient and anatomically fully functional android who serves as the second officer and chief operations officer aboard the Federation starship USS Enterprise-D and later the USS Enterprise-E.
His positronic brain allows him impressive computational capabilities. He experienced ongoing difficulties during the early years of his life with understanding various aspects of human behavior and was unable to feel emotion or understand certain human idiosyncrasies, inspiring him to strive for his own humanity. This goal eventually led to the addition of an "emotion chip" created by Soong, to Data's positronic net. Although Data's endeavor to increase his humanity and desire for human emotional experience is a significant plot point (and source of humor) throughout the series, he consistently shows a nuanced sense of wisdom, sensitivity, and curiosity, garnering respect from his peers and colleagues.
Data is in many ways a successor to the original Star Trek's Spock (Leonard Nimoy), in that the character offers an "outsider's" perspective on humanity.Datalore
"Datalore" is the 12th episode of the first season of the American science fiction television series Star Trek: The Next Generation, originally aired on January 18, 1988, in broadcast syndication. The story was created by Robert Lewin and Maurice Hurley, and turned into a script by Lewin and the creator of the show, Gene Roddenberry. It was Roddenberry's final script credit on a Star Trek series. The director was originally to be Joseph L. Scanlan, but following delays in pre-production caused by script re-writes, it was reassigned to Rob Bowman.
Set in the 24th century, the series follows the adventures of the crew of the Starfleet starship Enterprise-D. In this episode, the Enterprise crew discover and reassemble Data's "brother", Lore (both Brent Spiner), who is in league with the entity that destroyed the colony on his home world.
The story underwent significant changes prior to filming, with it originally meant to be a romance episode for Data with a female android. It was then altered to an "evil twin" plot at the suggestion of Spiner and elements of Data's origin were introduced, first as an alien creation and then at the hands of Dr. Noonien Soong. Soong was named by Roddenberry after a friend in the Second World War. Edits to the script continued to be made during filming, and while the look of the episode was praised by cast and crew, the characterisations in the script were not. Ratings for the episode came in at 10.3 million for the first broadcast, which was lower than both the previous and subsequent episodes. Critical reception has been mixed, with criticism directed mostly at the quality of the script and Spiner praised for his dual role.Dennis McCarthy (composer)
Dennis McCarthy (born 1945) is an American composer for film and television.His credits for TV series include the soundtrack underscores for Star Trek: The Next Generation, as well as music for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, The Twilight Zone (the 1985 revival), MacGyver, Sliders, Dawson's Creek, Birdland (1994), Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years and V: The Final Battle.
McCarthy's film credits include Last Plane Out, the 1997 remake of McHale's Navy, and Star Trek Generations.McCarthy also produced the album Ol' Yellow Eyes Is Back by fellow Star Trek alumnus Brent Spiner.
McCarthy has won 18 ASCAP awards. He also received two Emmy Awards, one for his theme on Deep Space Nine and the other for background score on a Star Trek TNG episode, in addition to nine Emmy nominations for his various Star Trek-related work. He also shares one Emmy for music for the 63rd Academy Awards.Introducing Dorothy Dandridge
Introducing Dorothy Dandridge is a television film directed by Martha Coolidge. Filmed over a span of a few weeks in early 1998, the film was aired in the United States on August 21, 1999. The teleplay is drawn exclusively from the biography of Dorothy Dandridge by Earl Mills. The original music score was composed by Elmer Bernstein, who had known Dandridge and Otto Preminger. The film is marketed with the tagline: "Right woman. Right place. Wrong time."Jack (2004 film)
Jack is a 2004 American drama TV film written by A. M. Homes and directed by Lee Rose. Adapted from Homes' 1990 novel of the same name, the film is about a boy whose life is torn apart because of his parents' divorce. The film stars Anton Yelchin, Stockard Channing, Ron Silver, Erich Anderson and Brent Spiner.Material Girls
Material Girls is a 2006 American teen comedy film starring Hilary and Haylie Duff, Anjelica Huston, Lukas Haas, Maria Conchita Alonzo, and Brent Spiner. It is based on a script written by John Quaintance and is directed by Martha Coolidge. It is loosely based on Jane Austen's 1811 novel Sense and Sensibility, updating the setting to modern Los Angeles. It is co-produced by Patriot Pictures and Maverick Films.Not All Dogs Go to Heaven
"Not All Dogs Go to Heaven" is the 11th episode of the seventh season of the American animated television series Family Guy. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on March 29, 2009. The episode was directed by Greg Colton and written by Danny Smith. In the episode, Quahog hosts its annual Star Trek convention and the cast members of Star Trek: The Next Generation are guests. After he was unable to ask the actors any questions at a Q&A session, Stewie builds a transporter in his bedroom to beam the cast over and spend the day with them. Meanwhile, Meg becomes a born-again Christian and tries to convert the atheist Brian to Christianity.
The episode garnered mixed reviews from critics and received a 4.8/7 Nielsen rating. Star Trek: The Next Generation's Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, LeVar Burton, Gates McFadden, Michael Dorn, Wil Wheaton, Denise Crosby, and Marina Sirtis all guest starred as themselves, and Adam West and Rob Lowe appear at the end of the episode in a live-action scene.Ol' Yellow Eyes Is Back
Ol' Yellow Eyes Is Back is an album by Brent Spiner, best known for his role as Data in the American television series Star Trek: The Next Generation, first released in June 1991. The title is a parodic reference both to Frank Sinatra's Ol' Blue Eyes Is Back and the Data character, whose eyes are golden yellow. On the album, Spiner is backed by the orchestra from that series as he sings a number of old pop standards, mostly from the 1930s and 1940s.Out to Sea
Out to Sea is a 1997 romantic comedy film starring Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Rue McClanahan, Dyan Cannon and Brent Spiner. It was the final film for Donald O'Connor, Gloria DeHaven and Edward Mulhare. The latter died on May 24, 1997, almost six weeks before the film's release.
Out to Sea was directed by Martha Coolidge, with a screenplay by Robert Nelson Jacobs. The original music score was composed by Michael Muhlfriedel and David Newman.Rent Control (1984 film)
Rent Control is a comedy-drama/romance film starring Brent Spiner and directed by Gian Luigi Polidoro. The film was made in 1982 but was not released until 1984. Throughout the film, Spiner tries to find a rent-controlled New York City apartment, and to interest various women.The Augments
"The Augments" is the sixth episode of the fourth season of the American science fiction television series Star Trek: Enterprise, the eighty-second episode overall. It is the last of a three-story episode arc, preceded by "Borderland", and "Cold Station 12". "The Augments" was directed by LeVar Burton, from a script by Michael Sussman. The series follows the adventures of the first Starfleet starship Enterprise, registration NX-01. In this episode, "Augments", genetically enhanced humans, and Doctor Arik Soong, their surrogate father, escape Cold Station 12 after stealing frozen Augment embryos from storage. Soong plans to hide out with the Augments and raise the embryos, but Malik, their leader, is tired of hiding and attempts to instigate a war between Starfleet and the Klingons.
The production of the episode reunites fellow Star Trek: The Next Generation alumni Burton as the director and Brent Spiner as Arik Soong. On The Next Generation, Burton previously played Geordi La Forge, while Spiner played Data. Most of the guest cast from the previous two Enterprise episodes in the story arc returned for "The Augments"; Mark Rolston makes an appearance as Klingon Captain Magh. The sets were also reused, but a new one was built for the Klingon escape pod used by Soong. UPN first aired "The Augments" on November 12, 2004, where it was watched by 2.1 percent of the U.S. population. It received mixed reviews by critics, who spoke negatively of Malik's character, but praised the performance of Spiner as Soong and the relationship between T'Pol and Tucker.The Master of Disguise
The Master of Disguise is a 2002 American adventure comedy film directed by Perry Andelin Blake in his directorial debut and written by Dana Carvey and Harris Goldberg. Starring Carvey, Jennifer Esposito, Harold Gould, James Brolin, and Brent Spiner, the film was produced by Adam Sandler through his Happy Madison production company.
Although it was a modest box office success, the film was poorly received by most critics and has appeared on several lists of the worst films ever made.The Most Toys
"The Most Toys" is the 22nd episode of the third season of the American science fiction television series Star Trek: The Next Generation, and the 70th episode of the series overall.
Set in the 24th century, the series follows the adventures of the crew of the Federation starship Enterprise-D. In this episode, Lieutenant Commander Data (Brent Spiner) is kidnapped by an obsessive collector, who leads the Enterprise crew to believe that Data was destroyed in a shuttlecraft accident.The Russian Rocket Reaction
"The Russian Rocket Reaction" is the fifth episode of the fifth season of The Big Bang Theory and the 92nd episode overall. It first aired on CBS on October 13, 2011.The episode features guest appearances by recurring character Wil Wheaton and Star Trek: The Next Generation actor Brent Spiner. In the subplot, Wil Wheaton invites Leonard (Johnny Galecki) and Sheldon (Jim Parsons) to a party that Brent Spiner attends. The main plot focuses on Howard (Simon Helberg) finding out he is going to the International Space Station.