A Major Hollywood Star’s Uncredited Star Trek: DS9 Role Explained – News Today

A Major Hollywood Star’s Uncredited Star Trek: DS9 Role Explained

Hollywood star Frank Langella starred in three episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine but never took credit for the role. Was he ashamed of Star Trek?

Frank Langella as Jaro Essa and the cast of DS9

Summary

  • Frank Langella played Jaro Essa in DS9, but never took credit because it was a gift to his kids and not for money or exposure.
  • Langella’s decision to not be credited for his role in DS9 was explained by director Winrich Kolbe in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion.
  • Langella’s other link to Star Trek includes being in a relationship with Whoopi Goldberg, who also appeared in the franchise.

A major Hollywood star played an uncredited role in three episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and there’s a touching reason why he never took the credit. DS9 season 2 opened with an ambitious three-part epic which tackled the political and religious upheaval on Bajor. At the heart of a fundamentalist plot to oust the Federation from Bajor was the scheming politician, Jaro Essa (Frank Langella). Jaro Essa was played by stage and screen star Frank Langella, who would later be nominated for an Academy Award for playing another corrupt politician, Richard Milhous Nixon, in the 2008 movie, Frost/Nixon.

Frank Langella never took a credit for his Star Trek: Deep Space Nine character, which is odd given that Jaro Essa played such a huge role in season 2’s three-parter. There are various contractual reasons why big name actors like Langella choose not to receive billing for movies and TV episodes. For example, Whoopi Goldberg declined a credit for her appearance in Star Trek Generations because, as an Academy Award winner, her name would have top billing over the movie’s real star, and her friend, Patrick Stewart. Frank Langella’s reasons for taking an uncredited role in DS9 were similarly personal.

Why Frank Langella Never Took A Credit For His Role In Star Trek: DS9

star-trek-frank-langella-jaro-essa

After an uneven first season, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was still largely seen as a poor relation to its parent show, Star Trek: The Next Generation. Casting an actor of Frank Langella’s stature in DS9 would have lent the TNG spinoff some kudos. However, Frank Langella’s name never appeared in the TV Guide listings for his three Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episodes. While that may have been unfortunate when it came to promoting DS9 season 2, Langella had his reasons for declining the credit.

Director Winrich Kolbe explained Frank Langella’s decision in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion. As Kolbe explained, Frank Langella opted not to be credited for his performance as Jaro Essa because he did the role purely for his kids. Langella’s kids were fans of Star Trek, and his role as Jaro Essa was a gift to them. He therefore declined the credit because he saw it as a gift and not an acting job designed to win him money or exposure.

Frank Langella’s other link to the Star Trek franchise pre-dates his guest appearance in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. In 1987, Langella starred as Skeletor in Masters of the Universe, which also starred Star Trek: Voyager‘s Robert Duncan McNeill. Frank Langella’s Skeletor mask was re-used in Star Trek: The Next Generation for one of the monsters in the Klingon calisthenics program designed by Lt. Worf (Michael Dorn). This skull-faced monster would make recurring appearances in Star Trek, including in DS9 after Michael Dorn joined the cast.

Frank Langella and Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s Whoopi Goldberg were also in a relationship between 1996 and 2001 after meeting on the set of the movie Eddie. It’s unknown how Frank Langella’s Star Trek fan kids responded to their father dating TNG‘s Guinan. In 2007, Langella played the role of Richard Milhous Nixon on stage in the play Frost/Nixon, which reunited him with Star Trek: Deep Space Nine‘s René Auberjonois. Langella then starred in the movie adaptation, which earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role, one of only four Star Trek actors to receive such an honor.

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