Gates McFadden

Series: TNG, Picard

Movies: Star Trek Generations, Star Trek First Contact, Star Trek Insurrection, Star Trek Nemesis

Character(s): Dr. Beverly Crusher

Cheryl Gates McFadden has portrayed Beverly Crusher, MD, in most episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, in the four Next Generation Star Trek films, and the third season of Star Trek: Picard.

In 1987, McFadden was cast as Dr. Beverly Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation. The Crusher character was slated to be Captain Jean-Luc Picard’s love interest; another important aspect of the character was being a widow balancing motherhood and a career. Maurice Hurley, head writer and showrunner, did not like working with McFadden and, at Hurley’s demand, she was let go at the end of season one. Diana Muldaur joined the production as the Enterprise’s new chief medical officer, Dr. Katherine Pulaski, for the second season.

Series creator Gene Roddenberry admitted that the Dr. Pulaski character did not develop a chemistry with the other characters, so McFadden was approached to return as Dr. Crusher for the third season. At first, she was hesitant, but after a phone call from co-star Patrick Stewart, and numerous fan letters, McFadden was persuaded to return to the role, which she then played through the remainder of the series.

McFadden reprised her role for all four TNG movies. Also, McFadden directed the episode “Genesis” in which an infection causes the crew to de-evolve into primitive forms of life, and choreographed the dance routine in “Data’s Day”.


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