Jonathan Frakes is a film and television actor who is best known for his role as Commander William T. Riker in the TV series, Star Trek: The Next Generation, as well as the films that followed. He also started on soaps.
Along with his acting career, Frakes is also an accomplished director, having worked on numerous TV shows like Castle, NCIS: Los Angeles, and The Orville, as well as feature films. From where he was born and raised to his musical abilities, here are five fast facts about the actor.
Who Is Jonathan Frakes?
He was born on August 19 in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, where he also grew up. He graduated from Liberty High School, where he ran track and played in the school band. He went on to attend Pennsylvania State University and graduated with a degree in Theater Arts and got his MA from Harvard University.
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One of Frakes’s first television roles was as Tom Carroll on The Doctors, a role he had from 1977-1978. After he left the show, Frakes moved out to Los Angeles. He had numerous guest-starring roles and also played Jared McAllister on Days of Our Lives.
Prior to becoming a television actor, Frakes was actually hired by Marvel Comics to portray their characters for events and appearances, dressing up frequently as Captain America. While the job helped pay the bills, Frakes later revealed the gig actually helped him later down the road when he would go to Star Trek conventions.
Along with being an actor and a director, Frakes also plays the trombone. He even appeared on the 1994 Phish album Hoist, playing his instrument on the song Riker’s Mailbox. He also was a member of the group The Sunspots, which was a vocal backup group made up of Star Trek cast members.
Getting Personal With Jonathan Frakes
Frakes met Genie Francis on the set of the primetime soap, Bare Essence, but they didn’t start dating until working together again on North and South, Book I in 1985. They got engaged in 1986 and tied the knot on May 28, 1988. The couple has two children together.