Jonathan Scott Frakes (born August 19, 1952) is an American actor, author and director. Frakes is best known for his portrayal of Commander William T. Riker in the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation and subsequent films. Frakes also hosted the television series Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction, challenging viewers to discern his stories of fact-based phenomena and fabricated tales. In June 2011, Frakes narrated the History Channel documentary Lee and Grant. He was also the voice actor of David Xanatos in the Disney television series, Gargoyles (TV series).
Jonathan Frakes played Commander William T. Riker on Star Trek: The Next Generation. "Talking to blue screens, talking to ice crystals, talking to piles of tar, talking to people with rubber on their heads, spikes coming out of their ears, ridges on their nose -- it's all become part of our lives," he said when the show ended its seven-year run. "It was something we did every week, talk to an 'x' on the screen and assume that it would ultimately have a nose. ... I mean, what's it like? It's absurd, that's what it is. It's never boring."
Prior to his assignment aboard the Enterprise, Frakes was mostly a soap opera actor, appearing in the prime time dramas Bare Essence and Paper Dolls and the daytime soap The Doctors, where he played a Vietnam veteran dealing with post-traumatic stress.
Frakes was able to keep a straight face while narrating Fox's Alien Autopsy: Fact or Fiction. He also hosted Beyond Belief, a paranormal docudrama guessing game wherein the audience saw several bizarre short stories, and was then told which were fiction and which were allegedly factual. He has directed several episodes of TNG, other Star Trek series, and an episode of Diagnosis: Murder, not to mention a Star Trek video game, two of the Star Trek movies, and the non-Trek films Clockstoppers and Thunderbirds. He was executive producer of Roswell.
Frakes seems to enjoy inside jokes. In Clockstoppers, there is a scene where leading lady Paula Garcés says, "Make it so, Number One", a little nod to Trek fans. And Frakes appeared as himself on Roswell, twice -- first attending a UFO convention, and in another episode directing an episode of Star Trek: Enterprise.
Full Name at Birth Jonathan Scott Frakes
Other Names Two-Takes Frakes
Date of Birth August 19, 1952
Birthplace Bellefonte, Pennsylvania
Height 6' 4" (193 cm)
Eye Color Blue
Hair Color Brown - Dark
Star Sign Leo
Religion Anglican / Episcopalian
High School Liberty High School, Bethlehem, PA (1970)
University Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA (1974)
Occupation Actor, Director
Occupation Category Actor
Claim to Fame Star Trek: The Next Generation
Official Website twitter.com
Father: James Frakes (Professor of English Literature, Lehigh University, d. 2002)
Mother: Doris Yingling (homemaker)
Brother: Daniel Frakes (b. 18-May-1955, d. 1997, pancreatic cancer)
Wife: Genie Francis (actress, b. 1962, m. 28-May-1988)
Son: Jameson Ivor Frakes (b. 20-Aug-1994)
Daughter: Elizabeth Francis Frakes (b. 30-May-1997)
Net worth: $12 million USD (2015)
Fan Mail Address:
Paradigm Talent Agency
360 North Crescent Dr. North Bldg.
Beverly Hills, CA 90210-2500