Brent Jay Spiner (ˈspaɪnər), born February 2, 1949) is an American actor, best known for his portrayal of the android Lieutenant Commander Data in the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation and four subsequent films. His portrayal of Data in Star Trek: First Contact and of Dr. Brackish Okun in Independence Day, both in 1996, earned him a Saturn Award and Saturn Award nomination respectively.
Brent Spiner played the android Lt. Commander Data on Star Trek: The Next Generation and subsequent Star Trek projects. He also played Data's "brother", the evil android Lore, another troubled brother "B-4", Data's creator Noonien Soong, and Dr Soong's great-great-great grandfather, Anik Soong.
Spiner's father died when he was an infant, leaving his mother to raise him and his brother alone. He became Brent Mintz when she remarried, but Spiner has referred to his stepfather as "a monster", and when he became a professional actor he changed his name back to Spiner. In high school, he lettered in baseball, playing a pretty good first base. His classmates included Randy Quaid, and both were mentored by the same drama teacher, Cecil Pickett. Years later, Quaid and Spiner both appeared in the film Independence Day (Spiner was the guy who got choked by the alien). His first professional role came at the age of 20, in the TV melodrama My Sweet Charlie with Patty Duke. His first film was Woody Allen's Stardust Memories. He played the lead in a deservedly-forgotten 1984 low-budget romantic comedy, Rent Control. On Night Court with Harry Anderson, Spiner had a recurring role as the guy running the snack stand.
Never particularly a fan of science fiction or Star Trek, Spiner says he auditioned for the role of Data assuming the show would be quickly cancelled, but he needed the money. He has seen only about twenty episodes of The Next Generation. "Because I work on it so much, I've read all the episodes and I've acted on them -- I just think it would be redundant for me to sit down and watch them". By the show's end, technicians said Spiner was the only actor in the principle cast who did not need artificial padding or girdling on camera.
Full Name at Birth Brent Jay Spiner
Date of Birth February 2, 1949
Birthplace Houston, Texas, USA
Height 5' 11" (180 cm)
Hair Color Grey
Star Sign Aquarius
High School Bellaire Senior High School, Bellaire, TX
University Trinity College, University of Houston (dropped out)
Occupation Actor,Comedian, Singer
Occupation Category Actor
Claim to Fame Data on Star Trek: The Next Generation
Official Website therealbrentspiner.com
Father (father) Jack Spiner (store owner)
(stepfather) Sol Mintz
Mother Sylvia (store owner)
Other Family Members Jackson (son) 1989
Associated People (singer) Maude Maggart
Father: Jack Spiner (d. 1950, kidney failure)
Mother: Sylvia Schwartz
Father: Sol Mintz (stepfather, record shop owner, adopted 1955)
Father: Marty Mintzer (stepfather)
Brother: Ron Spiner (b. 1947, d. 1997)
Girlfriend: Swoosie Kurtz (actress, dated in late 1970s)
Girlfriend: Terry Farrell (actress, dated in early 1990s)
Girlfriend: Loree McBride (publicist, possibly Spiner's wife, one son)
Son: Jackson Spiner (b. 29-Jun-2002)
Fan Mail Address:
9454 Wilshire Blvd. 4th Floor
Beverly Hills, CA 90212-2907