Who is Gates McFadden?

Gates McFadden is an American actress, who is probably best known for portraying the character of Dr. Beverly Crusher through several installments of the “Star Trek” motion picture saga. Additionally, under the name of Cheryl McFadden, she is widely recognized as a renowned theatrical choreographer.

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Early Life and Education

Cheryl Gates McFadden was born under the zodiac sign of Pisces on the 2nd March 1949, in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, and apart from being of American nationality and white ethnicity, she is of some Lithuanian ancestry through her mother’s side.

There aren’t any other relevant details about her parents or family’s background.

She obtained her Bachelor of Arts’ degree, cum laude, from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts, graduating in theatre arts, before enrolling at L’École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq in Paris, France.

Early Career

McFadden’s career began in the early 1980s, when she joined The Jim Henson Company in Los Angeles, California, where she began by serving as its choreographer.

Prior to switching to on-screen acting full time, during her early career, Gates appeared in over a dozen stageplays, including Theatre De Lys’ “Cloud 9”, Ensemble Studio Theatre’s “To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday” and “The Bloodletters”.

To greater prominence she came in 1984, for her on-screen and behind-the-camera works on the Oscar-nominated puppet comedy drama film “The Muppets Take Manhattan”, after which she served as a supervising choreographer for the 1985 drama movie “Dreamchild”. Later that year she appeared in the comedy movie “When Nature Calls”, while in 1986 she made her small screen acting debut in an episode of “The Wizard” TV series.

Gates McFadden

In 1986 she served as the director of choreography for the Jim Henson’s BAFTA Award-nominated fantasy movie “Labyrinth“, featuring David Bowie in the leading role.

“Star Trek”

The real breakthrough in Gates’ acting career occurred in 1987, when she was cast for the role of Dr. Beverly Crusher – one of the main characters of the first season of the TV Sci-Fi series “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. Although initially intended to be the love interest of Captain Jean-Luc Picard, portrayed by (Sir) Patrick Stewart, she was dismissed after the show’s first season and was replaced by Dr. Katherine Pulanski, portrayed by Diana Muldaur.

However, not managing to establish a ‘chemistry‘ with the rest of the cast, the character of Dr. Pulanski was fired after the second season, and Gates was approached by the series’ creator Gene Roddenberry to return to her role of Dr. Crusher. Hesitant at first, after receiving a vast number of fan letters as well as a persuasive ‘phone call from her co-star Patrick Stewart, McFadden returned to the show, and reprised the role of Dr. Crusher in its following five seasons, appearing in the total of 154 episodes ’til 1994, when it was eventually called off.

In 1994 Gates reprised the same role in the seventh movie from the “Star Trek” saga and the first movie from its “The Next Generation” series, entitled “Star Trek: Generations”, while in 1996 she appeared in its sequel film “Star Trek: First Contact”. Additionally, as Beverly she starred in two remaining sequels – the 1998 film “Star Trek: Insurrection” and the 2002 movie “Star Trek: Nemesis”.

Gates was also featured in several video games voice-acting for Dr. Crusher, including titles such as “Star Trek: The Next Generation – A Final Unity” in 1995, and “Star Trek: Generations” in 1997.

Other Career’s Highlights

In 1990, McFadden appeared opposite Sean Connery and Alec Baldwin in John McTiernan’s Oscar-winning thriller movie “The Hunt for Red October”, after which she starred in the comedy movie “Taking Care of Business”.

After her initial success in on-screen appearances in “Star Trek: The Next Generation” TV series, McFadden’s career rocketed so that in 1995 she was cast for the recurring role of Kimba in the television drama series “Marker”, after which she was cast for the recurring role of Allison Rourke in “Mad About You” TV romantic comedy series.

In 1997 she appeared in the TV movie “Crowned and Dangerous”, after which she made a streak of guest appearances in popular television series such as “The Practice”, “The Division” and “The Handler”.

In 2005 she appeared opposite Cuba Gooding Jr. in the crime drama thriller movie “Dirty”, which was followed by an appearances in the comedy movie “Make the Yuletide Gay” in 2009. Between 2011 and 2013, she starred in the recurring role of Judge Mallory Jacobs through the first three seasons of the TV crime comedy series “Franklin & Bash”, after which she appeared in the short movie entitled “Mattresside” in 2015.

Gates McFadden‘s most recent on-screen appearances dates back to 2017, when she starred in the TV thriller movie “A Neighbor’s Deception”, and made a guest appearance in an episode of the TV crime series “NCIS”.

Apart from her professional on-screen acting career, Gates McFadden had also lectured at several prestigious academic institutions, such as the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, the University of Pittsburgh, Harvard University, Purdue University as well as the University of Southern California, and the Stella Academy in Hamburg, Germany.

In addition to all these, between January 2009 and October 2014, she served as the Artistic Director of the Los Angeles’ Ensemble Studio Theatre.

Personal Life

McFadden is in a long-term marriage since the late 1980s with actor and producer John Talbot, with whom she welcomed a son they named James Cleveland McFadden-Talbot, born in 1991.

The 71-year-old American actress is standing 5ft 7ins tall (1.72m) and weighs around 121lbs (55kg).

Net Worth

According to authoritative sources, speaking as of mid-2020, it is estimated that the total of Gates McFadden’s net worth revolves around the sum of $3 million, that has been primarily acquired through her on-screen acting career since the 1980s.

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