Gates McFadden

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Cheryl Gates McFadden (born March 2, 1949)[1] usually credited as Gates McFadden, is an American actress and choreographer. She is best known for portraying the character of Dr. Beverly Crusher in the Star Trek: The Next Generation television series and subsequent films.


Early life

McFadden was born in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.[2] She attended Brandeis University graduating cum laude with a bachelor of arts in theatre arts. After graduating from Brandeis, she moved to Paris and studied theatre with actor Jacques Lecoq.


Early works

Before Star Trek: The Next Generation, McFadden often worked for Jim Henson productions, including the films The Dark Crystal (as choreographer), Labyrinth (as Director of Choreography and Puppet Movement), and The Muppets Take Manhattan (choreographer and a brief on-screen appearance). As a way of distinguishing her acting work from her choreography, she is usually credited as "Gates McFadden" as an actress and "Cheryl McFadden" as a choreographer. However, she was credited as "Cheryl McFadden" in the Troma movie When Nature Calls (1983). She appeared briefly in the Woody Allen film Stardust Memories, and in The Hunt for Red October as Jack Ryan's wife Cathy, though most of her scenes were cut in post-production.

Star Trek: The Next Generation

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, and this aspect of the character is what attracted McFadden to the role. Another important aspect of the character was being a widow balancing motherhood and a career. McFadden was replaced by actress Diana Muldaur as the Enterprise's Chief Medical Officer for the second season. Muldaur's character, Dr. Katherine Pulaski, didn't make it to the third season. Roddenberry described Muldaur as "a most talented actress", and said that the decision "to let her go was made solely because the hoped-for chemistry between her and the rest of the starship cast did not develop." McFadden was approached to return for the third season.[3] At first she was hesitant, but after a phone call from co-star Patrick Stewart, McFadden was persuaded to reprise her role.[citation needed] Highlights for her character included "The High Ground" where Dr. Crusher is kidnapped by terrorists, "Remember Me" in which she becomes trapped in an alternate reality where her loved ones start to disappear, "The Host" was a romance for the Doctor with a man with a big secret, "Suspicions" sees Dr. Crusher risking her career to solve the murder of a scientist, "Sub Rosa" where Dr. Crusher becomes the next victim of her grandmother's seductive "ghost" and "Attached" where Picard and Crusher become telepathically linked as prisoners and learn their true feeling for one another. McFadden reprised her role for all four TNG movies and also provided her voice for PC games Star Trek: A Final Unity and Star Trek: Generations.

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