Denise Crosby

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Denise Crosby
Denise Crosby by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Crosby at the 2015 Phoenix Comicon
Born Denise Michelle Crosby
(1957-11-24) November 24, 1957 (age 58)
Hollywood, California, United States
Nationality American
Occupation Actress, model
Years active 1980–present
Spouse(s) Geoffrey Edwards (m. 1983; div. 1990)
Ken Sylk (m. 1995)
Children 1
Website denisecrosby.net

Denise Michelle Crosby (born November 24, 1957) is an American actress and model best known for portraying Security Chief Tasha Yar in Season One of Star Trek: The Next Generation as well as Yar's own daughter, the half-Romulan Commander Sela, in subsequent seasons. She is also known for her numerous film and television roles and for starring in and producing the film Trekkies. She is the granddaughter of entertainer Bing Crosby.

Early life[edit]

Crosby was born in Hollywood, California, as the out of wedlock daughter of Marilyn Scott and actor Dennis Crosby. Her mother pursued a sensational, three-year-long lawsuit against her father, at the conclusion of which he was ordered to pay child support and legal fees. This deeply embarrassed Dennis Crosby and his famous father, the actor and singer Bing Crosby. Although Bing died when his granddaughter was 19, the two never met.[1]

Crosby attended LeConte Junior High School,[2] followed by Hollywood High School and Cabrillo College, where she studied theater. She dropped out of college after she was interviewed by a local paper and revealed her famous family background. "One of the drama teachers used the story to illustrate to the class that this crap is what Hollywood's all about, using people's names to get somewhere. I was very, very hurt by it. So I just checked out." She started modeling and in 1979 posed nude for Playboy magazine, which she called "some kind of rebellion on my part, some way of saying screw you to the family image."[3]

Career[edit]

Crosby's first high-profile role was as Lisa Davis on the soap opera Days of Our Lives. She has appeared as Dr. Gretchen Kelly in three episodes of Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, and as a sheriff on The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. episode "No Man's Land". In the early 1990s, she played the role of the mayor in the short-lived series Key West. She also appeared in two episodes of the cable television series Red Shoe Diaries, playing a different character in each episode. Crosby had a small recurring role in Aaron Spelling's prime time drama, Models Inc, a spin-off from Melrose Place. She was a guest star on the eighth season of The X-Files for two episodes, in which she plays a doctor who took examinations of Agent Scully's baby. In 1991, she was a guest star in "The Deadly Nightshade", a first season The Flash episode as Dr. Rebecca Frost. In 2006, she was a guest star in Dexter as Dexter's first victim. Crosby had a recurring role in Southland as Detective Dan "Sal" Salinger's wife.

One of her first film appearances was in the 1982 Nick Nolte/Eddie Murphy film 48 Hrs. This was followed by a small role in the 1982 film Trail of the Pink Panther, which she reprised in the sequel Curse of the Pink Panther. In 1986, she appeared in the music video for the Black Sabbath's song "No Stranger to Love", from the album Seventh Star. In the same year she played a robotics engineer, Nora Hunter, in the science fiction movie Eliminators. She starred in Stephen King's Pet Sematary, played the lead role in Dolly Dearest in 1991, and also appeared in Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown, and Deep Impact starring Elijah Wood. Her recent film roles included the 2002 western horror film Legend of the Phantom Rider, and the 2005 Tobe Hooper horror film Mortuary.

Star Trek[edit]

Crosby in 2003

In 1987, Crosby was cast in the role of Tasha Yar for the much publicized return of Star Trek to television in the syndicated series Star Trek: The Next Generation. She had been chosen to play Counsellor Deanna Troi before Gene Roddenberry switched the roles that she and Marina Sirtis had originally been given. Initially one of the top-billed characters and featured prominently in episodes such as "The Naked Now" and "Code of Honor", the role of Tasha gradually moved into the background as other members of the ensemble cast became a greater focus of the series. It has been reported that Crosby grew disillusioned with her role because of its "Uhura-like" status: "I was struggling with not being able to do much with the character. I had all these ideas and couldn't do them. I was just stage dressing."[4] Ultimately, Crosby decided to leave the show. Her character was killed by the alien creature Armus during the episode "Skin of Evil." She had appeared in 22 episodes when she left.

In later years, Crosby approached the TNG production team with the idea of reprising her role of Tasha Yar. This came to be in season three's "Yesterday's Enterprise" in which an alternate timeline is created after the USS Enterprise-C, the predecessor to TNG's USS Enterprise-D, comes forward 22 years in time. Yar joined the Enterprise-C before it returned to its own time. During the documentary Trekkies, Crosby commented that her Tasha Yar character had to die in order to get "the best episodes".

Crosby also guest starred in several other TNG episodes such as "Redemption" as Romulan Commander Sela, the half-human, half-Romulan daughter of Tasha Yar, who had been taken prisoner in the past while on board the Enterprise-C. Crosby later reprised the role in the Star Trek: Armada video game, and again in the series finale, "All Good Things...", in which Captain Picard is moving back and forth through time, and encounters Tasha during the events just prior to the pilot episode.

Crosby produced and narrated the 1997 documentary Trekkies, followed by the 2003 sequel Trekkies 2. Both films star Crosby, who conducts interviews with devotees of Star Trek, more commonly known as "Trekkies."

Along with other Star Trek actors, she has also appeared as Dr. Jenna Yar (grandmother of Natasha Yar) in the "Blood and Fire" episode of the fan produced series Star Trek: New Voyages.

In 2013, Crosby provided voicing for the characters of Tasha Yar and Sela in the Cryptic Studios MMORPG Star Trek Online. Crosby became the first of a new wave of several Star Trek alumni to return to the roles they originated since Leonard Nimoy's and Zachary Quinto's participation at the game's launch in 2010.

Post-Star Trek work[edit]

In January and February 2010, Crosby performed alongside Gale Harold and ex-model Claudia Mason in Tennessee Williams' Orpheus Descending at Theater in Los Angeles. The production and cast received mostly positive reviews in the Los Angeles Times stating, "Harold, ideally cast, beautifully ignites with Crosby, whose unconventional interpretation is an affecting revelation."[5]

Crosby has a recurring role on Showtime's 2013 series Ray Donovan.[6] In 2014, she appeared in three episodes of AMC's The Walking Dead as Mary, a member of a group of cannibals.[7] The character first appears in the penultimate episode] of Season 4, "Us", and made her final appearance in the season five premiere, "No Sanctuary".

Crosby also played the role of widow Margie Curtis in the TV series Bones, Season 3: Episode 4 "The Secret in the Soil", aired on October 23, 2007.

Personal life[edit]

Crosby was married to Geoffrey Edwards (son of director Blake Edwards) from 1983 to 1990. She has appeared in number of Blake Edwards's films, including 10, Skin Deep, Trail of the Pink Panther, and Curse of the Pink Panther. Crosby married Ken Sylk in 1995, their son, August William Sylk, was born in 1998.[1]

Filmography[edit]

Film
Year Title Role Notes
1979 10 Party Guest Uncredited role
1982 Trail of the Pink Panther Denise, Bruno's Moll
1982 48 Hrs. Sally
1983 Curse of the Pink Panther Denise
1983 The Man Who Loved Women Enid
1985 Desert Hearts Pat
1986 Eliminators Nora Hunter
1988 Greasy Lake Bad Girl #2 Direct-to-video
1988 Arizona Heat Jill Andrews
1988 Miracle Mile Landa
1989 Skin Deep Angie
1989 Pet Sematary Rachel Creed
1989 Tennessee Waltz Sally Lomas
1991 High Strung Melanie
1991 Dolly Dearest Marilyn Wade
1993 Mafia Docks Bella Blu Italian title: Il ritmo del silenzio
1994 Mutant Species Carol-Anne
1994 Max Jayne Blake
1994 Relative Fear Connie Madison
1995 Dream Man Barbara Direct-to-video
1997 Executive Power Christine Rolands Direct-to-video
1997 Jackie Brown Public Defender Uncredited role
1998 Deep Impact Vicky Hotchner
1998 Divorce: A Contemporary Western Kay
2002 Legend of the Phantom Rider Sarah Jenkins
2003 The Bus Stops Here Chatty Woman at Bus Stop Short film
2005 Mortuary Leslie Doyle
2007 Ripple Effect Ronald's Wife Uncredited role
2007 Born Catherine
2012 Birth Mother Detective Johnson Short film
2015 Don't Wake Mummy Unknown
2016 Raven's Watch Jeanne Post-production
Television
Year Title Role Notes
1980 Days of Our Lives Lisa Davis Unknown episodes
1983 Cocaine: One Man's Seduction Teller Television film
1985 My Wicked, Wicked Ways: The Legend of Errol Flynn Diana Dyrenforth Television film
1985 Stark Kim Parker Television film
1985 Malice in Wonderland Carole Lombard Television film
1986 The Family Martinez Rachael McCann Television film
1986 L.A. Law Joan Turtletaub Episode: "Gibbon Take"
1987 Ohara Rachel Winters Episode: "Laura"
1987–94 Star Trek: The Next Generation Lieutenant Tasha Yar / Sela 31 episodes
1989 Mancuso, F.B.I. Toni Simmons Episode: "I Cover the Waterfront"
1991 WIOU Unknown role Episode: "Labored Relations"
1991 Hunter Pam Sutton Episode: "All That Glitters"
1991 The Flash Dr. Rebecca Frost Episode: "The Deadly Nightshade"
1991 Dark Justice Christina Forbes Episode: "Forbes for the Defense"
1992 Jack's Place Lindsay Episode: "Everything Old is New Again"
1992–94 Red Shoe Diaries Officer Lynn "Mona" McCabe / The Psychiatrist Episodes: "You Have The Right to Remain Silent", "The Psychiatrist"
1993 Civil Wars Gwen Leary Episode: "Captain Kangaroo Court"
1993 Key West Chaucy Caldwell 13 episodes
1993 Johnny Bago Dr. Candace David Episode: "Hail the Conquering Marrow"
1993 The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. Sheriff Jenny Taylor Episode: "No Man's Land"
1994 Models Inc. Ursula Edwards Episode: "Good Girls Finish Last"
1994–95 Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman Dr. Gretchen Kelly 3 episodes
1995–96 Diagnosis: Murder Didi Harris / Cynthia Holling 3 episodes
1996 Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman Isabelle Maynard Episode: "Fear Itself"
1997 Baywatch Emily Morgan Episode: "Rendezvous"
1998 Spy Game Chrysalis Episode: "Go, Girl"
1998 Pumpkin Man Laurel Hollway Television short film
1998 Chance of a Lifetime Katie Television film
1999 The Rockford Files: If It Bleeds... It Leads Mrs. Muller Television film
2000 Snoops Evelyn Houtch Episode: "The Stolen Diskette"
2000 Family Law Doris Collins Episode: "For Love"
2001 The Drew Carey Show Officer Hayes Episode: "The Warsaw Closes"
2001 NYPD Blue Lieutenant Susan Dalto Episodes: "Thumb Enchanted Evening", "Flight of Fancy"
2001 The X-Files Dr. Mary Speake Episodes: "Empedocles", "Essence"
2001 Judging Amy Mrs. Nasretian Episode: "Look Closer"
2002 JAG Mrs. Dietz Episode: "Capital Crime"
2002 The Division Alison Tisdale Episode: "This Thing Called Love"
2002 The Agency Detective Reidy Episode: "Sleeping Dogs Lie"
2003 Threat Matrix Gillian Sadler Episode: "Cold Cash"
2004 Crossing Jordan Carla Moran Episode: "Fire from the Sky"
2005 Eyes Justine Canning Episode: "Shots"
2006 Dexter Nurse Mary Episode: "Popping Cherry"
2007 Bones Margie Curtis Episode: "The Secret in the Soil"
2008 Mad Men Gertie Episodes: "For Those Who Think Young", "The Benefactor"
2008 Prison Break Doctor Episode: "Going Under"
2009 Star Trek: New Voyages Dr. Jenna Yar Episode: "Blood and Fire: Part 2"
2009–10 Southland Susan Salinger 3 episodes
2011 Law & Order: LA Diana Burt Episode: "Big Rock Mesa"
2013 Invasion Roswell Linda Television film
2013–15 Ray Donovan Deb 12 episodes
2014 The Walking Dead Mary 3 episodes
2015 Scandal Janet Holland Episode: "Even the Devil Deserves a Second Chance"
2016 The Magicians Genji Episode: "Mendings, Major and Minor"
2016 Castle Dr Marion Baker Episode: "Death Wish"
Video games
Year Title Role Notes
2000 Star Trek: Armada Sela Voice role
2010 Star Trek Online Lieutenant Tasha Yar / Sela Voice role
Uncredited role

References[edit]

External links[edit]