Born: August 19, 1952
Date of Birth: August 19, 1952
Best known for his Star Trek: The Next Generation character, Commander Riker, this Pennsylvania native attended the state university before venturing off to Harvard University to complete his education.
During his time at Harvard, he spent some years gaining acting experience with the Loeb Drama Center.
Following university, Frakes spent several years in New York performing on a number of regional stage productions.
He began working on the small screen in the late 70s, with a recurring role on the daytime drama, The Doctors, as well as small parts in telefilms like Beach Patrol, The Night the City Screamed and Bare Essence (the latter of which introduced him to his future wife - Genie Francis).
After completing a number of series such as Paper Dolls, and miniseries such as North and South, Frakes made the change from drama to sci-fi, changing his life forever.
Landing the role of Commander William Riker of the starship Enterprise in the new Star Trek series, The Next Generation, not only led to a prolific career, it also garnered him widespread recognition around the world.
The popular series lasted eight seasons and four feature films including Generations (1994), First Contact (1996), Insurrection (1998) and Nemesis (2002).
During his years on the set, Frakes began to dabble in directing.
During the third season, he was granted the opportunity to direct one of the episodes, and the results impressed the producers.
They later allowed him to direct a number of other episodes as well as episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager. In 1996 he made his feature film directorial debut when he helmed Star Trek: First Contact.
During the mid-'90s he took a break from Star Trek and voiced the regular character Xanatos for the Saturday morning cartoon, Gargoyles. And in the late '90s, he took on another sci-fi series, Roswell, but instead of being in front of the camera, he decided to work from behind as director and producer, only appearing in occasional guest spots as himself.