Brent Spiner is best known as the beloved android Commander Data on the popular television series “Star Trek: The Next Generation” (1987) and four subsequent films. His portrayal of Data and of Dr. Brackish Okun in Independence Day earned him a Saturn Award and a Saturn nomination respectively. He was born and raised in Houston Texas, the son of Jack and Sylvia Spiner who were furniture store owners.
Spiner first began pursuing acting while still in high school where his inspirational drama teacher, Cecil Pickett, nurtured the budding careers of several young hopefuls who later achieved success in Hollywood as actors and directors. Among them were Dennis Quaid, Randy Quaid, Trey Wilson, Robert Wuhl, and Thomas Schlamme. After graduation from College Spiner established some success as a stage actor in New York City, appearing in a number of off-Broadway and Broadway plays. Later, in 1984, the play “Little Shop of Horrors” brought Spiner to Los Angeles where he eventually took up permanent residence.
In 1986, after playing a number of character parts in television series and movies, Spiner snagged the role that would bring him international fame: Data, the endearing android, whom he played by tapping into his inner child. “Star Trek: The Next Generation” (1987), became hugely popular, moving to the big screen for four films after its 7-year run on television. He has appeared in many other television shows and movies during his career including Big Bang Theory, Phenomenon, The Aviator, The Simpsons, Family Guy, The Guild, Warehouse 13, and many, many more.