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Brent Spiner was born and raised in Houston, Texas. He first began pursuing his interest in acting while in high school. There his inspirational drama teacher, Cecil Pickett, ignited a fire under his students and started the careers of a remarkable group of aspiring young actors and directors including Spiner, Randy Quaid, Dennis Quaid, Thomas Schlamme, Trey Wilson and Cindy Pickett, all of whom later attainted success in Hollywood.
After graduation, Spiner followed his mentor to the University of Houston and other local colleges, while also launching his professional acting career in theater (The Houston Music Theater) and in film (My Sweet Charlie (TV) which was shot on location in Texas).
Spiner then made his way to New York, appearing in a number of Broadway and Off-Broadway productions, such as A History of the American Film, Sunday in the Park with George, Big River, The Three Musketeers and The Seagull at the New York Shakespeare Festival. While in New York, he had a bit part in Woody Allen’s Stardust Memories, starred in an independent feature, Rent Control and had a featured role in the mini-series The Dain Curse.
After a number of character parts in television movies such as Robert Kennedy and His Times, Crime of Innocence, Manhunt for Claude Dallas, Family Sins and guest shots on such shows as Hill Steet Blues, Night Court and Cheers, Spiner landed the role for which he is most identified, Data the android on Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Following a seven year run on television, he appeared in four Star Trek feature films: Generations, First Contact, Insurrection and Nemesis for which he co-wrote the story.
He returned to Broadway playing the role of John Adams in the Roundabout revival of 1776 for which he was nominated for a Drama Desk award as Best Actor in a Musical and later co-starred in Yasmina Riza’s play, Life x 3 at the Circle in the Square Theater.
On television he co-starred in Introducing Dorothy Dandridge for which he was nominated for a Golden Satellite Award as Best Actor in a TV Movie or Miniseries. Other television credits include Geppetto, Friends, Frasier, Mad About You, Law and Order: Criminal Intent and The Ponder Heart on PBS.
His subsequent film credits have included Independence Day, Out to Sea, Dude Where’s My Car? The Master of Disguise, South Park: The Movie, Phenomenon, I Am Sam and Martin Scorsese’s The Aviator.