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Michelle Forbes

Michelle Forbes is an American actress best known for her television work on shows such as Star Trek: The Next Generation, Homicide: Life on the Street, 24 and the upcoming Global Frequency.


Michelle was born in Austin, Texas on 8 January, 1967. While little is known about her early life, she moved to New York at age 16 and got a role on the daytime soap opera The Guiding Light which earned her a Daytime Emmy nomination for her dual role as Sonni/Solita. After this role, she continued in theater - an early love of hers - and began with small guest roles in television, to raise her profile.

In 1991, she had a small role in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation as the daughter of a character played by David Ogden Stiers. The producers were evidently impressed, as she was brought back in the fifth season to play Ro Laren, a recurring character, for several episodes. Ro was a Bajoran whose bad-girl attitude had caused her to make several enemies, but the crew of the Enterprise - particularly Guinan (Whoopi Goldberg) took her in.

With TNG such a hit, the producers decided to make another Trek series: Deep Space Nine. They originally envisioned Ensign Ro as the lead character, but at this stage in her career, Forbes wasn't interested in a long-running television role, so a new character, Kira Nerys (Nana Visitor) was created for the show. After this, Forbes and the Trek producers did not get on well, so she moved on. In 1993, she starred with David Duchovny, Brad Pitt and Juliette Lewis in the cult film Kalifornia, following this up alongside Kevin Spacey in Swimming with Sharks and in John Carpenter's Escape From L.A..

Michelle also guest starred in an episode of Seinfeld, playing a girlfriend of George Costanza (Jason Alexander), and then returned - to the enjoyment of the fans - for one final episode of TNG entitled Preemptive Strike. Ensign Ro remains a hugely popular character amongst Trek fandom, and Dennis Haysbert , with whom she later starred with in 24 was apparently awestruck to be working alongside Ensign Ro. Perhaps because of her huge fan base, the producers asked Michelle back again when launching Star Trek: Voyager but she again declined.

For a brief while in the early 1990s, Michelle was reportedly married to actor Ross Kettle . In 1996, Michelle appeared alongside Stockard Channing in a TV film entitled The Prosecutors and then gained her first major television role in Homicide: Life on the Street playing Dr. Julianna Cox from 1996 to 1998. Her character was evantually written out, but she returned in the 2000 TV movie. For some time, Michelle was in a relationship with her Homicide co-star Reed Diamond .

In 2000, Michelle also had a recurring role in the first eight episodes of TV series The District which she followed up with the TV series Wonderland , a series set in a mental institution. Michelle played one of the doctors. The series was critically hailed, but only aired for a few weeks before being cancelled. Michelle herself described it as a "mess that put [her] off series television".

In 2001, Michelle learnt British Sign Language for the role of the deaf mute wife of Detective Red Metcalfe (Ken Stott ) in the BBC television serial Messiah, and she returned for the sequels in 2003 and 2004. She also appeared in Perfume : a love-it-or-hate-it ensemble film about the world of fashion.

Michelle's next foray into television was in 2002, when she joined the cast of the Kiefer Sutherland-led FOX series 24. The series, set in real time over the course of one day, had been a critical success during its first season, and the second season opened with the threat of a nuclear bomb in Los Angeles. Michelle played Lynne Kresge, aide to African-American President David Palmer (Dennis Haysbert ). Towards the end of the season, Lynne discovered a plot to unseat the President, led by the Vice President Jim Prescott (Alan Dale) and the Chief of Staff Mike Novick (Jude Ciccolella ) but the price of her discovery was that she was almost killed. Notoriously, several plot points - including her fate - were left open and never resolved. While the show returned for a third season, Michelle did not.

In 2004, Michelle was part of the cast of Mark Milgard 's Dandelion which recieved rave reviews at the Sundance Film Festival; and also provided a voice for the video game Half-Life 2.

Michelle's next role will be in the Mark Burnett show Global Frequency , based on the Warren Ellis Global Frequency series of comic books about an international agency tackling global emergencies and phenomena. Michelle will play Miranda Zero , the head of the organisation. The show is expected to premiere in 2005.


1990 - Nomination - Daytime Emmy - Oustanding Supporting Actress - The Guiding Light

1990 - Nomination - Soap Opera Digest Award - Oustanding Villainess - The Guiding Light

2003 - Nomination - Screen Actors Guild Award - Oustanding Ensemble - 24. (shared with co-stars Reiko Aylesworth , Xander Berkeley , Carlos Bernard, Jude Ciccolella , Sarah Clarke , Elisha Cuthbert, Laura Harris, Dennis Haysbert , Penny Johnson Jerald , Phillip Rhys , Kiefer Sutherland and Sarah Wynter)


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Last updated: 11-10-2004 13:18:07