Highly related: Which actor has portrayed the most distinct roles in the Star Trek universe?

The reason I ask this, and the reason it's not a dupe is because if we look at the answer to that question, we have, for example:

J.G. Hertzler: Appeared as three different Klingons (Martok, Kolos, and unnamed Commander)

Randy Ogleby: Appeared as the brothers Ah-Kel and Ro-Kel

Jeffrey Coombs: Appeared as two Ferengi (Krem and Brunt) and two humans (Mulkahey and Holosuite Guest)

Thomas Kopache: Appeared as two humans (Train Engineer and Enterprise-B Comm Officer)

Vaughan Armstrong: Appeared as three Klingons (Korris, Korath and unnnamed Klingon Captain), and two Cardassians (Danar and Seskal)

In addition, note that the same character appearing as multiple species is in bounds for this question but not the other one.

Which actor appeared on Star Trek as the most different species?

Now all the disambiguations. This is going to seem tedious, but otherwise we end up with a hundred comments/questions/debates.

  1. Humans: we assume a character who appears as human is a human unless there's a good a reason to think they aren't (for example if they appear in the Delta quadrant)

  2. Hybrids: A hybrid counts as each of its parent species, but not to exceed the number of characters represented. A single Klingon-human hybrid counts as one. If an actor appears as a human, a Klingon, and a Klingon-human hybrid, that is two, not three. This prevents the character in Enterprise's far-future mentioned as being a hybrid of a dozen races counting as a dozen.

  3. Surgical alteration: counts. The character does appear as the other species. Farrell appears as a Bajoran. Sirtis appears as a Romulan.

  4. Pure disguise: But if you just cover your distinctive parts, that doesn't count. Nimoy isn't appearing a human because he puts on a headband. (Aside from #2)

  5. Other 'magic/powers/technobabble': counts. John de Lancie's Q appears as both a human and an android.

  6. Borg: count as another species. Patrick Stewart appears as a human and a Borg.

  7. Not played by actor: Janeway as a lizard does not count (thankfully!) because not played by Kate Mulgrew.

  8. Voice work: Voice work doesn't count. This is like #7. The actor must appear on-screen.

  9. Expect the list to get longer.

  • 1
    The current existing answer by @JackBNimble is effectively giving four different actors who played five species. (Jeffrey Coombs is wrong because Jack double counted humans). There's another line of answers which this isn't considering. Off the top of my head, I believe Riker appeared undercover as at least three different species. Commented Sep 22, 2015 at 16:20
  • 1
    Does voicing count as appearing? James Doohan in TAS would likely walk away with it...
    – Politank-Z
    Commented Sep 22, 2015 at 19:32
  • 1
    @Politank-Z: No, appear means appear on-screen in the flesh. Commented Sep 22, 2015 at 19:44
  • 12
    Kirk appeared on the most aliens, but we already knew that. Commented Sep 22, 2015 at 22:24
  • 2
    For all the characters Odo impersonated does their actor get a +1?
    – JamesRyan
    Commented Sep 25, 2015 at 17:03

9 Answers 9


Patricia Tallman has 10!

enter image description hereenter image description here

  • Human (played an Enterprise security officer in TNG "Power Play", the Defiant tactical officer in DS9 "The Way of the Warrior", and her face as appeared when playing Beverly Crusher in TNG, as body double for Gates McFadden; see here)
  • Ennis (played Nima, an Ennis female in the Gamma Quadrant in DS9 "Battle Lines")
  • Bajoran (played Nurse Tagana in DS9 "The Muse")
  • Arkarian (she played Kiros, a random bumpy-forehead alien in TNG "Starship Mine")
  • Romulan (she played an unnamed Romulan in TNG "Timescape")
  • Taresian (played a Taresian female in Delta Quadrant in Voyager "Favorite Son")
  • J-Nali (as stunt double in TNG "The Outcast")
  • Klingon (was stunt double for Duras sisters in various TNG episodes and in Generations)
  • Elaysian (as stunt double, in DS9 "Melora")
  • Vulcan (as stunt double, in DS9 "Maquis" Part 1)
  • 8
    Not to diminish Pat Tallman at all, but the OP specifies "actor". Can we count stunt double roles?
    – Politank-Z
    Commented Sep 22, 2015 at 18:40
  • 5
    @Politank-Z: It's a good question. If we allow stunt performers, then the answer to scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/31810/… should change too. Commented Sep 22, 2015 at 18:41
  • 3
    @Ellesedil - it is acting, but it is not a distinct role per se. However, according to the terms of the question, this would be a winner.
    – JohnP
    Commented Sep 22, 2015 at 19:16
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    @Politank-Z - Stuntmen are actors. While there are separate stuntmen and stunt actors, all of them are part of SAG-AFTRA, pay union dues, vote in Academy elections/awards, etc.
    – JohnP
    Commented Sep 22, 2015 at 19:18
  • 2
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but Tallman's appearance as a Romulan in TNG "Timescape" was actually a disguise - she was one of two alien beings from outside our space-time continuum trying to rescue their young from the Romulans' reactor.
    – Marsh
    Commented Sep 22, 2015 at 19:56

Credit where credit's due, Praxis' answer on Is this Beverly Crusher? gives Patricia Tallman, with ten:

  • TNG 5x15 "Power Play" - Human
  • TNG 5x17 "The Outcast" - J'naii (as a stunt double)
  • TNG 6x18 "Starship Mine" - Arkarian
  • TNG 6x25 "Timescape" - Alien pretending to be Romulan (we never get to see the alien's "true" form.)
  • DS9 1x13 "Battle Lines" - Ennis
  • DS9 2x06 "Melora" - Elaysian (as a stunt double, but still seen on screen and in a unique uniform/outfit/makeup)
  • DS9 2x20 "The Maquis, Part 1" - Vulcan (as a stunt double)
  • DS9 4x21 "The Muse" - Bajoran
  • VOY 3x20 "Favorite Son" - Taresian
  • ST:Generations - Klingon (as a stunt double)

I didn't include DS9 5x17 "A Simple Investigation", because while she was a stunt double for an alien character (an Idanian), she was presumed human in the scenes the stunt double was used. There were also a number of other stunt-double appearances, but the races are duplicated above.

  • Thanks @T.J.L! My suspicion was also Tallman, and I was actually working on a nearly identical answer at the same time as you. I only saw yours just now, when I posted mine....
    – Praxis
    Commented Sep 22, 2015 at 18:01
  • @Praxis Well, like I said... your answer on that other question is what sent me off looking.
    – T.J.L.
    Commented Sep 22, 2015 at 18:02
  • Hehe, just found the J-Nali one too. Let's see if we can find more...she was prolific in her Star Trek work!
    – Praxis
    Commented Sep 22, 2015 at 18:03
  • 1
    Despite the name. she's only 5'8" and she's a fairly slim woman. I don't know if she's big enough to pull of a Jem'Hadar, even in costume. :)
    – T.J.L.
    Commented Sep 22, 2015 at 18:15
  • 1
    @T.J.L. "Only 5'8"? She's got five inches on me! :)
    – Jane S
    Commented Sep 24, 2015 at 21:11

Vaughn Armstrong has 8:


@JackBNimble is effectively giving four different actors who played five species, and Jeffrey Coombs appearing as six species. There's another line of answers which this isn't considering.

Jonathan Frakes also appears as at least six species

  1. Human

  2. Malcorian ("First Contact")

  3. Mintakan ("Who Watches the Watchers")

  4. Barkorian ("Thine Own Self")

  5. Bajoran ("Preemptive Strike")

  6. Australopithecine ("Genesis")

enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

Honorable mention:

  1. Q ("Hide and Q") --- I'm not going to count this because the Q take on a human appearance, their natural appearance is not depicted. Essentially, a Q as human counts as a human appearance.

enter image description here

  • Even if human is double counted counted Jeffery Combs still played six different species.
    – Xantec
    Commented Sep 22, 2015 at 17:45
  • @Xantec: That's true. I see what he said now. Edited. Commented Sep 22, 2015 at 17:46
  • 1
    He also temporarily appeared as the species Phallus Gigantus in 'Insurrection', while he took manual control of the doomed Enterprise... sigh XD youtube.com/watch?v=N4x1K97JZG0 Commented Sep 23, 2015 at 23:22
  • I would give you the Australopithecine, but the rest are simply Frakes playing Riker in turn playing another character. By that logic, you cannot include the human Riker in your list as he is the actor.
    – 1252748
    Commented Sep 30, 2015 at 1:11
  • Although I guess "actor" Riker did play a human in Frame of Mind. Hmmm.
    – 1252748
    Commented Sep 30, 2015 at 1:14

I'm going to assume it was Jeffery Combs.

He played:

6 Species, plus a holosuite program (whatever they are).

J.G. Hertzler, Randy Oglesby, and Thomas_Kopache each played 5 distinct species.

  • 5
    Holosuite Human is a human. Commented Sep 22, 2015 at 15:49
  • 8
    @ThePopMachine Says you! I wouldn't share my table with that holosuite filth. Commented Sep 22, 2015 at 15:54
  • 11
    Sudo humans? Like Demi-gods? I'm scared now...
    – flq
    Commented Sep 22, 2015 at 16:39
  • 11
    @Himarm it's pseudo. Unless you were trying to run humans as root.
    – Rob Grant
    Commented Sep 23, 2015 at 7:07
  • 8
    would Q be a sudo pseudo human? Commented Sep 24, 2015 at 9:23

Depending on how you define role, Tim Russ may be a contender with at least seven that I can think of which were all speaking roles:

  • Human (Devor in TNG:"Starship Mine", Unnamed Lieutenant in TNG:Generations)
  • Klingon (T'Kar in DS9:"Invasive Procedures")
  • Komar (Possessed!Tuvok in VOY:"Cathexis") (While he still appeared as Tuvok, the actor was playing a different species)
  • Hologram (Several variations of Hologram!Tuvok as well as a holographic human in VOY:"Killing Game")
  • Kradin (seen as the one of the "Beasts" by Chokotay in VOY:"Nemesis")
  • Unnamed biomimetic species (VOY:"Course: Oblivion")
  • Borg (As 3 of 12 in VOY:"Unimatrix Zero")

He's also played a couple different imagined/illusionary versions of Tuvok but I don't think they'd count as a separate species.


This answer: https://scifi.stackexchange.com/a/103106/3823

seems to indicate that Patricia Tallman appears as at least five species. (I'm not sure which of those images are humans or not -- someone can do the research and clarify if they wish.)

  • Both T.J.L and I have counted 10 (see our answers above).
    – Praxis
    Commented Sep 22, 2015 at 18:09
  • If you accept an answer (not holding my breath!), you should go for T.J.L.'s even though his and mine are nearly identical.
    – Praxis
    Commented Sep 22, 2015 at 18:13

Bill Blackburn!

Now if you’re going to be picky and say that the actor had to be credited and that there’s documentation proving the actor played such and such an alien, then you’re answer is going to be Jeffrey Combs. But if you want to know who REALLY played the most species, then it’s Bill Blackburn. You can find a small blurb about him on his IMDB bio:

Was an uncredited extra in most episodes of the original "Star Trek". Frequently played Lt Hadley, seen on the bridge, or walking around the halls of the Enterprise, but he could and did turn up in any other available extra role, sometimes in costumes which fully obscured his face. He also did minor stunts on the show. All his parts were non-speaking.

You get even more detail when you watch the cast interviews on the Re-mastered release of ST-TOS.

Billy played Lt. Hadley, the ‘guy who sat next to Sulu’ before Chekov joined the crew. He never had a speaking roll but they say he was an uncredited extra in most every episode of ST-TOS. Moreover, whenever they had need for an alien (i.e. guy in a monkey suit), they would get Billy to wear the costume.

He played so many different aliens that he can’t even remember them all. The cast all acknowledged what a great asset he was to the show, but back then people didn’t pay much attention to giving credit to anyone but the stars. His efforts weren’t credited, never documented but very much appreciated.

  • This looks like it should be the answer to a different question because this question is about who played the most aliens Commented Sep 24, 2015 at 22:53
  • 1
    Even if we were to give (unverified) credit for the TOS rubber-suit aliens, I can think of only four full-up rubber-suit aliens... M-113 Salt Alien (Man Trap), Balok (The Corbomite Maneuver), Gorn (Arena), and Yarnek (The Savage Curtain). If we wanted to stretch, you might include include Tellarite (Journey to Babel) and Vian (The Empath), but they weren't as extensive as a full suit and other characters had speaking parts in similar makeup. The Talosians in The Cage were also not rubber suits, plus they were all played by women. TLDR - Hard to believe without a sourced list.
    – T.J.L.
    Commented Sep 25, 2015 at 13:52

I believe the correct answer to this question is Jeffery Combs.

The following roles are attributed to Mr. Combs:

Penk  - Star Trek Enterprise   (Andorian)  
Shran - Star Trek Enterprise   (Andorian)  
Krem  - Star Trek Enterprise   (Andorian)  
Brunt - Star Trek Deep Space 9 (Ferengi)  
Weyoun- Star Trek Deep Space 9 (Vorta)  
Tiron - Star Trek Deep Space 9  
      - Star Trek Deep Space 9 (Human - 1 episode)
  • 2
    This isn't adding anything beyond this existing answer Commented Feb 11, 2016 at 0:46
  • 1
    I added some formatting to your answer to make it easier to read. However, in future please check the existing answers and only post a new answer if it adds something new that hasn't already been posted. This answer is the same as this pre-existing answer to the same question, which may explain why it's been downvoted. Also, Stack Exchange has a "be nice" policy, and calling someone a prick is not acceptable.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Feb 11, 2016 at 1:19
  • Rand: How about you ask your staff to stop being rude. I was accused of spamming and I ABSOLUTELY did not spam. How about you teach your staff to be nice and help them CLEARLY define what spamming is before they wrong accuse people. Additionally, my answer was NOT copied. I drafted this response from memory. Again, you and your staff have the gal to accuse me of something I haven't done. Moreover, attacking the scores in my other posts is simple retaliation. Your staff behaves poorly and retaliates. What does that say about this site? Commented Feb 11, 2016 at 1:26
  • @MemoryAlphaLibrarian I'm not sure what you mean by "my staff", but the comment that offended you has now been deleted. And I didn't accuse you of copying this answer, just pointed out that it's the same as another one (by coincidence, but still).
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Feb 11, 2016 at 1:31
  • 7
    @MemoryAlphaLibrarian You were auto-banned from answering by the system, not because of your complaints but because you had posted too many low-quality answers. And although I can't prove it, I'm fairly sure your answers were downvoted because people thought they were bad, rather than because of your complaints or anything about you personally. In short, no retaliation has occurred. If you deleted your negatively-scored posts, you would regain the lost reputation (though this wouldn't lift the ban). If you cannot delete due to the ban, I'm happy to delete one or two for you.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Feb 11, 2016 at 1:48

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