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Some recurring characters have been played by different actors in different films or episodes. Many main cast members have been portrayed by different actors due to flashbacks, and [(mumble) insert (mumble) technobabble (mumble)] shenanigans. Of course the 2009 reboot opens up a universe of characters being played by a new generation of actors.

Which Star Trek character was portrayed by the most different actors?

Clarifications:

  • The character must be substantially the same: alternate timelines count at the same character, but for example, Shinzon is not Picard.
  • Janeway played by a lizard counts, just because it won't affect the answer and it makes me chuckle.
  • "possessions" (Spock in McCoy in Star Trek III and everyone in "Facets") do not count. This is DeForest Kelley playing Dr. McCoy containing some aspect of Spock, not DeForst Kelley playing Spock. The litmus test is, Would the IMDB or the credits reasonably credit Kelley as Spock? (This is going to be a little debatable, but it doesn't appear it will affect the accepted answer.)

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

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    I vote red shirt #2
    – Firebat
    Oct 23, 2015 at 15:03
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    @Xantec: That's non-canon, whatever that means in Star Trek. Oct 23, 2015 at 21:36
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    @ElliottFrisch, I'm inclined to think "Computer Voice" counts as one character, at least within the same era. Oct 24, 2015 at 0:48
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    @S.Fruggiero, sure there are more of Red Shirt #1 Oct 24, 2015 at 0:52
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    Interesting that IMDB credits both actors for both roles in "Face/Off" (imitation) and "18 Again!" (possession), but not in "Mission Impossible II" (imitation) or either version of "Freaky Friday" (possession). So I suspect the IMDB litmus test might boil down to what your agent can get you. Oct 25, 2015 at 13:17

5 Answers 5

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Mr. Spock (12, up to 15)

Definite:

  1. Leonard Nimoy, most famously
  2. Zachary Quinto in the reboot continuity
  3. Jacob Kogan played the young Spock in Star Trek (2009)
  4. Spock appears as a baby in Star Trek V, although the name of the "actor" is unknown, so far as I know
  5. Carl Steven played nine-year-old Spock in Star Trek III
  6. Vadia Potenza played 13-year-old Spock in Star Trek III
  7. Stephen Manley played 17-year-old Spock in Star Trek III
  8. Joe W. Davis played 25-year-old Spock in Star Trek III
  9. Frank Welker provided Spock's screams in Star Trek III
  10. Billy Simpson voiced yet another young version of Spock in the Star Trek: The Animated Series episode "Yesteryear"
  11. Ethan Peck portrays Spock in Star Trek: Discovery and Star Trek: Strange New Worlds
  12. Liam Hughes portrays young Spock in childhood flashbacks in Star Trek: Discovery

Debatable:

  1. DeForest Kelley played something Spock-like1 in scenes in Star Trek III where McCoy was taken over by Spock's katra
  2. Carey Scott recorded some scenes as a younger Spock for Star Trek V, but they were cut from the finished film
  3. Yet another baby Spock appears in a deleted scene filmed for Star Trek (2009), apparently played by child actress Jenna Vaughn; the scene is available on the DVD release

1 There's at least one scene in the movie where Spock's katra (soul) completely takes over McCoy's body:

McCoy: (in Spock's voice) Jim, ...Help me. ...You left me on Genesis. ...Why did you do that? ...Help me.

Kirk: Bones, ...what the hell are you doing? Have you lost your mind!

McCoy: Help me, Jim. ...Take me home.

Kirk: Bones, we are. We are home.

McCoy: Then perhaps it's not too late. ...Climb the steps, Jim. ...Climb the steps of Mount Seleya.

Kirk: Mount Seleya? Bones, Mount Seleya is on Vulcan! We're home, ...on Earth!

McCoy: (in Spock's voice) Remember!

Star Trek III: The Search For Spock (1984)

However McCoy is still in there somewhere; it's unclear to what extent he and Spock are mingling inside McCoy's body.

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    @JasonBaker : Did this "young Spock" appear on screen in Star Trek V, or is that footage that wasn't used? (Carey Scott would have been 23 when the film came out.) Also, there was a baby Spock in that film, seen during a vision induced by Sybok. That would count as an additional actor (the baby).
    – Praxis
    Oct 23, 2015 at 15:33
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    @ThePopMachine It depends on how you feel about possession; but if you consider, for example, Nana Visitor as having played Lela Dax (ignoring the Trill joining issue), I see no reason not to include it Oct 23, 2015 at 15:49
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    If we allow possessions, I think we have to allow symbiots.
    – Schwern
    Oct 23, 2015 at 18:10
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    @jpmc26 Well, I'm still of the opinion that it should count, but you've convinced me that it's at least debatable; moved back down Oct 23, 2015 at 20:02
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    Regardless the Kelley/McCoy/Spock thing, excellent answer. (I think I have to reluctantly agree with jpmc26, Kelley was playing McCoy who was possessed. IIRC (long time for me too), they even used Nimoy's voice for one line, seeming to come from McCoy's body, which really gave Kirk a start.) Doesn't matter, great answer. Oct 25, 2015 at 11:54
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Dax (14 actors, 1 puppet)

After preliminary research the Trill Dax seems to have the most actors that played it.

Lela Dax

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Tobin Dax

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Emony Dax

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Audrid Dax

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Torias Dax

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Joran Dax played by multiple people, Jeff Magnus McBride, Leigh J. McCloskey, Avery Brooks (in Benjamin Sisko's body)

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Curzon Dax also played by multiple, Frank Owen Smith (DS9: "Emissary"); Rene Auberjonois (DS9: "Facets")

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Jadzia Dax

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Ezri Dax

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Yedrin Dax Alternate timeline

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Verad Dax

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Dax

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15 in total (14 actors and one puppet) played a part of Dax's life.

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    But Dax is Trill symbiont. It just changes host body, so every time it is different person. Oct 23, 2015 at 15:04
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    I'd argue that the symbiont was only played by one character
    – Valorum
    Oct 23, 2015 at 15:14
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    @ Himarm No it is same 50% of entity. Each of those 14 persons have completely different lifes in completely different times. Dax only holds memories from host's, there are not same persons every time. Not like above mentioned Spock, it is always Spock ,every time same person who did same things and was friend with James T. Kirk, but played by different actors Oct 23, 2015 at 15:17
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    Sorry everyone, it's a plot point that after every merging, the Trill is a new person. This is not the same character. Oct 23, 2015 at 15:29
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    @Himarm: "Dax": PEERS: ...it's a joining. It's a total sharing, a blending, of both host and symbiont. Neither is suppressed by the other. SISKO: So with each new host there does come in fact, a new personality, a new combined person. A different person. Oct 23, 2015 at 17:29
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Captain Picard = 4

Jean Luc Picard was portrayed in the main TV series by three separate actors;

  • Patrick Stewart (in every episode of TNG)
  • David Birkin (in TNG: Rascals)
  • Marcus Nash (TNG: Tapestry)

He was also pictured as a bald cadet by Tom Hardy in Star Trek: Nemesis

enter image description here

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    Yup that's definitely Tom Hardy
    – John Bell
    Oct 23, 2015 at 15:31
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    This was actually a mistake too, because Picard wasn't bald in Star Fleet Academy.
    – John Bell
    Oct 23, 2015 at 15:33
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    @JohnBell Fashion in hair can change quickly. Depilation is a thing. :)
    – Lexible
    Oct 23, 2015 at 16:20
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    @Richard : 'Tis the Bane of an answerer's existence.
    – Praxis
    Oct 23, 2015 at 18:01
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    Why do I keep feeling like James McAvoy belongs on this list? Sep 23, 2016 at 5:01
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Although this certainly isn’t numerically the highest, on Deep Space Nine Gul Dukat’s daughter Tora Ziyal was played by three different actresses in a little over two years, without any flashbacks or sci-fi shenanigans.

In season 4, Cyia Batten portrayed her in Indiscretion and Return to Grace, with Tracy Middendorf taking over in For The Cause.

Melanie Smith then played her in six episodes split evenly across seasons 5 and 6, finishing with

her death, in

Sacrifice of Angels.

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Doesn't come close to Spock, but a worthwhile mention is Naomi Wildman who was played by four different actresses.

  1. Scarlett Pomers (in 16 episodes of Voyager)
  2. Emily Leibovitch (a baby, VOY Deadlock and Basics, Part II)
  3. Brooke Stephens (a younger Naomi, VOY Mortal Coil)
  4. Vanessa Branch (a future adult Naomi, VOY Shattered)

Worf's son Alexander Rozhenko was also played by four different actors: Brian Bonsall, Marc Worden, James Sloyan, and Jon Steuer.

Apparently Miral Paris was also portrayed by four different actresses, although one of those was a hologram of an "unknown actress" and two are twin babies (one of them being male, interestingly enough).

Tom Paris was portrayed by 4 actors as well if you're including the lizard — though I suppose the Steth thing might qualify as a "posession". Plus he was also portrayed in animated form in Lower Decks, though he was still voiced by Robert Duncan McNeill.

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