This question got me to thinking about how there have been many actors who have had several roles across the Star Trek franchise. It seems that once an actor demonstrates good performance in that franchise, it is very likely (at least more so than in other franchises, or it might just be my imagination) that they will be seen as another minor or major character later on.

So, I'm now curious to know which actor has had the most distinct roles in the franchise. Some likely candidates have already been named in the linked thread (e.g.: Majel Barrett, Jeffrey Combs) but I'd like to know if these are really the top ones?

Note that this question is asking about distinct roles. That is, variations of the same character (e.g.: holographic or dream-state representations, shapeshifters or alien possessions, etc.) do not count. I'd also like to exclude very closely related characters (e.g.: ancestors, descendants, similarly-crafted androids, etc. - I was originally going to include these, but then realized that Brent Spiner might be an all-too-easy winner).

Also, to keep this question in an SE-sized scope, I'm only looking to draw from primary-universe live-action productions up to and including ENT. That includes:

  • TOS, and related films
  • TNG, and related films
  • DS9
  • VOY
  • ENT

This excludes:

  • J.J. Abrams' Star Trek universe
  • TAS
  • Books
  • Comics
  • Video Games
  • Fanfic

Related: Which character in Star Trek has been played by the most actors?

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    If you limit it to the original series (a different question than you're asking), Janos Prohaska may hold the record, with 5 roles of 5 different species. He's probably most famous for playing the Cookie Bear on the Andy Williams show. – Keith Thompson Feb 16 '13 at 22:17
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    For the actresses, don't forget Susie Plakson, who played Q's wife, Worf's wife, an Andorian, and some others. Also, Data played a lot of holograms in "A Fistful of Datas", but what about the whole crew in the episode where Worf quantum leaped from one ship to another? Wouldn't that beat Data's record? – Jimmie Ray Giboney Mar 15 '13 at 9:37
  • What about Clint Howard who appeared in TOS, Deep Space Nine, and Enterprise – user20685 Dec 22 '13 at 6:02
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    @Iszi: Are stunt performers allowed?? – ThePopMachine Sep 22 '15 at 18:45
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    It only took me three years, but I've finally managed to find someone to top 11. – Valorum Oct 11 '16 at 19:15

While trying to add to Kyle's answer, I came across Randy Oglesby's entry on IMDB. The trivia blurb at the top of his page actually gives the answer: there are four actors who are tied for seven Trek roles each:

Editor's Note: It seems IMDB does not count the appearances of Hertzler & Combs as "Holosuite Guests" from the DS9 episode What You Leave Behind in their tally. When we add these in, it leaves Hertzler & Combs alone as being tied with 8 appearances each.

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  • @Iszi The links are awesome! Love seeing the pictures of the characters. Great question. – Canadian Girl Scout Feb 16 '13 at 4:02
  • @MattP Nice work. – Kyle Jones Mar 6 '13 at 8:15
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    @Iszi: MattPeterson's answer seems to indicate this should not be the accepted answer. – ThePopMachine Aug 4 '15 at 22:07
  • There are 8 links for Hertzler, with another one added. Shouldn't that be 9 roles, making him second behind @KyleJones answer? – JohnP Aug 5 '15 at 15:40
  • @ThePopMachine -- I agree. The answer below (Vaughn Armstrong) should be the accepted answer, but I'm not sure how to make that happen. – Matt Peterson Aug 5 '15 at 23:51

According to one of the special features in the Star Trek: Voyager disc set, Vaughn Armstrong has played 11 (!) unique Star Trek characters. He's been on all the live-action Trek series except the original. Looking at iMDb I found:

On Enterprise:

On Voyager:

On Deep Space Nine:

On Next Generation:

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  • Wow, he would certainly beat all four of the actors in the current top answer. I checked his characters, and they all seem legit (i.e. credited). – Matt Peterson Mar 7 '13 at 22:46
  • You forgot Captain Maximilian Forrest of the ISS Enterprise in the mirror universe. I think that would qualify as a separate and distinct character from Admiral Forrest. – mu is too short Nov 18 '15 at 7:06

Frank da Vinci has portrayed no less than 12 separate and distinct roles in Star Trek TOS.

  • Lt. Brent
  • Transporter Operator
  • Crewman
  • Security Guard
  • Soldier at Party
  • Capellan Warrior
  • Vulcan Aide
  • Vulcan Ceremonial Aide
  • Lt. Osborne
  • Vinci
  • Eminiar Guard
  • Security Guard Brent

Additionally he's acted as a body-double and stand-in on 78 other occasions.

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    This should seriously be the winning answer. – Lexible Apr 8 at 1:35
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    @Lexible - Since OP is nowhere to be seen, I shall have to settle for the quiet knowledge that my answer is the best one. – Valorum Apr 8 at 11:14

According to iMDB and my own heavy viewing of Star Trek franchise TV shows, Jeffrey Combs and J. G. Hertzler share the crown with six roles each.

Combs played Weyoun, Tiron, Brunt, Officer Mulkahey, and a patron in Vic's Lounge on Deep Space Nine. He also played Commander Shran on Enterprise.

Hertzler played Martok, Roy Rittenhouse, Laas, and a patron in Vic's Lounge on Deep Space Nine. He also played a nameless Klingon captain and Advocate Kolos on Enterprise.

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  • Hertzler also played a Vulcan captain in the DS9 pilot "Emissary" under a slightly different name (John Noah Hertzler). – Matt Peterson Feb 15 '13 at 14:23
  • For Combs, you missed Penk from VOY, and Krem from ENT. Strictly speaking, Officer Mulkahey might be filed under "variations of a primary character" as most other characters in his episode were. EDIT: Looks like IMDB Disagrees - Mulkahey is counted as a separate character. – Iszi Feb 15 '13 at 14:59

Majel Barrett :

  • First Officer under Captain Pike (TOS Pilot)
  • Nurse Chapel -ST TOS;
  • Various -ST TAS
  • L. Troy/voice of computer-ST TNG
  • L.Troy/voice of computer-ST DS9
  • Voice of computer-ST VOY
  • voice of computer-ST ENT

So the whole lot really...

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The currently accepted answer says there are seven.

This answer: https://scifi.stackexchange.com/a/103106/3823 indicates the Patricia Tallman appears in eight roles.

(There are seven images near the bottom of the answer, plus the role of Dr. Crusher in the question at the top.)

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  • Praxis's answer also indicates she body doubled for Kira and Jadzia. So... that's 10? – Ellesedil Oct 24 '15 at 9:14

William Shatner played James T. Kirk, 'good' Kirk, 'bad' Kirk, Mirror universe Kirk, Sam Kirk, Lord Garth, Janice Lester, Martia, and Sargon.

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    Could you add references for some of these? Also, is this more than the others? – Adamant May 16 '17 at 4:22

Barbara Babcock played 6 separate roles in classic Trek. Per IMDB:

  • The Lights of Zetar (1969) ... Zetar (voice)
  • Plato's Stepchildren (1968) ... Philana
  • The Tholian Web (1968) ... Cmdr. Loskene (voice, uncredited)
  • Assignment: Earth (1968) ... Beta 5 Computer / Isis (voice, uncredited)
  • A Taste of Armageddon (1967) ... Mea 3
  • The Squire of Gothos (1967) ... Trelane's Mother (voice, uncredited)
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  • The question is who played the most roles, and there have been actors who played 7. – Mal Mar 1 '18 at 5:18

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