In the TNG episode Descent, Data plays a game of poker on the Holodeck with Stephen Hawking (who played himself on the show), Albert Einstein, and Isaac Newton.

Have there been any other cameo appearances by real-life people playing themselves in the Star Trek universe?

  • 1
    Shame you specified "real-life" - R2D2 was in the 2009 Star Trek! See Finally Spotted R2D2 in Star Trek. – Reinstate Monica - Goodbye SE Nov 4 '11 at 11:04
  • Links no longer work. – Codes with Hammer Jun 6 '14 at 14:53
  • @Flimzy: Maybe it's blocked where I am. I found the images elsewhere by JFGI. – Codes with Hammer Jun 6 '14 at 19:28
  • 1
    After reading current answers and comments, I think the question should specify whether by "play oneself" it means that (a) the actors acted "naturally", just like they themselves would act in normal life, or (b) the actors were meant to embody the very persons in-universe (or simulations thereof) that they really are. – O. R. Mapper Sep 30 '16 at 12:53

From: TvTropes "AsHimself" trope article

Stephen Hawking appeared as a hologram of himself in Star Trek: The Next Generation. He played poker with Data, Sir Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein. Notably, he is the only person to play himself (or a simulacrum of himself) in any episode of Star Trek.

| improve this answer | |
  • 13
    You mean that wasn't really Newton or Einstein?!? – Tango Nov 1 '11 at 16:00
  • Good link... I wonder how well that site is kept up to date. – Flimzy Nov 1 '11 at 19:34
  • 2
    @Flimzy - generally, seems to be fairly up to date. No guarantees though. But for something like Star Trek, it seems to be (plus, I researched ~20 other resources to confirm) – DVK-on-Ahch-To Nov 2 '11 at 0:41
  • 1
    Does Maury Ginsberg count? The actor Maury Ginsberg is playing a character named Maury Ginsberg, but I doubt Maury Ginsberg actually saved Woodstock, married a groovy chick with long red beads, and then become an orthodontist with 4 kids. – Ellesedil Oct 24 '17 at 22:04
  • Some more background on Hawking's cameo in this tribute to the man. – Flimzy Mar 14 '18 at 12:04

The closest might be Joe Piscopo, who played The Comic in "The Outrageous Okana." Since he is not given a name, but simply a title, he could possibly be playing himself. I suppose he would say, "Close, but no cigar."

| improve this answer | |
  • According to Memory Alpha, Piscopo's character was listed as Ronald B. Moore on the holodeck program list. The real Ronald Moore was a visual effects coordinator on the show. Therefore, Piscopo does not play himself, and Hawking retains the honor of being the sole person to play himself on Star Trek. Source: memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/Ronald_B._Moore_(comedian) – Brian Mar 14 '18 at 5:39

In the original Star Trek, an actor and actress played themselves before their acting careers took off. The Star Trek crew goes to the 1960s to fix a rocket. Someone realizes they're messing with the rocket, they assume they're sabotaging it. In the end they succeed, etc. All I recall is that the blond actress said "stop monkeying around with my country's rocket." As they leave Kirk says to two of them that they have an interesting future in front of them and chuckles.

| improve this answer | |
  • 5
    I sounds like you're talking about "Assignment: Earth" with Gary Seven and his assistant, which I don't think applies here. Robert Lansing and Teri Garr were not playing themselves, nor were they playing future actors (Gary Seven is a time travelling secret agent). Kirk's comment at the end is because Roddenberry hoped that episode would lead to a Gary Seven TV series (that never happened). – KutuluMike Jan 14 '14 at 3:38
  • 2
    @KeithThompson - Hm. nice lawyering :) I'm almost convinced, though I still have doubts they should count as they aren't named, so how do we know they are playing themselves vs their dopplegangers? – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 14 '14 at 20:05
  • 3
    @DVK: And I've have to re-watch the episode; I'm not entirely sure there were any such scenes. I think we did see Kirk and Spock on a New York city street, but it's likely that was shot at the studio. Another possible case: We see footage of Hitler in the opening credits of a couple of Enterprise episodes that took place in the mirror universe. – Keith Thompson Jan 14 '14 at 20:15
  • 2
    Speaking of extras, how about this one from STIV: imdb.com/title/tt0092007/trivia 'The woman who answers Uhura and Chekhov when they are looking for the "nuclear wessels" was an extra who was not supposed to speak. Layla Sarakalo had never acted before and was told to "act naturally". So when she was asked, she improvised an answer. Much to Sarakalo's surprise, her unscripted line was kept in the film. Sarakalo happened upon the set when her car was towed away to make room for the film's production. Sarakalo offered to be an extra so that she could make money to get her car back.' – Hypnosifl Mar 26 '14 at 16:33
  • 2
    @Hypnosifl: For that to count as an "as-herself" appearance, she would have to be credited as herself. I haven't checked, but I would imagine she was credited as "Woman on the street" or some equally bland title, no? – Flimzy Apr 23 '15 at 18:23

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.