(written from a Production point of view)
Alan Oppenheimer (born 23 April 1930; age 89) is an Emmy Award-nominated actor who has appeared on the three Star Trek spin-off series Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and Star Trek: Voyager. He first portrayed the Klingon Koroth in the TNG Season 6 episode "Rightful Heir" in 1993, then Captain Keogh in the DS9 Season 2 episode "The Jem'Hadar" and later the Nezu ambassador in the VOY Season 3 episode "Rise". In addition, Oppenheimer was the voice of Captain Wells in the tutorial section of the Taldren PC game Star Trek: Starfleet Command II - Empires at War which also featured the voices of Michael Bell and George Takei. However, he is probably best recognized as a distinguished voice actor, having done voiceover work for dozens of animated shorts, television series and films.
Voice work Edit
Oppenheimer has lent his voice to a number of animated programs developed by Filmation, the studio responsible for Star Trek: The Animated Series. Perhaps his most notable work for Filmation was the voice of Skeletor and Man at Arms (among several other characters) in the popular 1980s series He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. He also voiced the famous Mighty Mouse in Filmation's The New Adventures of Mighty Mouse and Heckle and Jeckle in 1979. Filmation's Mighty Mouse series also featured the voice of Frank Welker as Heckle and Jeckle and Filmation head Norm Prescott. Another Filmation series Oppenheimer worked on was The New Adventures of Flash Gordon, in which he voiced Ming the Merciless.
In addition to his Filmation work, Oppenheimer is recognized as the voice of Vanity Smurf in Hanna-Barbera's The Smurfs (1981-90), alongside the late Hamilton Camp, who voiced Greedy and Harmony Smurf. Oppenheimer and Camp had previously co-starred together on the short-lived series He & She (1967-68), which also starred Kenneth Mars. While still working on Smurfs, Oppenheimer voiced characters in the 1984 fantasy film The NeverEnding Story. He later voiced The Blob in the animated television pilot Pryde of the X-Men, based on the characters owned by Marvel Comics. Others who voiced characters in the pilot include Michael Bell (as Cyclops), Earl Boen (as Colossus), Ron Gans (as Magneto), and the aforementioned Frank Welker (as Nightcrawler, The Toad, and Lockheed).
Oppenheimer voiced Councillor Berrybowum in multiple episodes of Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears from 1987 through 1991. Among the other voice actors he worked with on this show were Walker Edmiston, Jason Marsden, and R.J. Williams. Oppenheimer provided voices on several other Disney cartoons during this time, including several characters on DuckTales, Principal Ed Pomeroy on TaleSpin, and crime boss Aldren Klordane in the pilot movie for Chip 'N' Dale Rescue Rangers.
In 1992, Oppenheimer lent his voice to the Japanese animated film Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland. Rene Auberjonois and Michael Bell had voice-over roles in this film, as well. Oppenheimer later voiced Professor Jack Archer on the animated series Phantom 2040, working with the likes of Paddi Edwards, Richard Lynch, Ron Perlman, Pamela Segall, and Paul Williams.
In 2003, several years after the first season finished production, Oppenheimer replaced James Milton for the second season of the anime The Big O as Norman Burg, the butler to the series' protagonist. The main antagonist of the series, Alex Rosewater, was voiced in both seasons by Michael Forest.
As of 2009, Oppenheimer continues to do voice work for television and movies, as well as for video games. Some of his video game credits have included Forgotten Realms: Baldur's Gate II – Shadows of Amn (with Michael Bell, Michael Dorn, James Horan, Jason Marsden, Dwight Schultz, David Warner, and Frank Welker), Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix (with Earl Boen, Michael Bell, Rosalind Chao, Boris Lee Krutonog, Kenneth Mars, and Keith Szarabajka), and God of War II (with Paul Eiding, Armin Shimerman, and Marc Worden).
More recently, Oppenheimer can be heard as the Scientist in the 2009 animated film 9, which also featured the voice of Christopher Plummer. Oppenheimer then voiced butler Alfred Pennyworth in the direct-to-DVD movie Superman/Batman: Public Enemies. Among the others with voice-over roles in this movie are TNG regular LeVar Burton and Star Trek: Enterprise guest actor Clancy Brown. Oppenheimer is not the first Star Trek veteran to play the character of Alfred; Clive Revill voiced the character in early episodes of Batman: The Animated Series, while Ian Abercrombie played the role in the 2002-2003 live-action series Birds of Prey.
Live-action television work Edit
Besides his voiceover credits, Oppenheimer has played a variety of notable live-action roles. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, he appeared in episodes of such shows as I Spy, Get Smart (working with Walker Edmiston and William Schallert), Hogan's Heroes, I Dream of Jeannie, The Mod Squad (which starred Tige Andrews and Clarence Williams III), Bewitched, Bonanza, and Happy Days (working with Don Most, Anson Williams, and Ed Peck).
In 1973, Oppenheimer took over the role of Dr. Rudy Wells from Martin Balsam on the second pilot movie for The Six Million Dollar Man. He continued to occasionally play the role through the first and second seasons of that show. He left after his character performed the original bionic replacement surgery on Jaime Sommers (The Bionic Woman) in an episode which co-starred Malachi Throne and Paul Carr. Although another actor took over the role, Oppenheimer reprised Dr. Wells for one later episode that was a sequel to an earlier storyline and featured flashback footage involving Oppenheimer alongside newly shoot footage.
Oppenheimer had a role in the acclaimed 1976 TV movie Helter Skelter, which also featured fellow Trek alumni Marc Alaimo, David Clennon, Bruce French, Skip Homeier, and Robert Ito. That same year, Oppenheimer appeared in the TV movie Riding with Death, working with Andrew Prine. In 1978, Oppenheimer appeared in the Paramount Television movie The Ghost of Flight 401, as did Gary Lockwood, Allan Miller, Byron Morrow, Eugene Roche, and Mark L. Taylor.
During the 1980s, Oppenheimer guest-starred on shows such as Lou Grant (in an episode with Robin Gammell and Logan Ramsey), Hart to Hart (with Nicolas Coster and Louise Sorel), Barney Miller (with Ron Glass and James Gregory), Trapper John, M.D. (starring Madge Sinclair), Night Court (starring John Larroquette), Matlock (directed by Leo Penn), and L.A. Law (starring Corbin Bernsen and Larry Drake). He also played Ira Rosenthal in two episodes of the medical drama St. Elsewhere, working with series regulars Ed Begley, Jr. and Norman Lloyd.
In addition, Oppenheimer played Mayor Alvin Tutweiller in several episodes of the NBC sitcom Mama's Family. He then landed a recurring role as Eugene Kinsella on the CBS sitcom Murphy Brown, for which he received an Emmy Award nomination in 1991. He appeared in eleven episodes of Murphy Brown from 1988 through 1992, during which time he worked alongside fellow Trek performers Hamilton Camp, Paul Collins, Paul Eiding, John Hostetter, Rif Hutton, Graham Jarvis, William Sadler, Jack Shearer, and Nancy Youngblut.
Other television series on which Oppenheimer has guest starred include Murder, She Wrote (two episodes, including one with Tricia O'Neil), Quantum Leap (starring Scott Bakula and Dean Stockwell, in an episode with Jerry Hardin and Barbara Tarbuck), Touched by an Angel (with Cyril O'Reilly), Diagnosis Murder (directed by Vincent McEveety, acting with Richard Fancy and Nancy Youngblut), The Practice (with Clyde Kusatsu, Richard McGonagle, and Bill Smitrovich), and Gilmore Girls (with Olivia Hack). In 2008, he appeared in his first live-action TV movie in years, the Hallmark Channel mystery Jane Doe: Eye of the Beholder, which also featured John Fleck, Julianna McCarthy, Natalia Nogulich, and Mark Rolston.
Live-action film work Edit
Oppenheimer has several feature films to his credit. His first was Blake Edwards' Gunn in 1967, which also featured Sherry Jackson and George Murdock. This was followed later that year with a small, uncredited role in the acclaimed 1967 drama In the Heat of the Night (with Clegg Hoyt, Kermit Murdock, and William Schallert). The following year, he had a role in Star!, which was directed by Robert Wise. Oppenheimer later appeared in Wise's The Hindenburg (1975), along with Rene Auberjonois and Rex Holman.
In 1969, Oppenheimer co-starred with Star Trek: The Original Series guest performers Arthur Batanides, Julie Newmar, and Garry Walberg, as fellow Deep Space Nine guest actor Fritz Weaver, in the mystery comedy The Maltese Bippy. Oppenheimer followed this with a small role in the acclaimed 1970 western drama Little Big Man, which featured Jeff Corey as "Wild Bill" Hickock. Oppenheimer then appeared in the 1972 science fiction thriller The Groundstar Conspiracy, along with Tim O'Connor.
Perhaps Oppenheimer's most notable film role is that of the Chief Supervisor in the 1973 science fiction classic Westworld. This film also featured "The First Lady of Star Trek", Majel Barrett, in a supporting role. Others who appeared in this film include Davis Roberts, Charles Seel, and Paul Sorensen.
Oppenheimer later appeared in the popular 1976 Disney film Freaky Friday, in which he played the supporting role of Mr. Joffert. Charles F. Wheeler, who provided additional photography for Star Trek: The Motion Picture, was the Director of Photography on Freaky Friday. Some of Oppenheimer's other film credits during the 1970s included the 1973 romantic comedy The Thief Who Came to Dinner (with Gregory Sierra), the 1975 comedy Win, Place or Steal (starring Dean Stockwell), and the 1978 comedy Record City (with Ed Begley, Jr., Frank Gorshin, and Wendy Schaal).
In 1980, Oppenheimer appeared as a rabbi in the hit comedy Private Benjamin, which also featured Richard Herd. His next live-action film role was in the 1988 comedy Moving, with Leslie Jordan and Paul Willson. This latter film also featured set decoration by Linda DeScenna. Oppenheimer later played the role of Farr in the 1994 direct-to-video sequels Trancers 4: Jack of Swords and Trancers 5: Sudden Deth, both written by Peter David and both co-starring Stephen Macht.
Oppenheimer has not physically appeared in a feature film since the Academy Award-nominated short Culture in 1998.
Oppenheimer is the third cousin of the late nuclear physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, who was portrayed by Dwight Schultz in the 1989 biopic Fat Man & Little Boy, also costarring Ed Lauter and Logan Ramsey.