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Armin Shimerman (born 5 November 1949; age 72) is the actor who is best known in the Star Trek universe for his portrayal of the Ferengi bartender Quark on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. He is one of only seven actors to appear in three different live action Star Trek series (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Star Trek: Voyager) as the same character. Prior to assuming the role of Quark, however, Shimerman earned the distinction of being among the first to ever portray a Ferengi in the Star Trek franchise when the race first appeared in the Next Generation episode "The Last Outpost". Shimerman went on to make two more appearances on TNG (including a second time as a Ferengi in the episode "Peak Performance") and to star on Deep Space Nine for its entire seven-year run (19931999). He also co-wrote the Trek novel The 34th Rule.


Born to immigrant parents in Lakewood, New Jersey, Shimerman and his family moved to Los Angeles at the age of sixteen. There, his mother enrolled him into a drama group to help her son meet new people. After graduating from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Shimerman was one of eight people out of nine hundred applicants chosen to become an apprentice at the prestigious Old Globe Theater in San Diego, California. Shimerman participated in numerous regional theater productions before moving to New York and landing roles on the Broadway stage.

Shimerman's Broadway debut came when he played part of an ensemble and served as an understudy in the musical Threepenny Opera, which ran for 306 performances from 1 May, 1976 through 23 January, 1977. "Peak Performance" co-star Roy Brocksmith was also a part of that play's cast. Shimerman next performed in the play Saint Joan from December 1977 through February 1978 and played the role of Mr. Thorkelson in the musical I Remember Mama in 1979.

Shimerman ultimately moved back to Los Angeles, where he acquired guest spots on such television shows as Cagney & Lacey, Remington Steele, and The Facts of Life. From 1987 through 1989, he was a recurring player on the TV series Beauty and the Beast, which starred Star Trek Nemesis actor Ron Perlman and Tony Jay. He went on to make appearances on L.A. Law (starring Corbin Bernsen and Larry Drake), Who's the Boss?, Alien Nation (starring Gary Graham, Eric Pierpoint, and Michele Scarabelli), and Married... with Children. Shimerman also became a regular on Brooklyn Bridge during that show's first season (1991-92), playing Uncle Bernie.

Beyond Star Trek, however, he is perhaps best known for his recurring role as Principal Snyder on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Dr. Nefarious in Ratchet and Clank. His character on "Buffy" was killed by a transformed Mayor Wilkins, played by Trek guest star Harry Groener.

In 1985, Shimerman made a brief appearance in the seventh season premiere episode of The Facts of Life. Other Star Trek alumni who appeared on the series were Roger Perry, Kenneth Tigar, Paul Comi, Robert DoQui, Eve Smith, William Windom, Nicholas Coster, Clyde Kusatsu, Nehemiah Persoff, Clive Revill, Robert Hooks, and Ian Wolfe. Shimerman's other TV credits include guest appearances on Stargate SG-1, Ally McBeal, The Practice, Charmed, The West Wing, ER, Nip/Tuck, and Warehouse 13. He was seen in an episode of Seinfeld, starring Star Trek: Voyager guest actor Jason Alexander. In 2006, he co-starred with Star Trek: Enterprise actor John Billingsley in the TV movie Dead & Deader.

Shimerman has been lending his voice to the characters of General Skarr and Hector's Stomach on the Cartoon Network series The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy and Evil Con Carne. In 2005, he appeared on the TV series Invasion, alongside other Star Trek actors such as his DS9 co-star Cirroc Lofton. He had a recurring role as Judge Brian Hooper on Boston Legal, starring William Shatner and DS9 co-star and friend Rene Auberjonois. DS9 guest star Henry Gibson also played a judge in Shimerman's first episode, "Can't We All Get a Lung?", which aired 19 September 2006. In Shimerman's third episode, Voyager star Ethan Phillips appeared as the father of the boy accused of killing Shimerman's wife. Ron Canada also guest-starred in the episode, also as a judge. In his fourth episode, Shimerman finally shared a scene with Rene Auberjonois.

In 2007, Shimerman also voiced various characters in BioWare's Mass Effect, a game also featuring the voices of Marina Sirtis, Raphael Sbarge, and Dwight Schultz. Depending on player choices, Shimerman's primary character may also appear in the game's sequel, which also features Michael Dorn, Robin Sachs, and Keith Szarabajka. Shimerman also voiced the character of Andrew Ryan in the 2007 computer game Bioshock. The developers of the game refused to disclose who voiced this character before the game's release, only hinting that "we wouldn't believe it". Only after the game's release was it confirmed that Ryan was voiced by Shimerman. [1] In gaming circles, this surprised many, for Ryan had a very low voice, very different than what Shimerman had shown in other mediums. [2] Shimerman's frequent DS9 co-star, J.G. Hertzler, also voiced a character in the game, and both Shimerman and Hertzler reprised their roles for the 2010 sequel, BioShock 2.

Shimerman has also acquired a number of feature film and television film credits throughout his career, including The Hitcher (1986) with Henry Darrow, Arena (1989) with Marc Alaimo, Miracle Landing (1990, TV) with James Cromwell, Jeff Allin, Herta Ware, and Matt McCoy, Death Warrant (1990) sharing screen time with Patrick Kilpatrick and TNG guest musician performer Abdul Salaam El Razzac, and Eye for an Eye (1996) with many fellow Trek actors in this legal thriller. Joining Shimerman were Nicholas Cascone, Robert Clendenin, Natalia Nogulich, Angela Paton, Sierra Pecheur, Wayne Péré and Michael Buchman Silver. He appeared in the 2008 comedy The Urn, co-starring TNG guest actor Stanley Kamel. Both Shimerman and Star Trek: The Next Generation actor Brent Spiner made their feature film debuts in small roles in Woody Allen's Stardust Memories, released in 1980. He had a cameo in the 2004 docudrama What the Bleep Do We Know? and its 2006 follow-up What the Bleep!?: Down the Rabbit Hole.

Shimerman is married to actress Kitty Swink, who guest-starred twice on DS9, first as Rozahn in season two's "Sanctuary" and then as Luaran in season seven's "Tacking Into the Wind". Shimerman and Swink also co-starred together in a few projects, including 1987's Like Father Like Son (starring Catherine Hicks and also featuring Randy Lowell, Michael Horton, and Dakin Matthews) and the 2001 made-for-TV movie Just Ask My Children (co-starring Virginia Madsen, Robert Joy, Barbara J. Tarbuck, Casey Biggs, Jack Shearer, and John Billingsley).

Shimerman teaches Shakespeare as an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California, and has worked as a Shakespeare scholar on hundreds of productions in the Los Angeles area. [3]

Appearances as Quark

... as Quark from Insurrection

Further Star Trek appearances


  • The Merchant Prince
  • The Merchant Prince Volume 2: Outrageous Fortune
  • Capital Offense: Merchant Prince III
  • The 34th Rule
  • Illyria: Betrayal of Angels


Shimerman was on the set of DS9 during a large earthquake in Los Angeles (presumably the 17 January 1994 Northridge earthquake). He rushed home to check on his family, so he did not have time to get his makeup removed. His Ferengi makeup "scared the living shit out of people" as he says at conventions.

Star Trek interviews

External links