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Charles "Chip" Esten (born 9 September 1965; age 56) is the actor and singer who played Divok in the Star Trek: The Next Generation sixth season episode "Rightful Heir". He later appeared as Dathan Alaris in the Star Trek: Voyager third season episode "Remember".

Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Esten attended the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, where he met his future wife, Patty. After college, Esten moved to the United Kingdom, where he made his theatrical debut playing legendary singer Buddy Holly in the musical Buddy. He currently resides in Los Angeles, California with his wife and their three children.


To television audiences, Esten is best known for his numerous appearances on the improvisation comedy television series, Whose Line Is It Anyway?. He was a recurring performer on both the original British version of the series as well as the later American adaptation hosted by Drew Carey.

In addition to his roles on Star Trek, Esten has acted on such shows as Cheers (starring Kirstie Alley and Kelsey Grammer), Murphy Brown (in an episode with Peter Vogt), Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (starring Teri Hatcher and K Callan), JAG (with Daphne Ashbrook and Norman Large), The Guardian (starring Raphael Sbarge), Dragnet (with David Andrews and Saul Rubinek), NYPD Blue (with Gordon Clapp, Scott Klace, Scott Alan Smith, and Michael Bofshever), and Cold Case (with Cari Shayne and Robert Symonds). He also played Kelly Bundy's boyfriend in the final episode of Married... with Children and had a recurring role as Luke on Party of Five (with Scott Grimes).

Esten co-starred with Jeffrey Nordling, Natalia Nogulich, Julianna McCarthy, J. Patrick McCormack, Norman Parker, and Joel Polis in the 1997 television movie The Sleepwalker Killing. Two years later he appeared in the movie Late Last Night with John Carroll Lynch, Sarah Silverman, Steven Weber. Esten's subsequent television movie credits include 2002's The Johnny Chronicles (with Leon Russom) and 2007's American Family (with Lisa LoCicero).

In 2006 Esten had a recurring role as Josh Porter on the hit NBC sitcom The Office. He then appeared on The New Adventures of Old Christine, playing the brother of the title character's ex-husband. More recently, he played the recurring role of Dr. Barry Grossman on the long-running NBC drama ER, again working with Scott Grimes. He later played the recurring character of Damon on the HBO television series Enlightened.

Esten currently stars as guitar player/band leader Deacon Claybourne on the ABC drama series Nashville.


Esten made his feature film debut in Kevin Costner's 1997 post-apocalyptic drama The Postman (which also features Ellen Geer). He reunited with Costner for a role in the acclaimed political thriller Thirteen Days. Co-starring with Esten in this film were fellow Star Trek alumni Bruce Greenwood, Steven Culp, Jack Blessing, Len Cariou, Kevin Conway, Tim Kelleher, Boris Krutonog, Ed Lauter, Dakin Matthews, and Bill Smitrovich. The following year Esten appeared in the acclaimed HBO movie 61* along with Seymour Cassel, Robert Costanzo, J.D. Cullum, Robert Joy, Bob Gunton, Christopher McDonald, Bruce McGill, Michael Nouri, Dell Yount and Connor Trinneer.

Later, Esten starred opposite Chloe Sevigny in a segment of the anthology drama Ten Minutes Older: The Trumpet. This was followed with a supporting role in the 2003 independent comedy Nobody Knows Anything!, co-starring Paul Dooley, Ed Lauter, Virginia Madsen and Scott Thompson. His most recent film was the 2008 comedy Swing Vote, his third film with Kevin Costner. This film also featured Kelsey Grammer, Mark Moses, and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine regular Nana Visitor.

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