(written from a Production point of view)
Cliff Potts (born 5 January 1942; age 79) is the actor who played the role of Vice Admiral Kennelly in the Star Trek: The Next Generation fifth season episode "Ensign Ro". He filmed his scenes on Thursday 1 August 1991 and Friday 2 August 1991 on Paramount Stage 8 and Paramount Stage 16. Potts is perhaps best known for his role as John Keenan in the 1972 science fiction film Silent Running, directed by Douglas Trumbull.
Potts was a recurring performer on the series The Name of the Game during its first season (1968-69) and had a role in the acclaimed 1976 mini-series Once an Eagle, along with fellow Star Trek alumni John Anderson, Darleen Carr, James Cromwell, David Huddleston, George Murdock, Andrew Robinson, William Windom, and Anthony Zerbe. He was also a regular on two short-lived series: 1977's Big Hawaii and 1983's For Love and Honor. All four of these shows originally aired on NBC.
Potts worked with Star Trek: The Original Series star William Shatner on two occasions. The first was the 1978 made-for-TV movie adaptation of Little Women (also starring John de Lancie, Logan Ramsey, and William Schallert). The second occasion was a 1982 episode of T.J. Hooker (co-starring Richard Herd).
In addition, Potts had a brief recurring role on the hit CBS series Lou Grant. One of the three Lou Grant episodes in which Potts appeared also featured Parley Baer and Fran Bennett. In 1982, Potts appeared in two episodes of the short-lived adventure series Tales of the Gold Monkey, starring Stephen Collins. In 1988, Potts had a recurring role as Boaz Harper on the CBS drama Dallas, during which time he worked with such Star Trek performers as Gerrit Graham, William Smithers (with whom Potts previously worked with in an episode of The Bold Ones: The New Doctors), and Beth Toussaint.
Potts has also appeared on such television shows as Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law (with Jeff Corey), Ironside (with Barbara Anderson and James Gregory), Hec Ramsey (with Fionnula Flanagan and Robert Foxworth), Falcon Crest (with Robert Foxworth and Nick Ramus), Bret Maverick (with Sid Haig), Simon & Simon (with John Chandler and Lenore Kasdorf), Alfred Hitchcock Presents (with Joseph Ruskin), Starman (with John Anderson), Murder, She Wrote (with William Windom), Stingray (with Walker Edmiston, Samantha Eggar, Robert Harper, and Julianna McCarthy), and MacGyver (with Jeff Kober and Nicholas Worth). In 1987, he starred with K Callan in the CBS Summer Playhouse presentation, "Day to Day."
Between 1984 and 1987, Potts made three appearances on the series Hotel, each time playing a different character. Among the other Star Trek performers he worked with on this program were Miguel Ferrer, Molly Hagan, Barry Jenner, Carlos LaCamara, and Deborah May. More recent TV appearances include episodes of Baywatch (with Todd Bryant), Matlock (with David Froman and Gregory Itzin), Civil Wars (with Tricia O'Neil, Richard Riehle, and Don Stark), and Vanishing Son (with Steve Rankin).
In addition to the aforementioned Silent Running, Potts' film credits include the 1968 western A Man Called Gannon, the 1971 drama Sometimes a Great Notion and the 1972 thriller The Groundstar Conspiracy. All three of these movies co-starred Michael Sarrazin. A Man from Gannon was directed by James Goldstone and also starred John Anderson and Susan Oliver; Sometimes a Great Notion co-starred Sam Gilman and Roy Jenson; and The Groundstar Conspiracy features Alan Oppenheimer. In addition, Potts played the title role in the 1972 western drama Cry For Me, Billy, starred with Granville Van Dusen in the 1978 drama Love's Dark Ride, and worked with John Rhys-Davies in the 1983 adventure Sahara.
Potts retired from acting in 1999. However, in 2011 he returned for a supporting role in the family western Wild Hearts, written, directed, produced and starring Ricky Schroeder. In 2016, he appeared in the short film The Ravine.