(written from a Production point of view)
Diana Charlton Muldaur (born 19 August 1938; age 81) is the actress best known to Star Trek fans for her portrayal of Chief Medical Officer Katherine Pulaski during Star Trek: The Next Generation's second season. She appeared in all but two episodes of the season: "The Outrageous Okona" and "Q Who".
Muldaur had previously appeared in two episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series ("Return to Tomorrow" and "Is There in Truth No Beauty?"), playing two different characters who also held the title of "Doctor." Muldaur filmed her scenes for "Return to Tomorrow" between Monday 20 November 1967 and Tuesday 28 November 1967 at Desilu Stage 9 and Stage 10, and her scenes for "Is There in Truth No Beauty?" between Tuesday 16 July 1968 and Wednesday 24 July 1968 at Stage 9 and Stage 8.
In 1988, Muldaur was cast as Dr. Pulaski for the second season of TNG as a replacement for Gates McFadden, the actress who played Beverly Crusher in the first season. McFadden had some sort of falling out with the show's producers, especially Maurice Hurley, and left (or was asked to leave) the show, and Muldaur was brought on board. However, following the end of the second season, the issues with McFadden were resolved and she returned to the series. Muldaur's last appearance as Dr. Pulaski was "Shades of Gray", the final episode of the second season. On 20 September 1988 Muldaur was interviewed and these interviews were later published on the TNG Season 2 DVD in the special features "Mission Overview Year Two" ("Diana Muldaur", "Gene Roddenberry") and "Selected Crew Analysis Year Two". In these interviews Muldaur told that she had moved into the high desert Sierra Nevada with her husband in 1988 when she got a call to work on The Next Generation and couldn't resist.
Ultimately, however, Muldaur found working on the show an unhappy experience and it wasn't what she hoped it would be. She stated that there was no imagination on the show and she felt that everyone was out for themselves and she felt they weren't happy she was there. During production of "Unnatural Selection", she and co-star Patricia Smith swore they would never work in science fiction again due to the prosthetics the actresses had to wear. (citation needed • edit)
Career outside Star Trek
Muldaur began her television career with a recurring role on the soap opera The Secret Storm in 1965, on which John Colicos also starred. She followed this with a recurring role as Jeannie Orloff on the medical drama Dr. Kildare, guest-starring in five episodes along with her future TOS co-star William Shatner as well as fellow TOS guest star Bruce Hyde. In 1969, she became a regular on the short-lived series The Survivors, which lasted only 15 episodes. Following this series' end, however, Muldaur was cast in the role of Chris Coughlin in the crime drama McCloud, which lasted seven seasons from 1970 through 1977. Fellow TOS guest performer Ken Lynch was also a regular performer on this series; the two of them had previously co-starred together in a 1968 episode of The Outcasts called "A Ride to Vengeance", along with Erik Holland.
In 1976, she and TNG guest star David Ogden Stiers participated in the pilot episode of the hit action series Charlie's Angels. That same year, Muldaur became a regular on The Tony Randall Show, which lasted for two seasons from 1976 through 1978. Her other TV credits throughout the 1970s include: the Police Woman episode "Solitaire" (1977) along with TNG & Star Trek: Deep Space Nine director Corey Allen and guest performers Richard Lynch and Eugene Roche; the 1977 TV movie The Deadly Triangle, in which she played the wife of Robert Lansing's character; an episode of The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, starring Phillip Richard Allen and William Schallert; the 1978 mini-series Black Beauty, with John de Lancie and Brock Peters; and another 1978 mini-series, The Word, co-starring Star Trek: Voyager's Kate Mulgrew as well as Jonathan Banks, Christopher Lloyd and Nehemiah Persoff.
Muldaur's prolific career spans not only television, but films as well. One of Muldaur's earlist film appearances was in 1969's Number One, co-starring fellow TOS guest star Roy Jenson. She then co-starred with Barry Newman in the 1970 movie The Lawyer, which became the 1974-76 NBC series Petrocelli. She was unavailable for the series, and was replaced by Susan Howard. In 1971, Muldaur co-starred with another TOS guest actress, France Nuyen, in the Western film One More Train to Rob. In 1974, she co-starred with John Wayne in one of the latter's final films, McQ. That same year, she starred in movies, Chosen Survivors with Barbara Babcock and "Planet Earth".
In 1980, Muldaur made her first of three appearances as Dr. Janet Carlyle on the medical drama Quincy, a series which featured Robert Ito and Garry Walberg as regulars. The following year, Muldaur co-starred with Harry Mudd actor Roger C. Carmel in the short-lived adventure series Fitz and Bones. She also co-starred with Carmel in the Fitz and Bones TV movie Terror at Alcatraz in 1982 (which also featured appearances by Elisha Cook, Jr., Marc Lawrence, Michael Pataki, and Georgia Schmidt).
After her tenure as Dr. Pulaski came to an end, Muldaur found herself playing the recurring role of litigator Rosalind Shays on the hit drama L.A. Law, appearing in 24 episodes between 1989 and 1991. She received two Emmy Award nominations for her performance on this series. Her last episode was the infamous "Good to the Last Drop", in which her character was killed after falling down an empty elevator shaft. Among her co-stars on the program were series regulars Corbin Bernsen and Larry Drake, as well as Daniel Benzali, Roy Brocksmith, Richard Cox, Steven Culp, John de Lancie, Lawrence Dobkin, Susan Gibney, John Glover, Anne Haney, Jennifer Hetrick, Sherman Howard, Jack Kehler, Lance LeGault, Deborah May, Warren Munson, Charles Napier, Natalia Nogulich, Frank Novak, Nehemiah Persoff, Ethan Phillips, Andrew Robinson, Concetta Tomei, George D. Wallace, Ray Walston, and Paul Winfield.
More recently, Muldaur lent her voice to the character of Dr. Leslie Thompkins on Batman: The Animated Series. Those she worked with on this series include Adrienne Barbeau, Joseph Campanella, Paul Williams, Robert Costanzo, and John de Lancie.
Muldaur is a former board member of the Screen Actors Guild. She also served a tenure as president of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Having retired from acting in 1993, Muldaur is currently active as a dog-breeder and a judge at dog shows.
Star Trek appearances
- TNG: as Katherine Pulaski
- "The Child"
- "Where Silence Has Lease"
- "Elementary, Dear Data"
- "Loud As A Whisper"
- "The Schizoid Man"
- "Unnatural Selection"
- "A Matter Of Honor"
- "The Measure Of A Man"
- "The Dauphin"
- "The Royale"
- "Time Squared"
- "The Icarus Factor"
- "Pen Pals"
- "Samaritan Snare"
- "Up The Long Ladder"
- "The Emissary"
- "Peak Performance"
- "Shades of Gray"
Star Trek interviews
- "Diana Muldaur: Prescription Enterprise", The Official Star Trek: The Next Generation Magazine issue 7, p. 4, interviewed by Bill Warren
- "Diana Muldaur - Dr. Katherine Pulaski", The Official Star Trek: The Next Generation Magazine issue 8, pp. 12-15, interviewed by Frank Garcia
- The Star Trek Saga: From One Generation To The Next, interviewed on 20 September 1988 (excerpts from the same interview are featured in TNG Season 2 DVD-special features, "Mission Overview Year Two" ("Diana Muldaur", "Gene Roddenberry") and "Selected Crew Analysis Year Two")
- TNG Season 2 Blu-ray-special feature, "New Life and New Civilizations", 2012 (new interview)
- William Shatner Presents: Chaos on the Bridge, 2014
Other Star Trek connections
- Additional projects in which Muldaur co-starred with other Star Trek performers include:
- Run for Your Life episode "Night Train from Chicago" (1966) with Brock Peters
- Gunsmoke episode "Fandango" (1967) with Paul Fix
- I Spy episode "This Guy Smith" (1968) with Kenneth Tobey, and directed by Ralph Senensky
- The Invaders episode "The Life Seekers" (1968) with Stephen Brooks and Paul Comi
- Felony Squad episode "The Distant Shore" (1968) with Robert DoQui and Vic Tayback
- The F.B.I. episode "Act of Violence" (1968) with Hal Baylor, Paul Comi, and Michael Strong and directed by Gene Nelson
- The Mod Squad episode "Loser" (1970) with Tige Andrews and Clarence Williams III
- The Virginian episode "The Politician" (1971) with William Windom
- The Name of the Game episode "Beware of the Watchdog" (1971) with Richard Kiley and James B. Sikking
- Marcus Welby, M.D. episode "The Tender Comrade" (1971) with Clint Howard
- Mannix episode "A Gathering of Ghosts" (1971) with Jason Evers and Alan Oppenheimer
- Hawaii Five-O episode "Death Wish on Tantalus Mountain" (1972) with Ricardo Montalban
- Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law episode "Charlie Gave Me Your Number" (1972) with John Hoyt and Bill Quinn
- Hec Ramsey episode "The Mystery of the Yellow Rose" (1973) with Ian Wolfe
- Call to Danger (1973 TV movie) with Michael Ansara, Roy Jenson and William Smithers
- Search episode "Ends of the Earth" (1973) with Keith Andes and Jay Robinson, and directed by Ralph Senensky
- Ordeal (1973 TV movie) with Michael Ansara, Bill Catching, and Arch Whiting
- A Special Act of Love (1973 TV movie) with Laurence Luckinbill
- Hog Wild (1974 TV movie) with William Lucking
- Planet Earth (1974 TV movie) with Majel Barrett, Craig Hundley, Patricia Smith and Ted Cassidy, and directed by Marc Daniels, produced by Robert H. Justman, and featuring Gene Roddenberry as writer and executive producer
- S.W.A.T. episode "Terror Ship" (1975) with Paul Carr and Don Keefer
- Ellery Queen episode "The Adventure of the Judas Tree" (1976) with Michael Pataki
- Beyond Reason (1977 film) with Biff Elliot
- Cry for Justice (1977 film) with Sharon Acker
- Police Story episode "Pressure Point" (1977) with Meg Foster
- To Kill a Cop (1978 TV movie) with Robert Hooks and Alan Oppenheimer
- Fantasy Island episode "Photographs/Royal Flush" (1979) with Ricardo Montalban and John Rubinstein
- The Return of Frank Cannon (1980 TV movie) with Tom Morga, William Smithers, and Paul Sorenson
- The Incredible Hulk episode "Sanctuary" (1981) with Henry Darrow
- Murder, She Wrote episode "Footnote to Murder" (1985) with Kenneth Mars, William Windom and Biff Yeager
- A Year in the Life (1986 TV mini-series and subsequent TV series) with Richard Kiley
- Agatha Christie's Murder in Three Acts (1986 TV movie) with Concetta Tomei
- Matlock episodes "The Trial: Part 1" and "Part 2" (1991) with Vince Howard
- Hearts Are Wild (1992 TV series) with Warren Munson