(written from a Production point of view)
George Hearn (born 18 June 1934; age 86) is the Emmy Award-winning and two-time Tony Award-winning actor who played Doctor Berel in the Star Trek: The Next Generation fourth season episode "First Contact". Although he has appeared in several films and television productions, he is primarily a stage actor, having performed in over twenty Broadway productions between 1966 and 2005. An experienced singer, the majority of his Broadway credits have been musicals.
Hearn was born in St. Louis, Missouri. He studied philosophy at what is now Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee before embarking on a career in acting. He trained for the stage under Emmy Award-winning actress Irene Dailey.
He has been married five times, with two of those marriages culminating in children. He has one son from his marriage to Mary Harrell, whom he divorced in 1962. He also has two sons from his current marriage to actress and La Cage aux Folles co-star Leslie Simons, whom he married in 1985.
Hearn made his Broadway stage debut in the 1966 musical A Time for Singing. In 1968, as part of that year's New York Shakespeare Festival, Hearn played the role of Poins in Henry IV, Parts I and I, both of which co-starred Stephen McHattie. The following year, Hearn acted alongside Laurence Luckinbill in the off-Broadway production, Horseman, Pass By.
In 1971, Hearn took over the role of John Dickinson in the historical musical comedy 1776. In 1974 and 1975, he again participated in the New York Shakespeare Festival, performing in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Richard III (with Paul Winfield), and A Midsummer Night's Dream. From December 1975 through January 1976, he played Horatio in a Broadway revival of Shakespeare's Hamlet at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre, which also featured Bruce McGill as Osric. In 1976, Hearn co-starred with Victor Garber in The House of Mirth at the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, Connecticut.
In 1979, Hearn starred as Papa in the Broadway musical I Remember Mama, which also featured Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's Armin Shimerman. Later that year, Hearn replaced Star Trek: Voyager guest star Len Cariou in the title role of the Stephen Sondheim musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. This production reunited Hearn with Victor Garber, who played the role of Anthony Hope, a sailor who saves befriends Todd and falls in love with his daughter, Johanna. Hearn continued playing Sweeney Todd as the production toured North American cities from October 1980 through August 1981. A production from this tour was recorded and later broadcast as part of the PBS series Great Performances. For his work in this production, Hearn won an Emmy Award as Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program, as well as a CableACE Award.
Hearn's next Broadway production was the 1980 revival of Watch on the Rhine, in which he acted alongside Harris Yulin. Hearn was nominated for his first Tony Award for his performance in this play. He received his second Tony Award nomination for his work in the short-lived musical A Doll's Life, which ran for only five performances in 1982. He then starred in Whodunnit, along with Jefrey Alan Chandler and John Glover; his role was eventually assumed by Frank Gorshin. Hearn then earned his third Tony nomination – and first win – for his portrayal of Albin in as part of the original cast of the hit musical comedy La Cage aux Folles. He also won a Drama Desk Award for his work in ths play. Among the actors who replaced Hearn in later performances was Keene Curtis.
In 1988, Hearn worked with Raphael Sbarge in a Broadway revival of Eugene O'Neal's Ah, Wilderness! The following year, he reunited with Stephen McHattie for the original Broadway play Ghetto and worked off-Broadway with Stephen Collins, Bruce Davison, Victor Garber, Richard Kiley, and Fritz Weaver in Love Letters. He then starred as Alonzo Smith in Meet Me in St. Louis, with Courtney Peldon playing his daughter, Tootie. In 1993, Hearn originated the role of Max von Mayerling in the musical Sunset Boulevard, which made its way to Broadway the following year. Hearn won his second Tony Award (his fourth nomination) for his performance in this musical, which also featured Alan Oppenheimer.
Hearn next played Otto Frank in a 1997 Broadway revival of The Diary of Anne Frank, in which he again worked with Harris Yulin. He then starred in the musical revue Putting It Together, receiving his most recent Tony Award nomination. In 2004, Hearn began playing The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in the hit Broadway musical Wicked, taking over the role from Voyager guest star Joel Grey. He returned to the role briefly in early 2006, filling in for fellow TNG guest actor Ben Vereen, who was on vacation.
Hearn's first film work was a small role in 1976's The Money, a drama which starred Laurence Luckinbill. His next film was the 1989 romantic drama See You in the Morning, starring Alice Krige and featuring Theodore Bikel.
In 1992, Hearn appeared in the caper film Sneakers, as did Time Winters. The following year, Hearn was seen in the mystery-thriller The Vanishing, starring Jeff Bridges and Kiefer Sutherland. Hearn's next on-screen film work was a supporting role in the 1997 thriller The Devil's Own, alongside Mitchell Ryan. He then starred as Grandpa Greenfield in the 1998 children's film Barney's Great Adventure.
Hearn was the voice of Captain Ahab in the 1994 fantasy adventure The Pagemaster. This film featured live-action performances by Ed Begley, Jr. and Christopher Lloyd and also featured the voices of Lloyd, Whoopi Goldberg, Patrick Stewart, Frank Welker, Robert Picardo, and Leonard Nimoy. Hearn later voiced the devil cat "Red" in All Dogs Go to Heaven 2. Hamilton Camp, Tony Jay, Bebe Neuwirth, and Wallace Shawn voiced characters in this film, as well.
Hearn's most recent film was the 2006 war drama Flags of Our Fathers. This film also featured Len Cariou, the man whom Hearn replaced in the role of Sweeney Todd nearly three decades earlier. Many other Star Trek alumni appeared in the film, as well, including Gordon Clapp, David Clennon, Michael Cumpsty, Neal McDonough, James Horan, and Harve Presnell.
Hearn made his television debut in the 1975 NBC movie The Silence, co-starring Peter Weller and Craig Wasson. The following year, he appeared in the PBC mini-series The Adams Chronicles, along with Christopher Lloyd. He later worked with Lloyd on a 1980 episode of the anthology series Visions.
In 1977, Hearn worked with Victor Garber in the mini-series The Best of Families. In 1978, he appeared in two episodes of the soap opera Ryan's Hope with Daniel Hugh Kelly. He then starred in the 1979 NBC movie Sanctuary of Fear, which also featured Saul Rubinek. This was followed in 1982 by the CBS movie A Piano for Mrs. Cimino, in which he played the son of the title character. This latter production also featured Karen Austin (as one of Hearn's daughters) and Graham Jarvis.
In 1985, Hearn guest-starred in the pilot episode of the television series The Equalizer, on which Robert Lansing was a regular. Casey Biggs and Scott Burkholder also had a role in the pilot. A few months before his episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation aired, Hearn was seen in an episode of the drama L.A. Law along with Corbin Bernsen, Larry Drake, John Glover, Jennifer Hetrick, Diana Muldaur, and Concetta Tomei.
Hearn made three appearances on Murder, She Wrote in the early 1990s; his Sweeney Todd co-star, Angela Lansbury, was the star of this series. Hearn's first episode was directed by Vincent McEveety while his next two episodes both featured performances by Mark Rolston. In addition, his second episode guest-starred Richard Lynch, while the third featured Dakin Matthews and Richard Riehle.
In 1992, Hearn co-starred opposite Star Trek: The Next Generation's Wil Wheaton as father and son in an episode of ''Lifestories: Families in Crisis. Hearn guest-starred on many other television shows during the 1990s, including Gabriel's Fire (on which Madge Sinclair was a regular), Sisters (with Robert Curtis Brown, Ashley Judd, and John Schuck), Cheers (with Kirstie Alley, Kelsey Grammer, and Paul Willson), The Golden Girls, and Major Dad. In 1999, he guest-starred in crossover episodes of the NBC crime dramas Law & Order and Homicide: Life on the Street. In 2001, he appeared on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
Hearn's TV movie credits during the 1990s included Fire in the Dark (with Ray Wise), False arrest (with Brian Bonsall, Michael Cavanaugh, Dennis Christopher, and Jeremy Roberts), and the role of Daddy Warbucks in Annie: A Royal Adventure! (with Joan Collins). In 2000, he starred in the TV movie adaptation of the Broadway musical Putting It Together, reprising his role from the stage. In addition, Hearn has lent his voice to several animated TV productions, including the Jonny Quest movie Jonny's Golden Quest (also featuring the voices of Granville Van Dusen and Frank Welker) and the Dr. Seuss adaptation Daisy-Head Mayzie as the voice of the Mayor (with Henry Gibson voicing the Cat in the Hat and Paul Eiding voicing Mr. McGrew).
His other works include the TV movies Fire in the Dark (1991, with Ray Wise), False Arrest (also 1991, , and Annie: A Royal Adventure (1995, with Joan Collins), and voice work in such animated films as 1994's The Pagemaster (with Christopher Lloyd, Patrick Stewart, Whoopi Goldberg, Frank Welker, Robert Picardo, and Leonard Nimoy) and 1996's All Dogs Go to Heaven 2 (with Bebe Neuwirth, Hamilton Camp, Wallace Shawn, and Tony Jay).