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Kate Mulgrew (born 29 April 1955; age 69) is an actress who is best known for playing Captain Kathryn Janeway on Star Trek: Voyager. Before stepping into the role of a Starfleet captain, her claim to fame was playing Mary Ryan on the ABC soap opera Ryan's Hope. Since Voyager, she had been part of the main cast in the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black, for which she received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.


Kate Mulgrew was born in Dubuque, Iowa, to Joan and Thomas James Mulgrew, and was the oldest girl in an Irish Catholic family of eight. Both of her parents have since passed away.

Mulgrew gained an interest in acting at the age of 12, which her mother helped to flourish by giving her biographies of legendary actresses and sending her to summer acting schools. At the age of 17, she left home and traveled to New York City to study acting. She was accepted into Stella Adler's Conservatory while attending New York University, but left at the end of her junior year to pursue a full-time acting career, beginning within her breakthrough role as Mary Ryan on the hit soap opera Ryan's Hope.

From 1982 to 1995, she was married to Robert Egan. The marriage produced two sons: Ian Thomas and Alexander James. In November 1995, Mulgrew dated Star Trek: Voyager director Winrich Kolbe. (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine issue 6, p. 39) She married Ohio politician Timothy Hagan in 1999, whom she met in 1994 through her mother. They have since divorced.

In 2001, Mulgrew was reuinted with her daughter Danielle, whom she had placed for adoption during the filming of Ryan's Hope. Mulgrew recalls this reunion, which was initiated while she was working on the set of Star Trek: Voyager, as well as much of her early life in her 2015 memoir Born with Teeth.

Mulgrew is an active member of the Alzheimer's Association National Advisory Council. Her mother, Joan, suffered from the debilitating illness prior to her death on 27 July 2006.

Mulgrew was friends with the late John F. Kennedy, Jr., and attended his funeral with her husband, Tim. She is also a longtime friend of John de Lancie including three episodes of Star Trek: Voyager.

Her last name is pronounced "Mul-GREW", with emphasis on the second syllable.

Playing Kathryn Janeway[]

Mulgrew, original audition

Mulgrew's original audition (likely with a mislabeled year)

Mulgrew was approached to audition for the role of Captain Elizabeth Janeway when Voyager was being cast. At the time, Mulgrew was only vaguely familiar with the Star Trek franchise and did not grasp the importance of the role. She sent in a videotaped audition, which was recorded in New York City in August 1994. Mulgrew felt that her first audition was "devoid of meaning" and actually apologized at the end of her performance, explaining that she had fallen in love with a man and was to meet him that day (her future-husband Tim Hagan). (Born with Teeth, chapter "We Begin")

Genevieve Bujold was selected to play Janeway over Mulgrew, with the character's given name changed to Nicole. Bujold left the role after only two days of filming, primarily due to her unfamiliarity with the rapid production schedule necessary in a television series. (Born with Teeth, chapter "The Audition")

Mulgrew was invited to another audition, together with three other women. The audition took place in September 1994 at Paramount Studios, in front of several network executives and the producers of Star Trek: Voyager. As opposed to her first audition, Mulgrew was by then interested in the role and realized its potential. She delivered a scene with Tuvok and a monologue inspiring Voyager's crew that she would bring them home one day. Because many of the producers went on holiday following the audition, Mulgrew only learnt a few days later that she was chosen for the role, with Rick Berman speaking on her answering machine "Welcome aboard, Captain" and asking her to come back to Paramount Studios the following Monday. After taking the part, she was informed by Jeri Taylor that Janeway's given name was changed yet again, to Kathryn, due to legal reasons and in honoring Mulgrew's Irish-American roots. (Born with Teeth, chapters "The Audition" and "Now, Voyager")

Among the actresses Mulgrew ultimately beat out for the role were Helen Shaver, Chelsea Field, Patty Duke, and Karen Austin. Discussing Mulgrew's casting, Jeri Taylor states that Mulgrew "had an ineffable quality that put her ahead of the pack. She has proven to be a remarkably accurate choice." [1]

Kate Mulgrew with long hair and Winrich Kolbe

Mulgrew with Winrich Kolbe during early filming of "Caretaker", still spotting her natural hairstyle

The first of her co-stars Mulgrew met were Robert Duncan McNeill and Garrett Wang, filming a scene on the set of Voyager's bridge. She was not introduced to the cast prior to shooting, due to the already belated shooting schedule. Mulgrew spent the first hours on set in make-up and costume, with the executive producers discussing her hairstyle for the show at length – something that would continue the following months. (Born with Teeth, chapter "Now, Voyager") In fact, many scenes of the series' pilot episode, "Caretaker", had to be re-shot several months into the production of season 1, because Janeway's hairstyle was to be changed from Mulgrew's long, natural hair to the bob she was wearing for the majority of the rest of the season. (A Vision of the Future - Star Trek: Voyager, p. 318)

In interviews and convention appearances, Mulgrew also revealed that she was closely watched on set during the filming of season 1 by UPN executives, who were concerned that she was not up to the task of performing as a series' lead. Mulgrew also speculated that the network likely had contingency plans to replace her with a male actor. It took some time before the show's producers and network executives trusted her with the role. [2]

Despite the hectic start and stressful twelve-hour shooting days, Mulgrew found the atmosphere on set increasingly relaxing, as she got to know her co-stars and enjoyed the fun they were having between takes. She also met Patrick Stewart on set, who advised her that she would be "very proud" of her accomplishments after seven years, if she did the work to the best of her abilities. (Born with Teeth, chapter "Now, Voyager")

Kathryn Janeway, 2379

Mulgrew as Vice Admiral Kathryn Janeway (Star Trek Nemesis)

In an interview with Daniel Howard Cerone of the Los Angeles Times early in the show's production, Mulgrew referred to playing Janeway as "a huge challenge". She found the constant use of technobabble particularly difficult, comparing it to the medical language she had to use while starring on Heartbeat. Mulgrew credited her commanding presence on the set to her upbringing as "the oldest, bossy girl in a family of eight". Regarding her character, Mulgrew commented, "The captain ... has to have an emotional control, an intellectual center, a presence, a calm. Full thrusters, you know? This is a great woman". [3]

In an interview with the New York Times in 1999, Mulgrew told about her thoughts leaving the production because of the less free time she could spent with her husband Tim Hagan and her two sons. The producers decided to change the production plans and worked out a special schedule and Mulgrew decided to sign on for the seventh season.

Mulgrew played the role of Captain Janeway for seven seasons, from 1995 through 2001. Her performance earned her a Saturn Award from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films as well as a Golden Satellite Award in 1998; the role also garnered her three more Saturn Award nominations. Kate Mulgrew's stand-in, photo double, and body double on the series was Sue Henley. In 2002, Mulgrew once again appeared as Janeway – now holding the rank of Vice Admiral – in Star Trek Nemesis. She replaced Jeri Ryan, who was originally approached to appear in the movie.

Mulgrew also voiced the character of Janeway in the video games Star Trek: Voyager - Elite Force and Star Trek: Legacy and reprised her role as Admiral Janeway in the 2004 Borg Invasion 4D-ride at the Star Trek: The Experience attraction .

Several costumes worn by Mulgrew throughout the run of Star Trek: Voyager were sold off on the It's A Wrap! sale and auction on eBay, including a two piece Starfleet uniform. [4]

Mulgrew returned to the role of Janeway in Star Trek: Prodigy. [5] She also voices both Janeway and her mirror universe counterpart in missions released for Star Trek Online in January 2022.



Ryan's Hope[]

Mulgrew starred on Ryan's Hope for three years, from 1975 through 1978. Among her co-stars on this series were Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home actress Catherine Hicks (who played Dr. Faith Coleridge), Star Trek: Deep Space Nine actor Andrew Robinson (who played Dr. Frank Ryan), Daniel Hugh Kelly, and Michael Corbett.

When she left the series, Mulgrew requested her character be killed off. The producers initially refused, but finally did so due to unpopular recasts of the character. However, Mulgrew went on to appear intermittently on the series afterwards, as Mary Ryan's spirit.

Mrs. Columbo[]

Mulgrew starred in a short-lived spin-off series of Columbo entitled Mrs. Columbo, on which she played Mrs. Kate Columbo. Her character was believed to be the oft-referenced "missus" of the famed TV detective played by Peter Falk, although this detail was never stated outright and later Columbo movies disregarded it entirely.

The character's name was changed to Kate Callahan for the show's second season following an off-screen "divorce", and the series was renamed Kate Loves a Mystery. Although the series only lasted for two seasons in 1979, it earned Mulgrew a 1980 Golden Globe nomination.

One of the actors to guest star on Mrs. Columbo was René Auberjonois, who went on to play Colonel West in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country and Odo on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, among other roles. Auberjonois appeared in two episodes of the show, each time as a different character.

Later series[]

For two seasons from 1988 through 1989, Mulgrew starred as Dr. Joanne Springsteen (later Halloran) in the TV drama HeartBeat, set in a women's obstetrics and gynecology clinic. Also starring on this series was Deep Space Nine guest actress Gail Strickland.

Another short-lived series on which Mulgrew starred was the NBC sitcom Man of the People, which aired for one season in 1991. The series followed a hustler (played by James Garner) who becomes councilman of a city headed by Mulgrew's Mayor Lisabeth Chardin.

Mulgrew was seen in a recurring role on the short-lived NBC series The Black Donnellys in 2007, playing the mother of the title characters. She then played the recurring role of Mrs. Jeannie Flanagan on the NBC medical drama Mercy, which has been cancelled and was aired in 2009-2010. More recently, between 2011 and 2013, she has starred in the Adult Swim comedy series NTSF:SD:SUV::.

Alongside Michael Harney, Lori Petty, Lauren Lapkus, and Phumzile Sitole, Mulgrew played Galina "Red" Reznikov in the Netflix streaming series Orange is the New Black from 2013—2019. This role earned her an OFTA Television Award nomination in the category Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, a Critic's Choice TV Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, and an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series in 2014. In 2015, she won the Screen Actors Guild Award in the category Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series, shared with Michael Harney. In 2016, Mulgrew was again nominated in this category for Orange is the New Black. [6]

TV movies and mini-series[]

Mulgrew co-starred with three-time Deep Space Nine actor Frank Langella in the 1976 made-for-TV movie The American Woman: Portraits of Courage. In 1978, Mulgrew co-starred with fellow Trek performers Jonathan Banks, Nicholas Coster, Christopher Lloyd, Allan Miller, Diana Muldaur, and Nehemiah Persoff in the CBS mini-series, The Word.

In 1987, Mulgrew had a role in the telefilm Roses Are for the Rich. Robert Picardo, who became her co-star on Star Trek: Voyager, also had a role in the film, as did two-time Trek guest star Anne Haney. In 1988, while filming Roots: The Gift, Mulgrew acted alongside three actors who later became a part of three different Star Trek series: Avery Brooks (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), LeVar Burton (Star Trek: The Next Generation), and Mulgrew's Voyager co-star Tim Russ. This telefilm also featured Jerry Hardin, who appeared on Next Generation in the same year, as Radue.

Mulgrew appeared with Next Generation actress Patti Yasutake in the 1991 TV movie Fatal Friendship. In the 1993 TV movie For Love and Glory, Mulgrew and Deep Space Nine and Enterprise guest star Robert Foxworth played a married couple, with Voyager guest actor Zach Galligan and TNG guest actress Olivia d'Abo as their children.

In 1998, Mulgrew co-starred opposite Next Generation guest actor Corbin Bernsen in the TV movie Riddler's Moon, in which Mulgrew played widowed farmer Victoria Riddler.

TV guest appearances[]

Mulgrew has made guest appearances on a variety of TV programs. Her first such ventures were two 1978 episodes of Dallas. In 1984, Mulgrew played the wife of William Lucking's character in an episode of the short-lived series Jessie.

In 1986, Mulgrew guest-starred in a two-parter of St. Elsewhere, starring William Daniels, Jeff Allin, Chad Allen, Ed Begley, Jr., Norman Lloyd, Deborah May, France Nuyen, Jennifer Savidge, Alfre Woodard, and Jane Wyatt as regular cast members. That same year, she guest-starred as a city councilor in a three-parter on Cheers, co-starring TNG guest star Kelsey Grammer in his regular role as Frasier Crane.

In 1987, Mulgrew appeared in an episode of Murder, She Wrote alongside Star Trek: The Original Series guest actors Vince Howard, Robert Walker, and William Windom. She returned to the series in 1992 (co-starring with Michael McGrady) and again in 1994 (with future Voyager guest actress Musetta Vander). Mulgrew also appeared as an alcoholic anchorwoman on the hit sitcom Murphy Brown in 1992. In 2006, Mulgrew guest-starred in an episode of the NBC's Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

In 2011 Mulgrew worked on the third season of Warehouse 13. Her character, Jane Lattimer, was featured in a four-episode story arc. Warehouse 13 was co-created by Jane Espenson and stars Saul Rubinek. [7]

Film roles[]

Mulgrew made her feature film debut in the drama Lovespell, retelling the tragic tale of Tristan and Iseult (with Mulgrew playing the latter). Filmed in 1979, the film was ultimately released in December 1981. [8]

In 1982, Mulgrew starred in the thriller A Stranger Is Watching, in which she played a journalist who befriends a man whose wife was raped and killed, only to be kidnapped (along with the man's daughter) by the same murderer/rapist.

In 1985, Mulgrew starred as Major Rayner Fleming in the action film Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins. This film also starred Mulgrew's future Voyager co-star Joel Grey as the racist and sexist Chiun, who ridiculed Mulgrew's character for being a woman with rank. Also appearing in this film are Trek alumni Patrick Kilpatrick, Michael Pataki, George Coe, and Jeff Allin.

Mulgrew then starred in the 1987 black comedy Throw Momma from the Train as the ex-wife of Billy Crystal's character who becomes an unwitting part of a childish man's attempts to have his mother killed. Raye Birk and Original Series guest star Peter Brocco also appeared in this film. "Momma" was played by Anne Ramsey, wife of Trek guest star Logan Ramsey.

In 1991, Mulgrew played Judith Schweitzer in the film Round Numbers, co-starring with TNG guest-actress Samantha Eggar. In 1994, she appeared in the film Camp Nowhere, starring Christopher Lloyd from Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (whom Mulgrew previously co-starred with in the mini-series The Word) and also featuring an appearance by The Next Generation actor Jonathan Frakes. John Putch and Ron Fassler had roles in the film, as well. The following year, Mulgrew appeared in the 1995 film Captain Nuke and the Bomber Boys with Joe Piscopo.

In 2005 Mulgrew portrayed Dr. Mary Smith in the independent drama Perception. Three years later she was cast to portray Colonel Simms in the 2008 short drama The Response and in 2010, Mulgrew portrayed the wife of Christopher McDonald's character in the comedy The Best and the Brightest.

Voice-over work[]


Mulgrew voiced the villainous Red Claw opposite Adrienne Barbeau's Catwoman in three episodes of Batman: The Animated Series (two in 1992, a third in 1995); also appearing in the third and last episode, "The Lion and the Unicorn," were Loren Lester and Kenneth Mars.

Mulgrew was among the many Star Trek performers who supplied their voices to the Disney animated series Gargoyles, in which she played Queen Titania and her Human alter ego Anastasia Renard. Others who have done so include Next Generation's Jonathan Frakes, Marina Sirtis, Brent Spiner, LeVar Burton, and Michael Dorn, DS9's Avery Brooks, TNG and DS9's Colm Meaney, Original Series'' Nichelle Nichols, DS9 guest star Salli Elise Richardson, Voyager guest actor John Rhys-Davies, and Trek movie actors and Next Generation guest stars David Warner, Paul Winfield and W. Morgan Sheppard.

Video games[]

Besides voicing Captain Janeway for Elite Force, Mulgrew also lent her voice to a video game entitled Run Like Hell. Other Trek performers who supplied voices for this game were Clancy Brown, Brad Dourif, and Sherman Howard.

Mulgrew's voice can also be heard on the hit video game Lords of Everquest, which also featured voices by Ron Perlman, John Rhys-Davies, and Voyager co-star Dwight Schultz. Additionally, she can be heard in the 2009 role-playing game Dragon Age: Origins, playing the shape-shifting witch, Flemeth. The game also features voice work from fellow Star Trek: Voyager actor Tim Russ. In 2011 she reprised her voice part as Flemeth in the sequel Dragon Age II, and did so again in 2014 with Dragon Age: Inquisition.

Stage roles[]

Kate Mulgrew, tea at five

Mulgrew as Katharine Hepburn in Tea at Five

Mulgrew made her professional stage acting debut in a 1975 production of Thornton Wilder's Our Town at the American Shakespeare Theatre, in which she played Emily Webb. One of her co-stars in this play was Star Trek: Deep Space Nine guest actor John Glover. [9]

In 1978, Mulgrew played Desdemona in the Hampton Theatre Company production of William Shakespeare's Othello. Two-time Voyager guest actor Ivar Brogger was among Mulgrew's co-stars in this play. [10]

Mulgrew appeared in numerous stage productions throughout the 1980s, including Neil Simon's Chapter Two (1980, with Michael Zaslow), Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1981-82), The Ballad of Soapy Smith (1983, with Kevin Tighe), The Misanthrope (1984, with Daniel Davis), William Shakespeare's Measure for Measure (1985, with Kelsey Grammer), Henrik Ibsen's Hedda Gabler (1986, co-starring Julianna McCarthy and Dakin Matthews), Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing (1986, also with Dakin Matthews), The Film Society (1987, again working with Daniel Davis), and Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus (with Robert Curtis Brown and Don McManus).

From 20 May through 1 July 1990, Mulgrew acted alongside fellow Trek alumni Raye Birk, Christine Healy, John Larroquette, Joycelyn O'Brien, Andrew Robinson, and John Vickery in the West Coast Premiere of Brian Friel's Aristocrats at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. [11] In 1992, Mulgrew co-starred with Joel Brooks and the late Kellie Waymire in the La Jolla Playhouse production of What The Butler Saw. [12] Mulgrew made her Broadway debut the following year in Peter Shaffer's Black Comedy. [13] [14]

In February 2002, Mulgrew began playing legendary actress Katharine Hepburn in Tea at Five, a one-woman play written by Matthew Lombardo. The play toured through the U.S. through October 2005, and garnered Mulgrew several awards.

She later starred as Laura Keane in the new Civil War-era Broadway play, Our Leading Lady, written by Charles Busch. The play had a preview run from 22 February through 18 March 2007 and opened 20 March 2007 in New York City. It closed on 29 April 2007. [15]

On 9 July 2007, the Signature Theatre Company announced that Mulgrew has replaced Victoria Clark in the role of Clytemnestra in Charles Mee's Iphigenia 2.0, directed by Tina Landau and co-starring Rocco Sisto, which ran from 26 August 2007 through 7 October 2007 at the Signature Theatre Company's Peter Norton Space. [16] Mulgrew won an Obie Award for her performance in this play. [17]

On 22 April 2008, Mulgrew stepped into the role of "Mommy" in the off-Broadway production of Edward Albee's The American Dream and The Sandbox, replacing another actress who had to depart after the play was extended to 17 May. However, Mulgrew was forced to withdraw from the play early "due to a dire family emergency" and the play closed on 3 May. [18]

On 25 September 2008, Mulgrew began playing the role of Hesther Saloman in the Broadway revival of Equus. The play ran through 8 February 2009. [19] After Equus, Mulgrew starred as Maria Callas in a production of Terrence McNally's Tony Award-winning play Master Class. The production was staged at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Milburn, New Jersey, from March 4 through April 5, 2009. [20]

See also[]

Star Trek interviews[]

Star Trek appearances[]

Appearances as Kathryn Janeway[]

Appearances as Hologram Janeway[]

Additional roles[]

External links[]