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Lena Banks (born 21 March 1953; age 69) is the actress, model, scriptwriter and teacher who worked as regular background actress on the last three seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation. She also appeared in the two Star Trek films Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country and Star Trek Generations and the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine first season episode "Emissary".

Banks filmed her first scenes for The Next Generation on Wednesday 23 October 1991 on Paramount Stage 9. She was also on set the following day when the cast and crew learned about the death of Gene Roddenberry. Most of her scenes from Star Trek VI were cut from the final aired version and only scenes with her in the background remained in the final film. As one of the regular background performers on the TNG sets, Banks was scheduled to appear in engineering scenes in the fifth season episode "Violations" according to the call sheets but was not part of the final episode. Her operations division Starfleet uniform was one of the items sold on the It's A Wrap! sale and auction on eBay. [1]

Life and career

Banks attended the Broward Community College in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and graduated in Associate of Arts and Psychology. She then spent a summer session in Political Science and Government at the UCLA and went to the Florida Atlantic University where she graduated in Political Science and Psychology. In 1992, she served for five months as staff assistant for Senator Ted Kennedy at his office in Washington D.C. followed by one year and two months as executive assistant for Spelling Television. Between 1997 and 1998, Banks worked as executive assistant to president Elliot Silverstein at The Artists Rights Foundation.

Banks studied acting at the Lee Strasberg Institute with coaches David Groh and John Matthews. Her drama coach was Paul Garcia, comedy with Nick Anderson and commercial techniques with Shancy Pierce at the TVI. While studying stage acting at the Metropolitan Educational Theatre she appeared in versions of "Annie", "Music Man", and "Secret Garden". She later performed in "Midsummer Night's Dream" at Globe Theatre and in "Lysistrata" at the Underground Theater.

Beside acting, she is skilled in dance and voice work, and can also be seen in music videos for artists such as Keith Richards and commercials such as the 1994 Miller Lite commercial.

Starting in the early 1990s and founding her company Think Tank Inc. in 1996, Banks has been working as mentor, teacher and muse providing workshops in scriptwriting technique and creativity, Hollywood hand-holding for scriptwriters of all levels, and mentoring for committed scriptwriters. [2]

Banks is living in Los Angeles, California, USA and Edinburgh, Scotland, UK and has one daughter, Angelica Banks.


Working around five years professionally in film and television productions in Los Angeles, Banks was featured in episodes of Herman's Head (1991, starring Molly Hagan), Sisters (1991, directed by James A. Contner, starring Elizabeth Hoffman and Ashley Judd, and with Steve Vinovich and Ron Fassler), Melrose Place (1992, with Zach Galligan and Simon Templeman), The Ben Stiller Show (1992, with Andy Dick and Paul Dooley), Mad About You (1992), Life Goes On (1992, directed by Kim Friedman and starring Bill Smitrovich), Doogie Howser, M.D. (1993, with Rif Hutton and Laura Walsh), and Beverly Hills, 90210 (1993, with Cyril O'Reilly and Vidal Peterson).

Beside recurring roles in soaps and series such as General Hospital, Murphy Brown, Top of the Heap (1991, with Leslie Jordan and Rod Arrants), and Picket Fences (1993), she was also featured in Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman (1993, starring Joe Lando, Chad Allen, Erika Flores, Frank Collison, and Helene Udy), Cheers (1993, starring Kirstie Alley, Kelsey Grammer, and Bebe Neuwirth), Married with Children (1993), It Had to Be You (1993), The Secrets of Lake Success (1993, with Lanei Chapman, Samantha Eggar, Stan Ivar, Liz Vassey, Brian Keith, Ray Wise, Jeff Rector, and James Ingersoll), Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1994, starring Teri Hatcher, Tracy Scoggins, and K Callan and with Michael Cavanaugh and Margot Rose), and Second Chances (1994, with Ray Wise and Michelle Phillips and cinematography by Lowell Peterson).

Television movies include the crime drama Precious Victims (1993, with Cliff DeYoung, Glenn Morshower, and Darwyn Carson), the comedy The Day My Parents Ran Away (1993, with Matt Frewer, Brigid Brannagh, Aaron Lustig, Jack Shearer, and John Christian Graas), the drama Broken Promises: Taking Emily Back (1993, with Tim Ransom, Michael Krawic, and James Harper), the drama Baby Brokers (1994, with Jeffrey Nordling, Gary Werntz, Scott Jaeck, and Catherine MacNeal), the comedy sequel Revenge of the Nerds IV: Nerds in Love (1994, with Christina Pickles, Robert Picardo, Stephen Davies, Brian Tochi, James Cromwell, and Bernie Casey), the crime drama Parallel Lives (1994, with LeVar Burton and Paul Sorvino), the short film Leslie's Folly (1994, with Clara Bryant), the drama Family Album (1994, with Keone Young, Jeffrey Byron, and Brett Cullen), and the drama The O.J. Simpson Story (1995, with Darwyn Carson, Martin Cassidy, Richard Fancy, and Bumper Robinson).

Through her production company Think Tank Inc., Banks worked as host on the series Space Today and 2 Global Girls Travel.


Throughout her five years in the film business, Banks appeared in a number of movies mostly in featured and background parts. Among these films are the crime drama Bugsy (1991, with Robert Beltran and Bebe Neuwirth), the thriller Poison Ivy (1992, with Time Winters), the comedy The Distinguished Gentleman (1992, with Victor Rivers, Noble Willingham, Daniel Benzali, Julianna McCarthy, and Dion Anderson), Danny DeVito's crime drama Hoffa (1992), the comedy Loaded Weapon 1 (1993, with William Shatner, James Doohan, F. Murray Abraham, J.P. Hubbell, Charles Napier, and Whoopi Goldberg), the comedy Born Yesterday (1993), the drama Indecent Proposal (1993), the comedy sequel Hot Shots! Part Deux (1993), the action comedy Last Action Hero (1993), and the thriller In the Line of Fire (1993, with Gary Cole, Clyde Kusatsu, Carl Ciarfalio, Michael Zurich, Robin Morselli, Robert Buckingham, Elizabeth Pengson, Sharon Schaffer, and Denise Lynne Roberts).

Banks was among the stunt drivers on James Cameron's science fiction sequel Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991, with Jenette Goldstein) and appeared in the music drama The Mambo Kings (1992, with Jonathan Del Arco, Joycelyn O'Brien, and Susie Stillwell). In Tim Burton's comic sequel Batman Returns (1992), she worked as stand-in for lead actress Michelle Pfeiffer and filled in as photo double for the "Ice Princess", played by Cristi Conaway. In addition, she appeared as one of Cobblepot's supporters in a crowd scene along with Brian Demonbreun. And in the 1994 thriller Color of Night, Banks can be seen as Bruce Willis' wife on a picture of his desk.

Further film work includes the thriller Dream Lover (1993, starring Mädchen Amick), the western Geronimo: An American Legend (1993), the comedy House Party 3 (1994, with Mikki Val), the comedy I'll Do Anything (1994), Ben Stiller's drama Reality Bites (1994, starring Winona Ryder), the sport drama Blue Chips (1994), the thriller On Deadly Ground (1994), the romance Angie (1994), the comedy sequel Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult (1994, with Joycelyn Robinson), the sequel D2: The Mighty Ducks (1994), the comedy Cops and Robbersons (1994), the drama When a Man Loves a Woman (1994), the thriller Dead Connection (1994), the comic adaptation The Flintstones (1994, with Kevin Grevioux), the sequel Beverly Hills Cop III (1994), the thriller Pentathlon (1994, with David Soul, Daniel Riordan, Barry Lynch, Buddy Joe Hooker, Bobby Bass, Kristopher Logan, Melanie Hathorn, and Johnny Martin), the action comedy I Love Trouble (1994), the thriller Speed (1994), the horror film Wolf (1994), the fantasy comedy The Mask (1994), the comic adaptation The Shadow (1994), the drama Corrina, Corrina (1994, with Whoopi Goldberg and Brent Spiner), the horror sequel New Nightmare (1994, starring Heather Langenkamp), the comedy It's Pat (1994), the drama S.F.W. (1994), the drama Ed Wood (1994), the comedy Exit to Eden (1994, with Iman, Stephanie Niznik, Rosemary Forsyth, Keegan de Lancie, and Rachelle Roderick), and the drama Love Affair (1994).

More recently, Banks worked as casting associate and associate producer on Bryan Bockbrader's horror thriller VANish which will be released in 2015. Banks also has a supporting role as cell phone neighbor and the film features fellow Trek alumni Tony Todd and Joe Davis.

Star Trek appearances

Recurring appearance

External links