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Nana Visitor (born 26 July 1957; age 66) is an American actress best known for her portrayal of Major (later Colonel) Kira Nerys on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.


Early life and roles[]

Visitor was born as Nana Tucker in New York City, the daughter of a Broadway choreographer and a ballet instructor. Visitor's first name is pronounced na-NA, with the stress on the second syllable, as her mother, who is of French origin, pronounced it in the French fashion. She credits Avery Brooks for ensuring her name was pronounced correctly on the set of Deep Space Nine. [1]

She began acting on stage while attending high school in the 1970s, and although she had been accepted into Princeton University, she chose instead to pursue a professional acting career. She continued acting on the New York stage, ultimately landing roles on Broadway. She also landed her first television gig as a regular – credited as Nana Tucker – on the short-lived sitcom Ivan the Terrible, which ran during the 1976-77 season. She also made her film debut in 1977 (still credited as Tucker) with a small role in the horror movie The Sentinel, which starred future Deep Space Nine guest actor Chris Sarandon. She then became a regular on the TV soap opera Ryan's Hope during the 1978-79 season, while future Star Trek: Voyager star Kate Mulgrew and Deep Space Nine co-star Andrew Robinson, who had also been regulars on the series, had left the cast by that time.


It was in the 1980s that Nana Tucker began acquiring major roles on Broadway, including the title role in Gypsy and a double role in My One and Only (co-starring Bruce McGill). It was during this time that she took on a stage name, "Nana Visitor", as "Visitor" is "an old family name on her mother's side." With this new name, she not only continued her stage career but also became a regular on another soap opera, The Doctors, from 1980 through 1981, during which time fellow Star Trek alumni Glenn Corbett and Terry O'Quinn were also regulars on the series. She also had a recurring role on One Life to Live in 1982.

Visitor moved to Los Angeles, California in 1985, having recently starred in a revival of the play 42nd Street in that city. There, she acquired guest spots on such TV shows as Hunter (which featured Bruce Davison as a regular, in an episode with Gregory Itzin as a fellow guest star), MacGyver (two episodes, one in 1985, another – with Clive Revill – in 1987), Matlock (three episodes – one in 1987 with Bert Remsen and Jason Wingreen, another in 1989 with Michael Durrell and James Sloyan, and a third in 1993 with Daniel Roebuck) Remington Steele (in an episode with future Deep Space Nine guest star Kenneth Mars and Richard McGonagle), Knight Rider, It's a Living, The Twilight Zone, Hotel, Alfred Hitchcock Presents (with Bruce Gray), Downtown (with Michael Ensign), Highway to Heaven, Scarecrow and Mrs. King (with Vaughn Armstrong), Hooperman, Jake and the Fatman, In the Heat of the Night, Night Court (starring John Larroquette), L.A. Law (co-starring Corbin Bernsen, Larry Drake, and Deep Space Nine guest star Deborah May), Thirtysomething (with David Clennon), and Doogie Howser, M.D. (starring James B. Sikking and Lawrence Pressman). She was also seen in an episode of a series called Ohara with Star Trek: The Next Generation actress Denise Crosby and Madge Sinclair, and had a brief recurring role on The Colbys in 1987, which featured Tracy Scoggins, Stephanie Beacham and Ricardo Montalban in its main cast. Additionally, she appeared in the 1985 TV short Fraud Squad and the made-for-TV movies The Spirit (1987, with Daniel Davis, Bumper Robinson, and Garry Walberg), Meet the Munceys (1988, with Dan Gauthier), A Father's Homecoming (also 1988, with Michael McKean), and Nikki and Alexander (1989).


Visitor went on to star on Working Girl, which aired for twelve episodes in 1990, opposite Sandra Bullock. Afterward, Visitor continued making guest appearances on various TV shows – including Murder, She Wrote, Baby Talk (with Nicholas Kepros), Drexell's Class (starring Dakin Matthews) and Empty Nest – before auditioning for the role of Major Kira Nerys in 1992. According to Visitor, the role piqued her curiosity because it wasn't "'a mother, or a wife, or a prostitute, or a killer. [Kira] is fully realized.'"

Nana Visitor, 1999

Nana Visitor in a DS9 Season 1 interview

In December 1989, Visitor married fellow dancer Nick Miscusi. The two had a child, Buster, in 1992, but divorced in 1994.

Visitor's role as Kira Nerys was written into the series after Michelle Forbes rejected the offer to star in the series as Ro Laren, her character from Star Trek: The Next Generation. When Visitor auditioned for the role of Major Kira, she decided to remain "in character" as Kira throughout the audition process. She later said that the producers "thought [she] was perfect for the role but would be a nightmare to work with." [2](X)

According to Stunt Coordinator Dennis Madalone, Visitor was skilled at the fight sequences required for the series. "She's such a handy actress with fight scenes," Madalone commented. ("Flashback: The Way of the Warrior", Star Trek Magazine issue 127)

Visitor's regular makeup artist on the series was Camille Calvet. Visitor, who is extremely claustrophobic, had great difficulty filming the episode "Second Skin" due to the Cardassian makeup she had to wear. Due to this experience, she could not bring herself to wear the foam rubber head that was required for the holosuite scene in "Meridian" in which Quark's head is programmed onto Kira's body. As a result, a body double had to be used in Visitor's place. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 187)

During the course of Deep Space Nine, Visitor became involved with her Deep Space Nine co-star Alexander Siddig. The union ultimately produced a son, and Visitor's pregnancy was written into the series. Their son, named Django El Tahir El Siddig, was born on 16 September 1996, during production on the episode "Let He Who Is Without Sin...". Visitor and Siddig married the following year, although they divorced in 2001, two years after Deep Space Ninecame to an end.

Several costumes and costume components worn by Visitor throughout the run of Deep Space Nine were sold off on the It's A Wrap! sale and auction on eBay, including her baseball cap from the episode "Starship Down". [3]

After Deep Space Nine[]


After spending seven years on Deep Space Nine, Visitor was cast as Roxie Hart in a production of the hit musical Chicago in Detroit, Michigan. She continued playing the role in Las Vegas and Washington before joining the prestigious Broadway version of the show in 2001.


Visitor was a recurring performer on Dark Angel, playing the evil Dr. Elizabeth Renfro, aka "Madame X" which also starred John Savage (captain Rudolph Ransom of the USS Equinox) playing Col. Donald Lydecker. She then made appearances on such series as Frasier (starring Kelsey Grammer in the title role, in an episode also featuring Ann Cusack and Harve Presnell), Las Vegas (with Nikki Cox, Sherman Howard, and Patrick Kilpatrick), According to Jim, and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (with Tina Lifford and Wallace Langham). In 2004 she appeared in the TV movie They Are Among Us, together with Corbin Bernsen.

From 2005 through 2008, Visitor starred as Jean Ritter in Michael and Shawn Piller's Wildfire. The series ran for four seasons, concluding on 26 May 2008, despite a campaign by fans attempting to keep the show on the air.

In 2008, Visitor was seen as a cancer patient in the sixth episode of the last season of Ronald D. Moore's Battlestar Galactica, together with BSG recurring actress Rekha Sharma. Besides Moore, who wrote and produced for Deep Space Nine, Visitor was also reunited with writers David Weddle and Bradley Thompson and artist Doug Drexler. According to Thompson, Visitor was the first person Weddle thought of after reading the script. According to Weddle, Moore attempted to cast Visitor in the previous season and jumped at the opportunity to cast her in this episode. "We have always thought she is a tremendous actress with great range," Weddle said. "We thought she could deliver an amazing performance in this particular role. She did not disappoint us." [4]

Visitor also became one of the many Star Trek performers to have a voice-over role on Seth MacFarlane's hit animated series, Family Guy. For this show, she was the voice of Rita, an older woman with whom Brian Griffin (voiced by MacFarlane) begins dating, in the eighth season episode "Brian's Got a Brand New Bag." The episode aired on 8 November 2009. Visitor had voice-over roles in eleven subsequent episodes of Family Guy, one of them again as Rita. Among the other Star Trek alumni to lend their voices to Family Guy are Visitor's former Deep Space Nine co-stars René Auberjonois, Wallace Shawn, and ex-husband Alexander Siddig, as well as Majel Barrett, Connor Trinneer, and the entire cast of The Next Generation.

In 2011, Visitor appeared in two episodes of Torchwood: Miracle Day. John de Lancie also appeared in one of those episodes. Jane Espenson wrote both of the episodes. The same year, she had a guest appearance on Grimm.

In 2012, Visitor appeared in an episode of ABC's Castle, co-starring Penny Johnson, and in 2016, she appeared in four out of five episodes of the mini-series Full Out.

In 2017, thirty years after appearing in the The Colbys, Visitor guest-starred as Diana Davis in "Company Slut", a first season episode of the reboot Dynasty. The episode also features cast member Alan Dale.


Visitor had a role in Mini's First Time (2006), her first feature film since 1977's The Sentinel. She followed this with a supporting role in Babysitter Wanted (2008). She also appeared in Swing Vote (2008, with Charles Esten, Kelsey Grammer, and Mark Moses).

Visitor played Pamela Voorhees, the mother of hockey-masked serial killer Jason Voorhees (played by stuntman Derek Mears), in Friday the 13th (2009). Although Visitor's scenes were not included in a test screening of the film in Los Angeles due to some then-unresolved problems with a scene, she was added for the movie's final cut. [5] [6] Her voice was also heard in the trailers and television spots for the film, with Visitor (as Mama Voorhees) providing narration using lines from the original 1980 film. The film also featured Trek actress Kathleen Garrett and stuntman Michael Owen.

She then appeared in the 2011 movies The Resident and the independent drama In My Pocket with Glenn Morshower.

In 2015, Visitor appeared in Ted 2, which also starred Michael Dorn, Bill Smitrovich, and Ron Canada, and A Rising Tide.

She also appeared in Unbelievable!!!!! (2016, with Dina Meyer, Olivia d'Abo, Marina Sirtis, Jeffrey Combs, Michael Dorn, Chase Masterson, Linda Park, Robert Picardo, McKenzie Westmore, Nichelle Nichols, Armin Shimerman, John Billingsley, Tim Russ, Connor Trinneer, Manu Intiraymi, Barbara Luna, Walter Koenig, Gary Lockwood, Max Grodénchik, Gary Graham, Dominic Keating, Garrett Wang, Anthony Montgomery, Celeste Yarnall, Casey Biggs, Patti Yasutake, Vaughn Armstrong, and Sean Kenney) and A Bread Factory (2018).

Additional characters[]

Additional voice credits[]

Star Trek interviews[]

  • TNG Season 7 DVD special feature "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine DVD Preview"
  • DS9 Season 1 DVD special feature "Crew Dossier: Kira Nerys", interviewed on 18 September 1992, 4 April 1999, and 10 May 1999)
  • DS9 Season 1 DVD special feature "Section 31-Hidden File 08", interviewed on 18 September 1992
  • DS9 Season 1 DVD special feature "Deep Space Nine Scrapbook Year One", interviewed on 18 September 1992

External links[]