(written from a Production point of view)
Patti Yasutake (born 6 September 1953; age 66) is the actress who portrayed Nurse Alyssa Ogawa in sixteen episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation and in the two Star Trek films Star Trek Generations and Star Trek: First Contact.
Born as Patricia Sue Yasutake on 6 September 1953 in Los Angeles, California, USA, she is of Japanese ethnicity. For a couple of years, Yasutake worked as the administrative director of the Howard Fine acting studio.
Star Trek Edit
Yasutake remembered watching Star Trek: The Original Series together with her family on television. Several years later she auditioned for the part of an unnamed conn officer on The Next Generation but wasn't cast. After she first appeared as Nurse Alyssa Ogawa in the fourth season episode "Future Imperfect" in 1990 she wasn't convinced to be called back and play this part again. Yasutake was also a contender for the role of Keiko O'Brien, introduced in the same season, but the role was cast with actress Rosalind Chao. 
Following five years and sixteen episodes as Ogawa through four seasons she also portrayed her in the first two Next Generation films Star Trek Generations in 1994 and Star Trek: First Contact in 1996.  In 2001 she provided additional voices for the video game Star Trek: Armada II. Her stand-in and photo double on The Next Generation was actress Sissy Sessions who worked in the same capacity for Rosalind Chao.
In 1993, Yastutake also portrayed Alyssa Ogawa in a Hallmark television commercial in North America where she is seen questioning the shipboard computer about the features of the USS Enterprise-D "Keepsake" ornament. Beside being a frequent guest at Star Trek related conventions (Germany in 2004, Las Vegas in 2007) she also attended the opening gala of Star Trek The Tour on January 17, 2008 in Long Beach, California.
A costume worn by Yasutake was sold off on the It's A Wrap! sale and auction on eBay  and in 2009 Diamond Select Toys released a 7 inch action figure of her character.  Regarding her work on Star Trek, Yasutake was interviewed by Steven Eramo for the magazines Cult Times Special, article "Medical History", in 2001 and Starburst Special, article "Deep Space Nurse", in 2004. Another interview was in 2000 for Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 1, Issue 17.
Appearances as Ogawa Edit
- Star Trek films
Yasutake started her acting career in the 1980s and was featured in episodes of T.J. Hooker (1985, with William Shatner, James Darren, Lloyd Kino, Michelle Phillips, and Miguel Ferrer) and Scarecrow and Mrs. King (1985 and 1986, along with Gregory Itzin, Richard Lynch, Sachi Parker, and Paddi Edwards).
In 1986 she was cast as Umeki Kazihiro in Ron Howard's drama Gung Ho where she appeared with fellow Trek performer Clint Howard. She also played this part along with Scott Bakula, Stephen Lee, and Clint Howard in the following short lived television series Gung Ho (1986-1987).
Further television work includes episodes of Duet (1988), CBS Summer Playhouse (1988, with Anne Haney, Evelyn Guerrero, and Brian George), Mr. Belvedere (1987 and 1989, with Mark L. Taylor in the previous one), Tales from the Crypt (1989, with William Sadler, Roy Brocksmith, Gerrit Graham, Laura Albert, and John Kassir), Sons and Daughters (1991, with George D. Wallace), Murphy Brown (1991, with John Hostetter), Picket Fences (1992, with Michael John Anderson, Michael Keenan, Kelly Connell, and Ray Walston), Rhythm & Blues (1992, with Ron Glass), Murder One (1996, with Daniel Benzali, John Fleck, Kevin Tighe, Barbara Bosson, Donna Murphy, and Gregory Itzin), Living Single (1996), Dangerous Minds (1996, with Michael Jace), and Crisis Center (1997, with Tina Lifford, Clifton Collins, Jr., and Fran Bennett).
Throughout the 1990s, Yasutake was many times cast for television movies, often playing doctors or a nurse. Her credits include the drama Without Warning: The James Brady Story (1991, with Christine Healy), the crime drama Fatal Friendship (1991, with Kate Mulgrew), the drama Blind Spot (1993, with Fritz Weaver), the action film Donato & Daughter (1993, with Jenette Goldstein, Marc Alaimo, Louis Giambalvo, Michael Cavanaugh, Julianna McCarthy, Ian Patrick Williams, David Gautreaux, and Gregory Itzin), the drama Lush Life (1993, with Jack Sheldon and Ron Taylor), the drama Abandoned and Deceived (1995, with Bibi Besch, Rosemary Forsyth, Robert Hooks, Claudette Nevins, and Gordon Clapp), the drama The Road to Galveston (1996, with Penny Johnson, Stephen Root, and Clarence Williams III), the drama A Face to Kill for (1999, with Claire Rankin), and the movie Incognito (1999, with Phil Morris, Ron Glass, and Joan Pringle).
Following her Trek connection, Yasutake had guest parts in episodes of Judging Amy (2000, with John Billingsley), HBO First Look (2000, with Bruce Davison), ER (2003, with Lily Mariye, Stephen Lee, Mark Moses, Marco Sanchez, and Michelle Bonilla), She Spies (2004), Crossing Jordan (2004, with Denise Crosby, Miguel Ferrer, Zach Grenier, Eric Pierpoint, and Kristin Bauer), Grey's Anatomy (2005, with Francis Guinan), Bones (2005, with Alicia Coppola and Kate McNeil), Boston Legal (2006, with William Shatner, Rene Auberjonois, Corbin Bernsen, Joanna Cassidy, and Philip Weyland), Just Legal (2005 and 2006, with Cliff de Young and Sandra Nelson in the latter one), The Unit (2007, with Abby Brammell and Jeremy Roberts), Cold Case (2007, with Keone Young), and FlashForward (2009, created by Brannon Braga and with John Cho and Gina Hecht).
More recently she played Mrs. Hong in the television drama Dad's Home (2010, with Stephanie Erb and Beau Billingslea) and Judge Wilkerson in an episode of The Young and the Restless (2011). She also reprised her part of Cathy Tao in the 2011 The Closer episode "Under Control" (with Raymond Cruz and Jonathan del Arco) following her two previous guest parts in episodes in 2008 and 2009 (with Gina Ravera).
Yasutake made her film debut in Lesli Linka Glatter's Academy Award nomination short film Tales of Meeting and Parting in 1985. For her next film, the 1988 drama The Wash, Yasutake received an Independent Spirit Award nomination in the category Best Supporting Female in 1989.
Further film credits include the action comedy Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot (1992, with Chris Latta, Marjean Holden, Jophery C. Brown, Manny Perry, and J.D. Walters), the drama Dangerous Intentions (1995, with Corbin Bernsen), the comedy Clockwatchers (1997, with Paul Dooley, Joe Chrest, Chuck Borden, and Gregg Daniel), the comedy Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999, with Kirstie Alley, Kirsten Dunst, and Matt Malloy), the comedy The L.A. Riot Spectacular (2005, with Christopher McDonald, Ronny Cox, Jude Ciccolella, Erick Avari, Ian Abercrombie, Lindsey Ginter, Gregg Daniel, and Mark Newsom), and the crime drama The Coverup (2008, with John Savage, Colby French, Michael Welch, Ivar Brogger, Gregg Daniel, Michelle Horn, and Don McManus).
More recently, Yasutake lent her voice to the video game BioShock: Infinite (2012) on which Lauren Mary Kim performed stunts.
Further reading Edit
- "Patti Yasutake", Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 1, Issue 17, pp. 52-56, September 2000