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Robert Adame Beltran (born 19 November 1953; age 70) is the actor most famous for his role as Commander Chakotay on Star Trek: Voyager. He reprised the role in Star Trek: Prodigy.

Early life[]

Robert Beltran is the son of Mexican-American immigrants and was born in Bakersfield, California. He attended East Bakersfield High School and Bakersfield College. He came from a large family of ten children (two sisters and seven brothers). One of his younger brothers is Latin Jazz musician Louie Cruz Beltran.

During his early life, Beltran held a number of jobs which he later described as "hard", including a cotton picker, tomato plant grower, janitor, and working at a Wienerschnitzel.

Acting career[]

He had already gained a certain degree of fame long before coming aboard Voyager. In 1982, in only his second film appearance, he starred in Eating Raoul. Written and directed by Paul Bartel and also featuring appearances by future Star Trek: Deep Space Nine guest actor Hamilton Camp and future Voyager guest star Ed Begley, Jr., the voyeuristic Raoul has become a cult favorite. The film also starred Ralph Brannen. Beltran went on to have several lead roles in other films throughout the rest of the 1980s, no doubt as a result of his role as Raoul.

Beltran made his film debut with a small role in Zoot Suit (1981, featuring Tony Plana and Kurtwood Smith. In 1983, he went on to co-star opposite Chuck Norris and David Carradine in Lone Wolf McQuade. By the following year, however, he was being offered lead roles. He starred in Night of the Comet (1984), which has also reached cult status. In 1985, he starred in Latino, produced by George Lucas, which also featured his fellow Zoot Suit actor Tony Plana.

Beltran also starred in several made-for-TV movies. Among these were 1984's The Mystic River, co-starring Nick Ramus and Ron Soble, and 1986's The Family Martinez, co-starring Denise Crosby.

By 1987, however, Beltran was back to playing supporting roles. That year, he co-starred with fellow Star Trek alumni Rosalind Chao, Herta Ware, and John Fleck in the film Slam Dance. That same year, he had a supporting role in Gaby: A True Story, co-starring Lawrence Monoson.

In 1989, Beltran reteamed with his Eating Raoul director, Paul Bartel, for Scenes from the Class Struggle in Beverly Hills, with Ed Begley, Jr. and Wallace Shawn Beltran also co-starred with Cliff DeYoung in Forbidden Sun that same year and then 1990's To Die Standing.

Beltran played the title role of El Diablo (1991, co-starring Deep Space Nine guest star John Glover and Star Trek: Enterprise actor Jim Beaver). That same year, Beltran again co-starred with Tony Plana in Veronica Clare Also in 1991, Beltran appeared in Bugsy, featured Star Trek: The Next Generation guest star Bebe Neuwirth and Wendie Malick.

Afterward, Beltran appeared primarily in TV movies, including State of Emergency, with Paul Dooley and Richard Beymer, in 1994. Also in that year, Beltran guest starred in an episode of Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, starring Teri Hatcher, Next Generation guest star Chris Demetral. Just before landing his starring role on Voyager, Beltran played the recurring role of Detective Louis Soto on the Melrose Place spin-off Models Inc. in episodes with Victor Bevine, Randy Oglesby, Cristine Rose, and Margot Rose. Later in 1994, Beltran was cast as Chakotay in Star Trek: Voyager.

Voyager and afterwards[]

Robert Beltran, 2001 ALMA Awards

Robert Beltran at the 2001 ALMA Awards Ceremony

Since Voyager first aired, Beltran has only appeared in one other major feature film. He played one of the Watergate burglars in Nixon (1995), chronicling the fall of US President Richard M. Nixon, with Trek alumni such as Tony Plana, Saul Rubinek, Paul Sorvino and David Paymer.

While still filming Voyager in 2000, Beltran co-starred opposite future Star Trek: Enterprise star Scott Bakula in the independent film Luminarias, based on the play of the same name. He also voiced Commander Chakotay in the video game Star Trek: Voyager - Elite Force.

After Voyager ended in 2001, Beltran worked in the TV movie Manticore, in which he co-stars with DS9 actress Chase Masterson. He was next seen in TV's Fire Serpent for the Sci-Fi Channel, written by Garfield and Judith Reeves-Stevens. In March 2007, Beltran made an appearance on the NBC series Medium. He later appeared in the Sci-Fi Channel's Cry of the Winged Serpent (2007) and Taking Chances (2009).

Beltran, like Enterprise actress Jolene Blalock, was infamous for his outspoken views on how his series was progressing. He once remarked in an interview that he thought Star Trek: Voyager was "punishment for everything in my life up till that point. Thanks, dear Lord for the… uh, Star Trek gig." [1] His outbursts against the series became so great that executive producer Kenneth Biller said in late 2000, "I think Robert Beltran should stop whining and do his job… print that if you want!" [2] Despite this, he won a Golden Eagle Award as Outstanding Actor in a Television Series for his role as Chakotay in 1997 and had also been nominated for two ALMA Awards.

After Voyager ended, Beltran had a recurring role as Native American casino promoter Jerry Flute on the HBO series Big Love. Charles Esten, Raphael Sbarge and Noa Tishby have also made appearance on Big Love.

In 2009, Beltran released a video on YouTube, saying "I busted my ass off for seven years playing Chakotay… on Voyager. Having to work with Tim Russ and Ethan Phillips, you have no idea how difficult that is. And Bob Picardo walking around going 'I'm signing autographs!'" The video was a joke video made by Robert Beltran and a Star Trek fan, capitalizing on his outspoken views to get Star Trek fans in particular to attend a new performance that was opening that month. [3]

In August 2021, Beltran announced that he was working on Star Trek: Prodigy. [4]

Star Trek interviews[]

Additional characters[]

External links[]