(written from a Production point of view)
Robert "Bob" Picardo (born 27 October 1953; age 68) is the actor best known to Star Trek fans for playing Starfleet's Emergency Medical Hologram, most notably The Doctor on Star Trek: Voyager. He also played the EMH creator, Dr. Lewis Zimmerman, as well as some of his other holographic creations.
Robert Picardo – or "Bob", as he likes to be called – was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He attended William Penn Charter School, graduating in 1971, after which he attended Yale University. Coincidentally, he entered Yale aiming towards a career as a doctor, having graduated from Penn Charter as a pre-med major. However, while there, he was hit with the acting bug after performing in several university productions and graduated with a BA in Drama in 1975. Little did he know that he would portray a doctor in numerous projects in the future.
In 1977, Picardo made his Broadway debut in a production of Gemini. Since then, he has had a long career on stage, in film and on television. He has also established himself as a singer and an author in recent years.
He currently resides in Los Angeles, California with his wife, Linda, and their two daughters, Nicollette Arianna (born 14 March 1989) and Gina Emira (born 3 November 1991).
Picardo has been performing on stage since his days at Penn Charter, playing half the team of Box and Cox. In 10th grade, he performed as Grumio in a high school production of William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. This was followed by performances in a few productions at Yale (including Leonard Bernstein's Mass) and a number of other plays, ultimately leading him to the Off-Broadway stage, performing in David Mamet's Sexual Perversity in Chicago and Martin Duberman's Visions of Kerouac.
In his first Broadway play, Gemini, Picardo portrayed the role of Francis Geminiani, opposite Danny Aiello's Fran Geminiani. The play had a total of 1,819 performances from 21 May 1977 through 6 September 1981. From June through December of 1978, Picardo was performing in another Broadway play called Tribute, co-starring with Jack Lemmon and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home actress Catherine Hicks.
Picardo's more recent stage work includes Lend Me a Tenor (1992, with Paul Dooley) and A Class Act (2002), both performed at the Pasadena Playhouse in California. He most recently starred in a musical revival of Gemini at the Prince Music Theater.
Picardo is among several Star Trek alumni who have appeared in numerous films directed by Joe Dante. Other members of the informal Dante troupe include Henry Gibson, Dick Miller, Wendy Schaal, William Schallert, and Kenneth Tobey. Picardo has also worked with Dante on a few television projects.
In 1981, Picardo made his feature film debut in Dante's contemporary horror classic, The Howling. Picardo's character, Eddie Quist, was the instigator of the film's plot and was involved in the film's most famous scene, the werewolf transformation. Miller and Tobey also appeared in this film, as did one-time TNG guest star Noble Willingham.
From then on, Picardo appeared in almost every film and TV movie from Joe Dante, as did Dick Miller. Both appeared in Dante's films Explorers (1985, also with James Cromwell and Brooke Bundy), Innerspace (1987, with Wendy Schaal, William Schallert, Henry Gibson, Kenneth Tobey, and Andrea Martin), The 'burbs (1989, with Schaal and Gibson), Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990, with Tobey and Gibson, as well as Zach Galligan, John Glover, Keye Luke, Ron Fassler, and Jerry Goldsmith), Matinee (1993, with Schallert), and Small Soldiers (1998, starring Kirsten Dunst and Schaal and featuring the voices of Frank Langella and Michael McKean). Both Picardo and Miller most recently appeared in Dante's Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003), in which Picardo and fellow Trek actors Ron Perlman, George Murdock, and Marc Lawrence played Acme Corporation Vice Presidents.
Other notable film roles
One of Picardo's earlier films was a strange 1983 musical comedy called Get Crazy, in which he played an overzealous firefighter who ends up getting "lit" on "magic water". This film, while not directed by Joe Dante, also featured an appearance by Dick Miller. The star of the film, however, was Star Trek Generations actor Malcolm McDowell; Ed Begley, Jr. and Clint Howard had roles in the film, as well. The following year, Picardo appeared in Oh God! You Devil, which also featured James Cromwell.
In 1985, Picardo appeared opposite Tom Cruise as a wicked female creature known as Meg Mucklebones in Ridley Scott's Legend scored by Jerry Goldsmith. The following year, he made a brief appearance as a man having an affair with Rodney Dangerfield's wife, played by DS9 guest actress Adrienne Barbeau, in Back to School. This film also starred Terry Farrell and Sally Kellerman and featured Michael McGrady and Phil Rubenstein.
Bob Picardo and Wendy Schaal starred together as husband and wife (as they will do again in Runaway Daughters) in the 1987 film Munchies. In 1988, Picardo co-starred as a psychiatrist in the thriller Jack's Back. That same year, he appeared as an angry cop in the action horror film Dead Heat, starring Joe Piscopo and featuring Keye Luke and Dick Miller. And in 1989, he had a memorable role as "Mark Dark" (aka Satan), opposite Jim Metzler, in the cult horror film 976-EVIL.
That same year, Picardo played a doctor in the comedy Loverboy; his character was married to another doctor played by Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan actress Kirstie Alley. Picardo also co-starred with Vic Tayback in this film; the two had previously worked together on the television series Alice (see Other TV appearances below).
In 1991, Picardo had a major role in the little-known film Frame Up, in which he played a man on the run for a murder he didn't commit; that film also starred Tom Hodges as the real murderer. Picardo appeared in dual roles in the surreal comedy Motorama that same year, as did his fellow Dante-phile, Dick Miller. Michael J. Pollard also had a role in this film. In 1994, Picardo starred in the comedy Wagons East!, in which his soon-to-be co-star Ethan Phillips had a supporting role, as did Ed Lauter and Charles Rocket. And in 1996, he co-starred with Star Trek: The Next Generation guest star Corbin Bernsen as an ill-fated, corrupt politician in the science fiction film Menno's Mind. TNG star Michael Dorn had a supporting role in this film, and Bill Erwin also had a role.
Picardo played a doctor in the 1998 film Archibald the Rainbow Painter, co-starring Michael McKean, Andrew Robinson, Ann Gillespie, and Spice Williams and directed by Les Landau. In 2000, Picardo had a brief role – again as a doctor – in The Amati Girls, which starred Paul Sorvino and featured Matt Winston. In 2006, Picardo appeared with his "Message in a Bottle" co-star Andy Dick, as well as Ed Lauter, in Love, American Style.
Picardo's more recent film credits have been independent productions. He had a supporting role in the 2008 drama Universal Signs, which was presented in American Sign Language with English subtitles. Picardo also played the lead roles in the 2009 horror thrillers Sensored and The Awakened. In addition, Picardo starred in the short comedy film Chad & The Alien Toupee, again working with his Voyager co-star Tim Russ. Picardo would be cast in Coen Brothers' period piece "Hail, Ceaser!"(2016) joining Clancy Brown, Dennis Cockrum, Patrick Fischler, Alison Pill and Clement von Franckenstein.
China Beach, The Wonder Years, and Stargate
Before taking on the role of the holographic doctor on Star Trek: Voyager, Picardo was best known for playing a different doctor on another television series. From 1988 through 1991, he portrayed Dr. Dick Richard in the acclaimed, Emmy-winning series China Beach. His co-stars on this series included Jeff Kober, Megan Gallagher, and Concetta Tomei, all of whom reunited with Picardo when they guest-starred on Star Trek: Voyager.
Picardo is also well known for his recurring role as the much-feared Coach Ed Cutlip on the TV series The Wonder Years, from 1988 through 1993. TNG guest star Olivia d'Abo was a regular on this series. David Huddleston played Grandpa Arnold as well.
From 2004 through 2007, Picardo played the recurring role of Richard Woolsey on the science fiction series Stargate SG-1. On this show, he has worked with the likes of Ronny Cox and Saul Rubinek. He has also appeared as Woolsey on the spin-off series, Stargate Atlantis, where he has worked alongside Star Trek: Enterprise star Connor Trinneer. Picardo became the only former Trek star to become a full-time cast member on Atlantis, with his character assuming command of the Atlantis expedition at the beginning of the fifth and ultimately final season, which ran from July 2008 through January 2009. In 2011, Picardo reprised his role as Woolsey in the Stargate Universe episode "Seizure".
Other TV appearances
One of Picardo's earliest television appearances was in an episode of Taxi, a series which starred Star Trek III: The Search for Spock actor Christopher Lloyd. Picardo then made several appearances as Officer Maxwell on the television sitcom Alice. This series starred Vic Tayback, who later co-starred with Picardo in the film Loverboy.
In 1983, Picardo became a regular on the Showtime series Steambath. However, this series ended after six episodes.
Picardo has also guest-starred in episodes of Frasier, starring Kelsey Grammer, and The Dead Zone, starring Nicole de Boer. In addition, he was seen in an episode of The Golden Girls with Anne Haney and Bill Quinn and, in 1993, he made two appearances as Joe "The Meat Man" Morton on Home Improvement (starring Tim Allen of the Star Trek parody Galaxy Quest). More recently, he had a recurring role as Detective Nick Traub in the short-lived drama The Lyon's Den. His Voyager co-star, Roxann Dawson, also made several appearances on this series.
Other popular shows on which Picardo has guest-starred include Amazing Stories (in 1985, with Wendy Schaal again playing his wife in an episode also featuring Bruce Davison), Hardcastle and McCormick (in 1986, starring Brian Keith and Daniel Hugh Kelly in the title roles and also guest-starring Leslie Bevis, Kenneth Mars, and Phil Rubenstein), St. Elsewhere (in 1987, with Ed Begley, Jr., Ronny Cox, Norman Lloyd, France Nuyen, Michael Pataki, Jennifer Savidge, Alfre Woodard, and Jane Wyatt), L.A. Law (in 1987 and again in 1991, working alongside Corbin Bernsen and Larry Drake), Newhart (in 1989, featuring Tony Papenfuss), ER (in 1995), Ally McBeal (in 1999, with Albert Hall), Seven Days (in 2001), The Practice (in 2002), The West Wing (in 2004) and The O.C. (in 2005, with Michael Nouri). Additionally, Picardo made four appearances as Larry Kincaid on the NBC series E-Ring in 2005. That same year, he played the role of "returnee" Trent Appelbaum in the "Weight Of The World" episode of the sci-fi series The 4400, co-created by René Echevarria. TNG guest star Billy Campbell appeared in the episode in his recurring role as Jordan Collier; ENT guest star Noa Tishby also had a role in this episode.
Also in 2005, Picardo reteamed with director Joe Dante for the TV horror project Homecoming, part of Showtime's Masters of Horror series. In 2007, Picardo appeared as a murder suspect on Cold Case, in an episode co-starring Michael Bofshever and produced by Roxann Dawson. Later that year, he appeared in the Halloween episode of CSI: NY, directed by Joe Dante and featuring Robert Joy. He was also seen in a 2007 episode of Women's Murder Club, the ABC series starring former Star Trek: Enterprise actress Linda Park. Park, however, did not appear in Picardo's episode.
In 2008, Picardo guest-starred in two episodes of the popular WB series Smallville, the first of which was directed by Kenneth Biller. Picardo has made several TV appearances in 2009, guest-starring on NBC's Chuck (in an episode directed by Allan Kroeker and co-starring Bonita Friedericy), Bryan Fuller's acclaimed series Pushing Daisies (with Fred Williamson and Matt Winston), and the first season finale of the drama Castle (with Robert Costanzo). Picardo made a second appearance on Castle in 2010. That same year, he guest-starred on the FX drama series Justified (with Brett Cullen) and the NBC series Persons Unknown (with Michael Durrell and Alan Ruck).
In February 2012 Picardo appeared on the medical/police procedural series Body of Proof, starring two of his former co-stars, Dana Delany (China Beach) and Jeri Ryan (Star Trek: Voyager) as medical examiners. As a possible nod to his own roles in the two series, at one point of the episode Picardo's character is made to exclaim toward Delany's: "You doctors are always wrong!"
In November 2017 Picardo appeared on The Orville as the father of chief security officer Lieutenant Alara Kitan. Picardo cameoed as himself on the 1990s-set sitcom "Schooled" starring Clancy Brown in the first season airing Money for RENT.
- For shows on which Picardo is currently working, see current and upcoming projects below.
Picardo has appeared in a number of made-for-TV movies throughout his career, beginning with 1980's The Dream Merchants, in which he was part of an ensemble, all-star cast. In 1987, he had a role in Rose Are for the Rich, which also featured his future Voyager cast mate Kate Mulgrew, as well as Anne Haney. That same year, he co-starred with Wil Wheaton and Bruce McGill in The Man Who Fell to Earth.
The Joe Dante-directed made-for-TV movies in which Picardo appeared are Runaway Daughters in 1994, which also featured Dick Miller and Wendy Schaal (playing Picardo's wife), and The Second Civil War in 1997. This latter film featured a whole slew of fellow Trek actors, including Joanna Cassidy, Brian Keith, Dick Miller, Ron Perlman, and William Schallert.
His other TV movies include The Violation of Sarah McDavid (1981, with James Sloyan), Lois Gibbs and the Love Canal (1982, with Bob Gunton), Bates Motel (1987, with Lori Petty and Gregg Henry), The Cover Girl and the Cop (1989, with Jonathan Frakes), A Murderous Affair: The Carolyn Warmus Story (1992, with Chris Sarandon), Fatal Deception: Mrs. Lee Harvey Oswald (1993, with Bill Bolender), Revenge of the Nerds IV: Nerds in Love (1994, with James Cromwell, Brian Tochi, and Bernie Casey), White Mile (1994, with Fionnula Flanagan, Jacqueline Kim, Dakin Matthews, Ken Jenkins, Dan Kern, Brian Markinson, Dan Gilvezan, Gina Ravarra, Brett Porter, Ken Thorley, Don McManus and stuntman Tom Lupo), and Out There (1995). He made an uncredited cameo in this latter movie, which starred the likes of Wendy Schaal, Bill Cobbs, Paul Dooley, and Carel Struycken.
When Picardo first auditioned for Star Trek: Voyager in 1994, he initially sought the role of Neelix, but was passed over for Ethan Phillips. When the producers asked him if he would be interested in the role of the EMH instead, Picardo was skeptical at first as he thought playing the role of a disgruntled hologram for several years wouldn't be much fun. He was also concerned because he had played a doctor several times before. Nonetheless, after reading for The Doctor, he was persuaded to play the part.
On the Voyager DVD set, Picardo mentions that during his audition, he ad-libbed the line "I'm a doctor, not a night light", and that he "really wasn't supposed to do it". Nevertheless, it got a laugh from the casting directors, and may have contributed to his winning the role.
Picardo also got some behind the scenes experience on Voyager when he directed two episodes of the series, "Alter Ego" and "One Small Step". He also became the first regular in a Star Trek series to write an episode when he helped pen "Life Line".
Picardo was on the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine sound stages when "What You Leave Behind" was being filmed. He attended the filming of the scene at Vic's lounge. Aside from filming with them for five years, Picardo had starred with the DS9 cast in "Doctor Bashir, I Presume". In addition to joining the DS9 cast for that episode, Picardo also had a brief cameo as the USS Enterprise EMH with the Star Trek: The Next Generation cast for Star Trek: First Contact. This makes him one of only a handful of actors who have worked with all three of the Star Trek incarnations made in the 1990s.
Picardo has also done some voice-over work in films as well as in TV shows. In 1990, he supplied the voice of the Johnnycab in the science fiction thriller Total Recall. This film featured the likes of Ronny Cox, Roy Brocksmith, Marc Alaimo, and Michael Champion.
In 1994, Picardo (credited as Robert Piccardo) lent his voice to a pirate in the fantasy film The Pagemaster. Also lending their voices to this film were Patrick Stewart, Whoopi Goldberg, Frank Welker, Leonard Nimoy, and Christopher Lloyd; the latter also starred in the film's live-action sequences.
Picardo lent his voice to the characters of Blackhawk and Amazo on the animated series Justice League. In addition, he has voiced in episodes of Dinosaurs and Batman: The Animated Series. In the latter series, he voiced in the episode "The Man Who Killed Batman", which also featured the voice of TNG guest star Matt Frewer.
In 2014, the Star Trek Online expansion Delta Rising, set 32 years after the Voyager returned back home, featured Picardo reprising the voice of his role as The Doctor.
In 2002, Picardo released a book based on his Star Trek: Voyager character, titled The Hologram's Handbook, which he wrote in character. Picardo, as The Doctor, goes into depth about how he felt about various experiences while aboard Voyager, such as feeling "betrayed" by Kes when she extended the length of his bout with the flu, as well as genuine and helpful advice for any holograms finding it hard to fit in with "organics". The book featured illustrations by his "Flesh and Blood" co-star Jeff Yagher. The same year an audio version of the book, read by Picardo, was released and includes a bonus song called, Song of the Hologram.
Picardo has also released two parody CDs, Basic Bob (released first in 2001, then again in 2003 with an additional three tracks) and Extreme Bob (released in 2003), with most of the songs based on Star Trek. Extreme Bob features guest vocals by fellow Voyager stars Tim Russ and Ethan Phillips.
In 1998 Picardo lent his voice to the audio version of the novel Pathways, which detailed the lives of the Voyager crew before being stranded in the Delta Quadrant.
Picardo starred in the Borg Invasion 4D ride at Star Trek: The Experience, playing the EMH once again – this time studying a group of people who seemed to be immune to the Borg nanoprobes. When the Las Vegas attraction was closed in 2008, Picardo was critical of the decision to close it right before the release of the new Star Trek film, which he expected to revitalize the franchise.
Picardo has also served in The Planetary Society since the late 1990s. He is currently a member of the society's Board of Directors' Advisory Council.
In 2003, Picardo was attached to star in a science fiction film called Illegal Alien, written and executive produced by TOS star Walter Koenig. The film would have starred Koenig and John de Lancie.  By 2007, however, that film had become InAlienable. Speaking at the 2007 Star Trek convention in Las Vegas, Koenig revealed that Picardo had to drop out of the film due to another commitment – he had to fill in for Koenig on a Trek cruise when Koenig ditched the cruise to make the film. (John de Lancie also ended up dropping out.)
Picardo recently co-starred with Tim Russ in a web series pilot for Funny or Die called Chad and the Alien Toupee.
Current and upcoming projects
His upcoming feature films include Trail of Blood, Mega Shark vs Crocosaurus, and The Legends of Nethiah.
In addition, Picardo has lent his voice to a 3-D animated film called Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey, which was in production for years and has only seen limited release. Also supplying voices in this film are Brent Spiner, Jason Alexander, Chris Pine, and William Shatner. 
Additional Star Trek appearances
Star Trek interviews
- E! Inside Star Trek: Voyager (1995)
- Star Trek: Voyager - Inside the New Adventure – Host (1995)
- VOY Season 1 DVD special feature Cast Reflections: Season One, interviewed on 20 March 2001
- He has his own recipe, a pasta dish called Picardo's Pinette.
- He owns two very talented parrots.
- As an actor on the film Wagons East!, he and comedian Richard Lewis were the last two people to speak to actor John Candy before the latter died of a massive heart attack on March 4th, 1994.
- In his single episode appearance on Seven Days, entitled "Revelation," he is first seen on a gurney and is told to be "take[n] to sickbay."
- His pronunciation of the word "captain" is rather distinctive.
|Star Trek: Voyager regular cast|
|Robert Beltran • Roxann Dawson • Jennifer Lien • Robert Duncan McNeill • Kate Mulgrew • Ethan Phillips • Robert Picardo • Tim Russ • Jeri Ryan • Garrett Wang|
- RobertPicardo.com – official web site
- RobertPicardo.net – original web site
- Robert Picardo at Wikipedia
- Robert Picardo at the Internet Broadway Database
- 2007 Interview with Robert Picardo at Seb's Web Archive
- Robert Picardo at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
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