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Rosalind Chao (born 23 September 1957; age 66) is an actress who played Keiko O'Brien in Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. She appeared in eight episodes of Next Generation and nineteen episodes of Deep Space Nine. She also played a Pah-wraith (possessing Keiko O'Brien) in the Deep Space Nine fifth season episode "The Assignment".

Before being cast as Keiko in the episode "Data's Day", she originally auditioned and was considered for the role of Natasha Yar, according to a 1987 studio memo. [1] Her costume from "Data's Day" was later sold off on the web. [2]

Life and career[]

Chao was born in Anaheim, California to Chinese parents (unlike her Star Trek character who is a Japanese national), who were performers at the Beijing Opera before immigrating to the United States where they opened a successful pancake business. She began acting at the age of five.

She earned a journalism degree at the University of Southern California, however, after a year as a radio newswriting intern at the CBS-owned Hollywood radio station KNX, she returned to acting.

Chao has been married to actor and fellow Next Generation guest star Simon Templeman since 1989. They have a son and a daughter.

She has remained friends with her Star Trek "husband", Colm Meaney and attended his wedding in Beverly Hills on March 15, 2007. At Grand Slam XV, Meaney said "It was lovely having my TV wife at my wedding". [3]


Her first credited screen role was in a 1970 episode of Lucille Ball's series, Here's Lucy, entitled "Lucy the Laundress" (directed by Herb Kenwith). Her first major acting role was in the 1972 television series Anna and the King, in which she played Princess Serena. Samantha Eggar, Keye Luke, and Brian Tochi were also regulars in this short-lived series.

She later guest-starred in episodes of series such as Kojak (with Stephen McHattie, Thalmus Rasulala, and Sam Gilman), The Incredible Hulk (with Mariette Hartley and the voice of Ted Cassidy), How the West Was Won (with Fionnula Flanagan, Keye Luke, Robert Ito, and Bill Zuckert, directed by Joseph Pevney), and Emergency! (with Kevin Tighe and John de Lancie, written by Hannah Louise Shearer).

Her breakthrough role came in 1983, when she played Soon-Lee Klinger in the penultimate and final episodes of M*A*S*H with David Ogden Stiers and Hamilton Camp. She reprised the role in the 1983-85 series AfterMASH as a regular. Wendy Schaal, Anne Haney, and Noble Willingham appeared in recurring roles and William Sadler, Jerry Hardin, K Callan, David Graf, Biff Yeager, Eve Smith, Armin Shimerman, Leslie Bevis, Paul Willson, and Danny Nero played guest roles on this show.

Chao also had recurring roles on other popular series, such as Diff'rent Strokes, in which she played Miss Chung, and Falcon Crest, in which she played Li Ying (starring Robert Foxworth, with Concetta Tomei and Jill Jacobson, directed by Reza Badiyi).

In the 1980s, Chao guested on series such as St. Elsewhere (starring Norman Lloyd, Ed Begley, Jr., and William Daniels, with Kavi Raz, Jennifer Savidge, France Nuyen, and Alfre Woodard), The A-Team (starring Dwight Schultz, with Jeff Imada, directed by Robert Bralver), Max Headroom (starring Matt Frewer, with Concetta Tomei, George Coe, Andreas Katsulas, W. Morgan Sheppard, and Charles Rocket), Beauty and the Beast (starring Ron Perlman, with Keye Luke), Tour of Duty (with Lloyd Kino), and Miami Vice (with Bob Gunton and James Saito).

In the 1990s, aside her Star Trek role, Chao mostly played one-time guest roles on television, which included episodes of Thirtysomething (with David Clennon), Murder, She Wrote (with Daphne Ashbrook and Wayne Péré), Chicago Hope (starring Jayne Brook), and ER (with Lily Mariye and Bob Minor).

In the next decade, Chao had recurring roles on 10-8: Officers on Duty (with Jeff Kober, Albie Selznick, and Karole Selmon), Six Feet Under (with James Cromwell, Joanna Cassidy, Danny Goldring, Andy Milder, Abby Brammell, and Ellen Albertini Dow), and The O.C. (with April Grace, Jeri Ryan, Autumn Reeser, and Michael Nouri).

She guested, among others, in episodes of The West Wing (with Spencer Garrett), Once and Again (with Billy Campbell and Paul Dooley), Dharma & Greg (with Mitchell Ryan), Monk (with Jamie McShane and Michael Reisz), Without a Trace (starring Enrique Murciano, with Jeff Austin), According to Jim, and Grey's Anatomy (with Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Tzi Ma, and Melissa George).

In the 2010s and 2020s, Chao continued her television career with recurring roles in Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23, The Neighbors (starring Toks Olagundoye, with George Takei and Seth Morris), Sin City Saints, Code Black, and Better Things (starring Pamela Adlon, with Diedrich Bader, Dominic Burgess, Lawrence Pressman, and Usman Ally).

She also guest-starred in series like CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (starring Liz Vassey, Wallace Langham, and Paul Guilfoyle), Law & Order: Criminal Intent (with Steven Weber), Bones, Shameless (with Dennis Cockrum), Castle (with Penny Johnson, Linda Park, and Derek Graf, produced by Rob Bowman), Hawaii Five-0 (starring Daniel Dae Kim, developed by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman), where she portrayed another character named Keiko, Black-ish (starring Jenifer Lewis), and This Is Us.

In 2024, Chao had her first regular television role since AfterMASH, co-starring in the Netflix science fiction series 3 Body Problem, which featured Russell Yuen in a guest role.


Chao has also made appearances in many films, including Memoirs of an Invisible Man (1992, with Michael McKean, Jim Norton, Shay Duffin, Sam Anderson, Ellen Albertini Dow, and Aaron Lustig), The Joy Luck Club (1993, co-starring Tamlyn Tomita and France Nuyen, with Lauren Tom and Nicholas Guest), North (1994, with Jason Alexander, Keone Young, Lauren Tom, and Fritz Sperberg), What Dreams May Come (1998, with Scott Trimble, based on the novel by Richard Matheson), I Am Sam (2001, with Brent Spiner and Ken Jenkins), Freaky Friday (2003, with Willie Garson), Just Like Heaven (2005, with Ron Canada and Willie Garson) and Life of the Party (2005, with Clifton Collins, Jr., John Ales, and David Clennon).

More recently, Chao appeared in films such as Stockholm, Pennsylvania (2015, with Jason Isaacs and Tom Wright), The Laundromat (2019, with James Cromwell), Plus One (2019, starring Jack Quaid, with Ed Begley, Jr., Tom Virtue, and Time Winters), and Disney's live-action remake of Mulan (2020, with Tzi Ma).

Star Trek appearances[]

External links[]