(written from a Production point of view)
Tracey Walter (born 25 November 1947; age 74) is the actor who portrayed two Ferengi in Star Trek: The Next Generation, one as Kayron in the Star Trek: The Next Generation first season episode "The Last Outpost". Five years later he portrayed a different Ferengi, Berik in the sixth season episode "Rascals". Footage from his first appearance was also used in the second season episode "Shades of Gray".
Walter made his acting and film debut in the 1971 comedy Ginger (with fellow TNG guest star Shelly Desai). This was followed by a role in the 1973 police drama Badge 373 (with Henry Darrow and Robert Miano). That same year, Walter's next role was in Serpico (with F. Murray Abraham and Albert Henderson). Walter then appeared in the 1977 comedy Annie Hall (with John Glover). Walter followed the same year in his first telefilm role, Mad Bull (with Walker Edmiston). Walter joined Michael Berryman and Earl Boen in 1978's The Fifth Floor. In 1978, Walter worked in a pair of films with Ed Begley, Jr. First was Blue Collar (with Cliff DeYoung), and next was the comedy-western Goin' South (with Christopher Lloyd).
Walter appeared in the 1980 crime drama The Hunter (with LeVar Burton and Nicolas Coster), The Octagon (with Brian Tochi) and the telefilm High Noon, Part 2: The Return of Will Kane (with Michael Pataki). In 1981, Walter acted in the horror film The Hand (with Star Trek: Voyager guest star Bruce McGill). Walter in 1982 received his first science fiction work in Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann (with Ed Lauter). Next the same year was the film Honkytonk Man (costarring Jerry Hardin). 1983 found Walter appearing in his first short film The Horse Dealer's Daughter (with Philip Anglim). Walter then worked in 1984's comedy hit Repo Man (with Angelique Pettyjohn and Biff Yeager). Also that year was the fantasy adventure Conan the Destroyer (with Star Trek: The Original Series guest performer Jeff Corey).
In 1986, Walter appeared in the fact-based drama At Close Range where Walter first worked with his fellow "The Last Outpost" guest star Jake Dengel, followed by the comedy Something Wild (with Charles Napier). In 1987, Walter first worked in Timestalkers (with James Avery and Tim Russ) and reappearing with Philip Anglim in Malone. 1988 had Walter working in a pair of highly successful comedy films. The former was Midnight Run (with Tom McCleister) and the latter Married to the Mob (again with Charles Napier, as well as Dean Stockwell). He also appeared in the comedy Mortuary Academy (1988, with Anthony James, Paul Capp, and Doug Coleman). In 1989 Walter was in Under the Boardwalk (with Paul Carr, Wallace Langham, and Dick Miller) and finally Homer & Eddie (alongside Tony Epper, Whoopi Goldberg, Wayne Grace, Tommy "Tiny" Lister, Jr., Nancy Parsons, Vincent Schiavelli, and Jimmie F. Skaggs).
A personal friend of actor Jack Nicholson, Walter appeared - in his most memorable cinematic role - as "Bob the Goon", the henchman of Nicholson's villanous Joker in 1989's Batman. A year later, Nicholson cast him in his directorial debut The Two Jakes, which also featured Perry Lopez in the cast.
Walter began the 1990's with the 1990 western Young Guns II (with fellow TNG first season guest stars Robert Knepper and Leon Rippy and film stars Alan Ruck and Christian Slater). Walter's other role reunited him with Jerry Hardin when Walter won a role in the psychological thriller Pacific Heights (also starring Hal Landon, Jr.). Walter's next small-screen film was Not of This World (1991, with Timothy Davis-Reed and Cary-Hiroyuki). During that year, Walter and Napier reunited again in the mega-hit thriller The Silence of the Lambs (which also costarred Dan Butler). Walter's next 1991 film Delusion also featured Robert Costanzo, Angelina Fiordellisi, Jim Metzler, and Barbara Alyn Woods. Walter joined Costanzo in the hit comedy-western City Slickers (with David Paymer, Noble Willingham and Robert Costanzo).
His first work in 1993 was the crime-caper Public Enemy No. 2 (with Clint Howard and Tom Virtue). Next came the prison-escape comedy Amos & Andrew (costarring Brad Dourif and Jordan Lund), followed by the telefilm Basic Values: Sex, Shock & Censorship in the 90s (with Kenneth Mars). Walter also joined Charles Napier for the fourth time on film in the celebrated AIDS drama Philadelphia.
1994 saw Walter working on Mona Must Die (with Dick Miller). In the straight-to-video The Companion, Walter reunited with Earl Boen in addition to working with Bruce Greenwood. Walter's last film that year was the comedy Junior (sharing the bill with Alexander Enberg, Stefan Gierasch, Frank Langella, and Lawrence Tierney).
Walter got 1995 started appearing in the telefilm, Kidnapped: In the Line of Duty (with Carole Davis). In the martial-arts drama Fist of the North Star Walter rejoined Clint Howard on film. Accompanying Howard and Walter were Susan French and Malcolm McDowell.
In 1996, Walter was among a major concentration of Trek alumni when he was cast as a NASA technician in the alien invasion film Independence Day. In this film, Walter reunited with TNG star Brent Spiner. Other Trek actors in the film were Erick Avari, Anthony Crivello, Jana Marie Hupp, Tim Kelleher, Carlos LaCamara, Randy Oglesby, Leland Orser, Robert Pine, Raphael Sbarge, Bill Smitrovich, and Frank Welker. Walter was next seen in the comedy Larger Then Life (with Christopher Darga and Harve Presnell). Walter followed this with the period film Entertaining Angels: The Dorothy Day Story (with Geoffrey Blake and Brian Keith). Walter rounded out the year with Amanda (with Alice Krige).
In 1997 Walter worked again with Bruce Greenwood in another telefilm, Tell Me No Secrets (with Irene Tsu). Another telefilm followed, The Inheritance (with Brigid Brannagh and Cari Shayne). Walter was then cast in the road movie Drive (with Christopher Michael and John Pyper-Ferguson). Next Walter appeared in the hit film Kiss the Girls, based upon the James Patterson novel and costarring Brian Brophy, Larry Cedar, and the film's primary female lead Ashley Judd. Finally that year was the crime film Playing God (with Pasha Lychnikoff and Keone Young).
In 1998, Walter began the year in the drama Desperate Measures (with Dennis Cockrum, Richard Riehle, and Michael Shamus Wiles). Up next was the slave drama Beloved (with Jude Ciccolella, Albert Hall, and Charles Napier). Walter's other film work took a different direction in the comedy Mighty Joe Young reteaming Walter with Geoffrey Blake and Richard Riehle as well as featuring Lily Mariye, Richard McGonagle, Scarlett Pomers, and Lawrence Pressman. The only film work Walter received in 1999 was the biopic Man on the Moon about the life of actor Andy Kaufman. The film contained Kaufman's Taxi costar Christopher Lloyd as well as past costar Vincent Schiavelli.
His first film in 2000 and his second with Scarlett Pomers was the environmentally-themed biopic Erin Brockovich in which Pomers and Walter performed with Michael Harney, Randy Lowell, William Lucking, and Wade Andrew Williams. Next that year was Blast (again with Ed Lauter).
In 2001, Walter reunited with Carole Davis and Cari Shayne in the comedy Jack the Dog. Following this comedy, Walter switched to drama appearing in The Man From Elysian Fields (with "Rascals" costar Rosalind Chao and Sherman Howard). That year Walter rejoined Chao in the sci-fi drama Impostor (along with Golden Brooks, Brian Brophy, Maury Sterling, and Clarence Williams III). Walter rounded out the year in the marijuana-themed comedy How High (opposite Lark Voorhies).
Beginning in 2002, Walter found himself working once again with Michael Dorn in Face Value. Walter's next project with Vincent Schiavelli was the comedy Death to Smoochy which also had in the cast Louis Giambalvo. Walter's last film that year was the biopic Ted Bundy (with Michael Reilly Burke and Julianna McCarthy).
Early in 2003, Walter rejoined Carole Davis in the drama Manhood. Another reunion took place when Walter worked with Louis Giambalvo again in the comedy film Duplex, which also had in the cast Jenette Goldstein, Michelle Krusiec, and Walter's Ferengi actor colleague Wallace Shawn. Walter rejoined Richard Riehle that year in the telefilm Monster Makers. 2004 had Walter rejoining Jude Ciccolella, Charles Napier, and Dean Stockwell in the 21st century remake of the thriller The Manchurian Candidate (which also costarred Miguel Ferrer). Walter went from that drama to the telefilm comedy Family Plan (with Kate Vernon). Next Walter lent his voice to the video game 50 Cent: Bulletproof (2005, with Tommy "Tiny" Lister, Jr.). The only work in 2006 connecting Walter to another Trek actor was the holiday-themed The Year Without a Santa Claus (with Michael McKean). 2007 was more connected starting with Man in the Chair (opposite Ellen Geer, George Murdock, and Christopher Plummer), Noble Son (with Kirk Baily), The Death & Life of Bobby Z (with Keith Carradine), and finally that year Walter rejoined Richard Riehle in Wasting Away (with Colby French). 2008 saw Walter in Just Add Water (with Tracy Middendorf), and the horror film Dark Reel (with Tony Todd). Walter concluded the decade reuniting with Bruce McGill in the baseball movie The Perfect Game (2009, with fellow TNG guest actor John Cothran, Jr.
Walter's work in the 2010s included rejoining Larry Ceder twice, first in Midnight Son and Alyce (with Megan Gallagher) for 2011.
Television guest work
Walter's first work on a television series was on the cop show Starsky & Hutch (starring David Soul) in "Dandruff" (1978, with Rene Auberjonois), then on the radio sitcom WKRP In Cincinnati (with Vincent Schiavelli) in "The Contest Nobody Could Win". A year later, Walter was on Vega$ in "Mixed Blessings" (with David Huddleston). He was on the sitcom Taxi starring Christopher Lloyd as a panhandler in "A Grand Gesture" (1983) with Schiavelli as well. Walter was next on the crime drama Hunter in "Pen Pals" (1984, with James Whitmore, Jr.), then on Amazing Stories in "The Wedding Ring" (1985). Next for Walter was the helicopter action series Airwolf in "Wildfire" (1986, alongside Lance LeGault, Ken Olandt, and Gregory Sierra).
Walter joined the following Trek alumni on the series on which they all starred, Alien Nation (starring Ron Fassler, Gary Graham, Eric Pierpoint, and Michele Scarabelli) in "The Takeover" (1990, with Charley Lang). That same year he had a guest role on the short-lived Nasty Boys (starring Jim Beaver) in "Desert Run" (with Michael J. Pollard), followed by the sitcom Get a Life in "Terror on the Hell Loop 2000" (with Michael G. Hagerty and Graham Jarvis). In 1991, Walter was first seen on Monsters (starring Dennis Christopher) in "Hostile Takeover", She-Wolf of London in "Bride of the Wolfman" (with Tony Amendola and Dan Gilvezan), and the cop series Pacific Station (starring John Hancock and Richard Libertini) in "Waiting For the Other Gumshoe To Drop". 1992 had Walter rejoining Tom McLeister on the sitcom Wings (starring Steven Weber) in "2 Jerks & a Jill". The work Walter did in 1993 was the short-lived sitcom The Mommies playing a Santa Claus in the simply titled "Christmas" and then Melrose Place (joining Michael Ensign, Brian George, and Biff Yeager) in "Love, Mancini Style". 1994 was less active as Walter was only on the California-set legal drama L.A. Law (starring Corbin Bernsen and Larry Drake) in "Whistle Stop", where the Trek alumni belied the fact it was Walter's sole guest work on television that year. With Walter were Dion Anderson, Joanna Cassidy, past costar Jordan Lund, Carolyn Seymour, and Kate Vernon. Walter did not work this way until 1998 when was seen on Brimstone (starring John Glover and Lori Petty) in "Repentance" (with Geoffrey Blake, Albert Hall, and Scott Lawrence) and L.A. Doctors in "Endless Bummer" (with Jeff Allin).
It would be a pair of police series that would give work to Walter in 2002, first on The Division (starring James Avery) in "Forgive Me, Father" (with Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and then Boomtown (starring Neal McDonough) in "Reelin' in the Years" (with April Grace and Tommy Hinkley). On Reno 911, Walter guested in "Department Investigation" (2004, with Lisa LoCicero). A near half-decade went by until Walter won a guest role on the short-lived police comedy Raines (starring Linda Park). Walter then rejoined Geoffrey Blake on Monk in "Mr. Monk & the Miracle" (2008). Walter repeated the once a year work on the Philadelphia-set police drama Cold Case (co-produced by Roxann Dawson) in "The Crossing" (2009) and finally on the ghostly crime drama Medium (executive produced by Kelsey Grammer) in "Bring Your Daughter to Work Day" (2010).
Recurring and lead roles
Walter's first lead role was as Frog Rothchild, Jr. on the short-lived western series Best of the West, which only ran a single season from 1981 to 1982. Christopher Lloyd was in the series premiere, "The Calico Kid Returns" (1981) as the title role and "The Calico Kid Goes to School" (1982), "They're Hanging Parker Tillman" (1981, with Jonathan Banks), "Frog's First Gunfight" (with Barbara Babcock), and "The Pretty Prisoner" (1982, with Ted Gehring).
Following the cancellation, Walter guested on Filthy Rich as Alvin Esary starring Walter's Honkytonk Man costar Jerry Hardin in "Take This Job & Love It" (1982) and "The Country Club" (1983). Then Walter played Sammy Laporter on Hill Street Blues (starring Barbara Bosson and James B. Sikking) in "The Shooter" (1982, with George Murdock, Ben Slack, and Morgan Woodward) and "Here's Adventure, Here's Romance" (1983, with Lawrence Pressman, Howard Shangraw, George D. Wallace, and Keone Young). Walter's next recurring role was as Wishonsky on The Bronx Zoo. His episodes "Truancy Blues" (directed by Paul Lynch and featuring Stan Ivar, Vincent Schiavelli, and Kenneth Tigar), "Ties That Bind" (with Pamela Adlon), and "The Gospel Truth" (with Frank Collison and Benito Martinez) all aired in 1988. Walter then ended the '80s and began the '90s as Eugene Moss on Freddy's Nightmares (starring Mary Crosby), first in "Lucky Stiff" (with fellow Ferengi performer David L. Lander), and then with Crosby alone in "Easy Come, Easy Go" (1989 and 1990, respectively).
In the '90s outright, Walter won a role as Blinky Watts in the mini-series On the Air (1992, with Miguel Ferrer, Mel Johnson, Jr., David Lander, and Richard Riehle). In 1993, Walter worked with Mary Crosby's niece Denise Crosby on the comedy-western The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. as the man with the rhyming first and last names Phil Swill in "No Man's Land" (with Judson Scott) and "Mail Order Brides" (with Jeremy Roberts).
Starting in 1996, Walter played his most recognized television role, that of Peter Spellman (primarily known as Angel) on the San Francisco-set crime-comedy series Nash Bridges. Angel acted as such on the behalf of the title character played by Don Johnson. Walter began this role in the show's second season episode "Hit Parade" (with Robin Sachs) and "25 Hours of Christmas" (with Cristine Rose, in addition to Mary Mara, who was a lead on the show at the time). The fourth season in 1998 saw Walter appearing in "Firestorm" (with Daniel Roebuck and Sean Whalen). Walter appeared in 2000's fifth season finale "Jackpot" (with Stephen Lee and Tzi Ma). In the sixth and final season, Cress Williams joined the lead cast. With Williams, Walter appeared in "Land Pirates" (also in 2000, with Michael Bailey Smith) and in 2001, "Blood Bots" (with Caroline Lagerfelt and Tommy "Tiny" Lister, Jr.) and "Quack Fever" (with Williams alone).
Walter's signature episode was the fourth season "Angel of Mercy" (1999, appearing with Edward Laurence Albert), as the episode covered his character's back-story and discovery of a long-lost brother.