(written from a Production point of view)
Vaughn Dale Armstrong, Jr. (born 7 July 1950; age 72) is a veteran Star Trek actor who is noted for portraying twelve separate characters in twenty-eight episodes over four separate series. Armstrong is one of only five actors to play seven or more different characters in the Star Trek franchise (the others being Jeffrey Combs, Randy Oglesby, J.G. Hertzler, and Thomas Kopache). His characters include a Human, a mirror universe Human, a Romulan, a Borg/former Borg, a Vidiian, a Kreetassan, a Hirogen, two Cardassians, and three Klingons. However, he is probably best known for his recurring role as Admiral Maxwell Forrest in the Star Trek: Enterprise series. He appeared in both the (in airdate order) second, and penultimate episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. He has the distinction of playing the first male Klingon on Star Trek: The Next Generation, apart from Worf. He was one of many actors (including Jeffrey Combs and William O. Campbell) who auditioned for the role of William T. Riker on that same series.
Armstrong's talents also extend into the musical arena. He has mastered the ukulele, using a "banjo"-style ukulele (commonly known as a banjolele) he made himself. With it he entertains audiences with Civil War-era songs and roots music, leading into the blues music he plays with others. His Trek-related blues songs are popular at convention appearances. His folk song band, The Enterprise Blues Band, includes fellow Trek actors Richard Herd (Owen Paris), Steve Rankin (Colonel Green and other roles), and Casey Biggs (Damar). Armstrong does the lead vocals in the band and plays also harp (harmonica). He has joked on stage during conventions that he is the innovator of Klingon "gutbucket" music and Andorian blues.
As an actor away from Star Trek, Armstrong has had a thirty-plus-year career in roles with many Trek alumni. On film Armstrong cut his teeth in 1977's Roger & Harry: The Mitera Target with Robert DoQui, Richard Lynch, and Harris Yulin. 1978 saw Armstrong in the aviation drama, The Winds of Kitty Hawk, sharing the screen with Robin Gammell, John Hoyt and Eugene Roche. Nearly a decade later, Armstrong would work with fellow multiple Trek star Glenn Morshower in 1984's The Philadelphia Experiment. Another six years passed and Armstrong worked with a number of Trek actors in Family of Spies joining alumni Wren T. Brown, Jefrey Alan Chandler, Gordon Clapp, Paul Collins, William Frankfather, Spencer Garrett, Ken Jenkins, Wyatt Knight, Boris Krutonog, and Aaron Lustig. A year later, Armstrong re-joined Clapp in the telefilm Mission of the Shark: The Saga of the U.S.S. Indianapolis; they were accompanied by Bob Gunton, Jeffrey Nordling, and Cary-Hiroyuki. In 1994, Armstrong re-teamed with Aaron Lustig and Harris Yulin in the Tom Clancy novel cum film, Clear & Present Danger with Reg E. Cathey, Raymond Cruz, Kamala Lopez-Dawson, Elizabeth Dennehy, Ellen Geer, Michael Jace, and John Putch. 1995's computer thriller The Net reunited Armstrong with Wren Brown, and they worked with Juan Garcia and Dan Shor. That same year, Armstrong teamed up again with Gammell, Lustig, and Yulin in the telefilm If These walls Could Talk with Jack Kehler. The film was executive-produced by Whoopi Goldberg. Armstrong was joined by DS9 co-star and fellow Enterprise Blues Band member Casey Biggs in 2 Voices with Nicolas Surovy and in 1998, Armstrong worked with Star Trek: Voyager co-star and another Enterprise Blues Band member Richard Herd in I Married a Monster. The most recent film in which Armstrong appeared was Finding Amanda, in which he was joined by Patrick Fischler, Anthony Holiday, and Daniel Roebuck.
Armstrong has also been productive on television. Armstrong appeared on Lou Grant with Voyager colleague Keene Curtis. He made his way to Wonder Woman with Henry Gibson and Dennis Madalone, who later served as Armstrong's stunt double in "Heart of Glory". Following this fantasy turn, Armstrong guested on on A Man Called Sloane with Alex Henteloff and Monte Markham. Armstrong joined Anthony De Longis and Morgan Woodward on Matt Houston. Armstrong played a cop in two episodes of Simon & Simon with Jonathan Banks and Lance LeGault. Armstrong had a role in the television thriller series Alfred Hitchcock Presents with Rif Hutton. On Scarecrow & Mrs. King, Armstrong worked with future DS9 co-star Nana Visitor.
These roles preceded Armstrong's role in "Heart of Glory". There was work long after that and before he turned up on DS9, Voyager, and Enterprise. Armstrong's role following "Heart of Glory" was on Cheers, starring Kirstie Alley, Kelsey Grammer, and Bebe Neuwirth. Armstrong continued in the comedy vein landing up on Seinfeld with Jason Alexander, Corbin Bernsen, Peter Parros, and Marty Rackham. Armstrong had a brief appearance with future Enterprise star Scott Bakula in the 1992 Quantum Leap episode "It's A Wonderful Leap", where he played Fred Trump - the father of future American business mogul/celebrity (and later 45th President of the United States) Donald J Trump. Armstrong later appeared on the anthology series F.B.I. The Untold Stories, joining Edward Laurence Albert and Adrienne Barbeau. Armstrong was then seen on the comedy-western The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. with Peter Dennis. Armstrong worked with DS9 and TNG guest stars Daphne Ashbrook and Katherine Moffat on the cop series One West Waikiki. Armstrong reunited with Kelsey Grammer on Frasier with Marnie Mosiman. Armstrong then returned to his sci-fi roots on Babylon 5, working with Andreas Katsulas, Bill Mumy, Majel Barrett, Marshall R. Teague, and Ed Trotta. Armstrong was seen twice on Melrose Place with Carlos LaCamara and with Leland Crooke, Margot Rose, and Michael Shamus Wiles. Next was Baywatch Nights with Christopher Michael. Armstrong reunited with Jack Kehler on the court drama Murder One alongside Barbara Bosson, Don McManus, and Rick Worthy. Continuing the fantasy trend, Armstrong joined Voyager co-star Jeri Ryan on Dark Skies with David Carpenter and Charley Lang. Armstrong re-teamed with Robin Gammell and Glenn Morshower on the premiere of C-16: FBI, also starring Michael Cavanaugh and Zach Grenier and guest-starring Melinda Culea and Stanley Kamel. Armstrong found himself once again working with Gordon Clapp and Aaron Lustig on Clapp's starring role series, NYPD Blue, also starring Sharon Lawrence. Law enforcement was still in the cards for Armstrong with a turn on Profiler starring Dennis Christopher. A role on Pensacola: Wings of Gold took Armstrong to the skies with Randy Mulkey. Armstrong then played another cop on Buffy the Vampire Slayer directed by James Whitmore, Jr.. Because of his work on Simon & Simon, producer Philip De Guere, Jr. brought Armstrong over to the military-legal series JAG with Bill Bolender, Blake Lindsley, Benjamin Brown, Paul Collins, and Mark Metcalf. Armstrong joined fellow Romulan player Alan Scarfe on his series Seven Days with Holmes R. Osborne. The next role with a Trek alum was The Beast with Lilyan Chauvin. Another run with Crooke was on Philly with Scott Alan Smith. Then came The Guardian starring Raphael Sbarge with John de Lancie. Reunions were again a theme on the premiere of Mister Sterling, where Armstrong ended up again with Bob Gunton, Stanley Kamel, and Harris Yulin, and along for the episode were Art Chudabala, David Doty, and fellow multiple Trek actor Randy Oglesby. Mister Sterling was short-lived, as was the next series on which Armstrong guest-starred, Smith, starring Virginia Madsen. Armstrong's most recent television roles were on the '60s period comedy-drama Mad Men with fellow Voyager and Enterprise actor Mark Moses; on Desperate Housewives with Teri Hatcher, Vanessa Williams, Brenda Strong, Kevin Rahm, Dakin Matthews, and Aaron Lustig; and on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation with fellow Voyager actor Wallace Langham.
He has also appeared in Criminal Minds and Law & Order: Los Angeles.
Star Trek appearances
Additional Trek appearances
Voice acting credits
- Star Trek: New Worlds as Admiral Fairbanks
- Star Trek: Armada II
- Star Trek: Bridge Commander as Captain Korbus/Karoon captain
- Star Trek: Starfleet Command III
- Star Trek: Elite Force II
Star Trek interviews
- VOY Season 1 DVD special feature Lost Transmissions from the Delta Quadrant, interviewed on 9 April 2003