Michael Dorn is an American actor whose prolific film and television career spans over four decades! He is a familiar face to audiences all around the world as the Klingon Worf in Star Trek: The Next Generation, and his character has become synonymous with the Star Trek franchise.
But what else has he done and what is Michael Dorn up to these days? Let’s find out!
Born in Luling, Texas on December 9, 1952 to Allie Lee and Fentress Dorn, Jr., Dorn attended Pasadena City College.
During his time there, he studied radio and television production and later toured with a few different rock bands up and down the coast of California.
Although uncredited, Dorn’s first acting credit was Apollos’ bodyguard in 1976’s Rocky. He also had parts in a number of other television shows including Knots Landing and Days of Our Lives.
But it was his performance as Officer Jebediah Turner in 60 episodes of CHiPs that boosted his public image. This would set the stage for Dorn’s foray into international stardom.
Dorn appears in 277 episodes and five films of the Star Trek franchise; this figure represents the greatest number of any actor in the franchise’s history. By comparison, Patrick Stewart appears in 189 episodes and four movies.
He even directed several episodes of Deep Space Nine and one episode of Enterprise.
Worf is widely recognized as the first Klingon to be part of Starfleet and is known for his devotion to his race, his steadfast calm, and his desire to connect with and help others of his own race.
Fans universally praise Michael Dorn’s performance as Worf. Many have commented on his ability to present Worf’s conservative and reserved nature with remarkable authenticity.
In the past, Dorn has talked about his process for channeling the character and even went so far as to separate himself physically from the other actors to get into the mind of Worf.
He was an enormously popular part of the show, and viewers missed him when Next Generation ended and Deep Space Nine began.
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
In total, Dorn appeared in 102 episodes in the last four seasons of the follow-up to Next Generation, Deep Space Nine. But he was not part of the original cast of the series!
Fans are conflicted about Worf’s introduction into Deep Space Nine. While some viewers were thrilled to see Worf again on screen, others claim to prefer his character in The Next Generation.
Still, most seem to love Dorn’s take on a darker version of Worf and appreciate exploring sides of the character no one had ever seen before.
Many stories confirm the fact that Worf was added to Deep Space Nine as a way to boost ratings that couldn’t compare with Next Generation.
Paramount executives were worried about the show’s direction and eventually decided that bringing back a fan-favorite like Worf would do the trick. Looks like they were right!
What did he do after Star Trek?
In between his tenures in several Star Trek series, Dorn appeared in five Star Trek movies including Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Generations, First Contact, Insurrection, and Nemesis.
He acted in Ted 2, the crime series Castle, and also showed up in a few of The Santa Clause movies playing the Sandman. In 2001, he returned to boxing movies, working opposite Will Smith in Ali.
However, the majority of Dorn’s post-Star Trek acting life has been providing voice-overs for a variety of animated works and video games.
Dorn returned to Worf at least seven times, performing the character’s voice for the Star Trek video games and animated series.
In addition, he voiced characters in the popular Mass Effect games, Family Guy, Adventure Time, American Dad, Batman, Hercules, and more!
What is Michael Dorn doing now?
These days, Michael Dorn stays a busy actor! Although he does make live-action appearances, he predominantly works in voice acting and smaller budget films.
Some of his most recent work includes Dogs in Space and Dota: Dragon’s Blood. He is scheduled to reprise Worf again in the final season of Star Trek: Picard.
Dorn has spoken many times about developing a series that would delve further into the Worf character. Instead of focusing the story on Starfleet, the series would instead highlight the Klingon Empire and its interactions with Starfleet from the perspective of the Klingons themselves.
Although talks have continued at various points throughout the past decade, the series appears to remain in limbo
Besides acting, Michael Dorn has a pretty incredible hobby: flying airplanes!
Ever since he was a kid, Dorn dreamed of flying planes, and his opportunity came with a writer’s strike in the first season of Next Generation.
The time off the set allowed him to finally receive his pilot’s license, and he still flies to this day.
Fans who would like to meet Dorn or hear him speak at conventions can find his schedule here.
While not much is known about his personal life, Dorn has been sighted in public with a variety of partners over the years (none of these have ever been confirmed as romantic).
Longtime fans of Dorn are amazed at his ability to keep his love life so private, especially considering his very public profile.