Gates McFadden Files
About Gates McFadden
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Date and Place of Birth
March 2, 1949
Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, USA

Birth Name
Cheryl Gates McFadden

Height
5′ 7″ (1,70 m)

Star Sign
Pisces

Trade Mark
☆ Deep smooth voice
☆ Strawberry blonde hair
☆ Sparkling blue eyes
☆ Delicate high cheekbones

Quick Menu
001. Biography (below)
002. Career
003. Personal Quotes
004. Trivia
005. Official Twitter
006. Gates Plays
007. Cameo videos


Gates uniciclying on Paramount lot
photo from her twitter

Cheryl Gates McFadden was born on March 2, 1949 in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio to Veronica Gates and William McFadden; she has one brother. A graduate from Brandeis University, cum laude, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre in 1970, she then moved to Paris to study at the school of physical theatre with actor Jacques Lecoq. She is also an accomplished dancer and director of choreography and puppet movement, which she would be putting to use throughout the years.

At the beginning of her career, she started with directing and choreographing on stage for productions in London, Pittsburgh, as well as Waltham, Massachusetts, where she attended college. She began choreographing in the Brooklyn Academy of Music Theatre Company for the productions of The Winter’s Tale, Johnny on the Spot (where she was the fight choreographer), Yesterday Is Over, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream between 1980-1981.


To Gillian on her 37th Birthday

Gates attended a recording of Saturday Night Live in 1981, during which Bill Murray walked into the audience and kissed her. In that same year, she was a part of the stage play Cloud 9, and played the characters of Ellen, Mrs. Saunders, and Betty at the Theatre De Lys in New York City. In 1982, she performed as Prologue, Fairy and the understudy to Hippolyta/Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Delacorte Theater in New York, also starring Christine Baranski, Kevin Conroy and William Hurt. She would perform as Mary in Rosario and the Gypsies at the Ensemble Studio Theatre in New York. During her stage times, she would also start her television career, debuting as Mrs. Swift on the television series Another World, along with her first recurring role as Tammy Dryden on the television series The Edge of Night. In 1984, Gates would star in her first film as Mr. Price’s Secretary in Jim Henson’s The Muppets Take Manhattan, which would be one of the four films in which Gates would also be the director of choreography; the other films include The Dark Crystal (1982), Dreamchild (1985), and Labrynth (1986). Despite this flourishing on screen career, she would never really leave the stage, performing in three different plays in 1984 such as To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday, The Homecoming and The Bloodletters.

Switching between screen and stage times, she played the role of Gena, as part of “Gena’s Story” trailer in the 1985 film When Nature Calls and the next year, Gates appeared on the television show The Wizard, playing Darcy. She was also on stage at the Vineyard Theatre in New York City alongside Christine Jansen and D.W. Moffett for the play How to Say Goodbye. In 1987, while appearing on The Cosby Show for Cliff’s 50th Birthday episode, she went back to the stage for the plays Couch Tandem and The Matchmaker, which would take Gates to California in late spring.


Star Trek: The Next Generation

That same year, she took on the role of a lifetime on the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation, also starring Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes, Marina Sirtis, LeVar Burton and Michael Dorn; playing the role of Dr. Beverly Crusher brought McFadden not just the fame for being into that franchise, but also long term great friendships with her cast members, becoming one big family.  Gates returned to the stage one last time in the 1980s for Emerald City, playing Kate at the Perry Street Theatre in New York City in late 1988, and appeared in a short scene of the film The Hunt for Red October, playing the role of Caroline Ryan, the wife of Jack Ryan (played by Alec Baldwin).


Star Trek TNG “Data’s Day”
photo from trekmovie.com

Later that same year, Gates would portray the Secretary in an episode of the music video anthology series Beyond the Groove, and Diane in the comedy film Taking Care of Business in 1990, starring Jim Belushi; additionally, she directed a production of Bottleneck at the Bar at the Golden Lion Theatre in New York. In 1991, during the running of Star Trek TNG episode “Data’s Day”, she would lend her expertise helping both as choreographer and tap dancer, as well as dancing herself sometimes with her co-star and good friend Brent Spiner, sometimes with a stunt double for the fast dancing moves. At the beginning of season two, fans were extremely surprised to find out that Gates was not a part of it; it was later explained during conventions that she had been fired over differences of opinions with a head writer. During that time there was an extensive campaigning from fans – and Patrick Stewart did help too to convince her – to bring her back. But during that gap year from television, Gates focused on her teaching of acting and improvisation at the Graduate School of the Arts at New York University, before returning for the third and subsequent seasons of the show.

In 1992, Gates appeared alongside fellow cast members Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner and Colm Meaney in a production of Every Good Boy Deserves Favour directed by Patrick Stewart, which performed in four US cities.


Directing on Star Trek TNG “Genesis”

Heading back to California for the Summerfest La Jolla in 1993, during which she played The Devil in L’histoire du Soldat; the San Diego Union – Tribune would state in an article that the production “relied on Gates McFadden” with her “winning versatility,” for the character of the Devil. Between 1992 and 1994 Gates would count a series of guest appearances in several tv-shows like L.A. Law, as Uta Keller, the comedy show Dream On, playing Ina Dreikoff, and on the teen drama Party of Five as Greer Erikson. During the airing of the last season of TNG, she got the opportunity to direct one episode titled “Genesis”, which would serve as her Hollywood directoral debut. With the ending of Star Trek: The Next Generation, she did not abandoned Beverly Crusher just yet, for the franchise continued the story of the starship Enterprise on the big screen, with the film Star Trek: Generations. Despite closing on this chapter of her career, Gates kept busy in 1995, playing in a recurring role on the television series Marker, as Kimba, and the comedy Mad About You, as Allison Rourke.


Mad About You

Through the years, Gates would often get back to the role who made her famous, lending her voice for the video game Star Trek: The Next Generation – A Final Unity, while also acting as Nancy Maxwell in the pilot episode of Mystery Dance. Following these projects, she once again played Dr. Beverly Crusher for the next feature film Star Trek: First Contact, where Captain Picard and his crew chase the Borgs back in time to ensure that Earth’s first contact with an alien species isn’t tampered with.

In 1997, Gates portrayed the role of Patrice Baxter in the television movie Crowned and Dangerous, a film revolving around the investigation of the murder of a beauty queen and gave once again her voice to another Star Trek video game, Star Trek: Generations. Gates’ next film role would bring her back to the Star Trek franchise 1998’s movie Insurrection; it was the same year in which she acted at the George Street Playhouse in New Jersey for the production of Voices in the Dark, as Dr. Lil Anderson. The play is a thriller that revolves around her character who takes a small weekend getaway with her husband but he never shows up, and she is stalked instead by sadist phone patient of her. Turning the page into the next millennium, Gates appeared in an episode of the popular series The Practice as Judge Emily Harrison and as Mrs. Peterson on The Division the following year.


Star Trek: Nemesis

McFadden would wear Beverly Crusher’s shoes one last time in 2002’s Star Trek: Nemesis, in which Captain Picard and his crew discover a serious threat to the Federation, after the Enterprise is diverted to Romulus. In 2004, she appeared on the crime drama The Handler, playing Siobhan in the wedding episode. The next year, she accepted a small role as the wife in the film Dirty, a crime drama starring Cuba Gooding Jr. In the spring of 2006, she appeared in a series of television commercials for Microsoft.

In 2009, she would be Martha Stanford in  Make the Yuletide Gay, her first romantic comedy, revolving around a gay student who is “out” at college, but his family doesn’t know until his boyfriend unexpectedly visits him during the holidays.


Make the Yuletide Gay

Gates would have a small recurring role on the series Franklin & Bash as Judge Mallory Jacobs, which brought her back for four episodes total throughout its three seasons beginning in 2011. In 2014, she would voice Dr. Crusher for the Family Guy video game Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff, before serving as the nurse in the short film Mattresside in 2015. The next year, she did another voice-over work as the 911 operator for the television series short Scary Endings before her next television movie, in 2017, A Neighbor’s Deception, where she starred alongside Ashley Bell and Tom Amandes. Later that year, Gates guest starred on the popular series NCIS as Mrs. Belmont in its fifteenth season. Her most recent role came in the television movie That Guy… Who Was In That Thing 3: Trek Stars, where she narrated the film.


Star Trek: Discovery LA Premiere
with son her son James

Gates currently resides in California with her husband John Cleveland Talbot, with whom she had one son, James “Jack” Cleveland McFadden-Talbot (born 1991). She likes to keep her personal life private, but through her social media accounts it shows she is a loving and dedicated mother as well as a compassionate and supportive person to her fans.


Anne Wheaton’s Pet Adoption Calendar
with her cat Rudi McFadden

Gates is a tenured instructor and has taught at several universities, such as American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Brandeis, Harvard, Purdue, Temple, the Stella Academy in Hamburg, and the University of Pittsburgh; and was listed as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Southern California. She was the Artistic Director of the Ensemble Studio Theatre in Los Angeles from January 2009 to October 2014; she has also narrated several audio books, including 2010’s “Confessor”.

She is fluent in french and studied fencing, karate and aikedo; during her free time she enjoys a lot gardening and loves animals, especially cats which she also owns. A vegetarian for a long time, in December 2020, replying to a fan on twitter, she said she turned vegan during the year.

At today, Gates has one upcoming project, the fantasy film Hexengeddon, where she will portray the role of Madame Hexxina; the film also stars Ruth Connell and Ella Bruccoleri and is currently in pre-production. Additionally she is working as a host of a podcast.

This is an exclusive biography written by Jen for Gates McFadden Files. You are NOT allowed to post it anywhere else.