- NAME: Patrick Stewart
- OCCUPATION: Film Actor, Theater Actor, Television Actor
- BIRTH DATE: July 13, 1940 (Age: 72)
- EDUCATION: Crowlees Church of England Junior and Infants School, Mirfield Secondary School
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Mirfield, Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom
- Full Name: Sir Patrick Hewes Stewart
- ZODIAC SIGN: Cancer
Best Known For
English film, television and stage actor Patrick Stewart is perhaps best known for his role as Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation.
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He appeared in the British television series Maybury as well as the Arthurian saga Excalibur on the big screen. One of his favorite stage roles from that time was George, from Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. The 1987 production earned him great critical acclaim and the part left a lasting impression on the seasoned actor. "It simply became for me among the three or four most important theatrical experiences of my career,
" Stewart told American Theatre magazine.
After the play's four-week run ended, Stewart started a new career adventure, signing onto the American syndicated science fiction series Star Trek: The Next Generation. The show was a spin-off of the popular television and film franchise Star Trek created by Gene Roddenberry, which followed the missions and lives of the crew of the Starship Enterprise. Set 78 years after the original series, Star Trek: The Next Generation explored the adventures of a new crew aboard the Enterprise. The cast of the original series, which included William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk, were much beloved by the show's devoted following. Stewart and the rest of the new cast faced a daunting challenge to win over the old fans as well as attract new ones to their series.
Whatever concerns there may have been over the public response to Star Trek: The Next Generation were quickly dispelled. The show swiftly developed into one of the most successful syndicated series of the time, eventually attracting 20 million viewers an episode. Stewart played Captain Jean-Luc Picard. He described his character as "part social worker, part ambassador." With his distinctive deep voice, regal demeanor, and bald head, Stewart projected an authoritative air and imbued his character with a cerebral, thoughtful manner. He also found himself as an unlikely sex symbol.
While some derided Star Trek as scientific fiction fluff, Stewart was a strong supporter of the show's underlying themes and ideas. "I believe in the character—and in the Star Trek philosophy. I believe in the essential goodness of the human spirit. I believe in having respect for that which you don't understand," he told Entertainment Weekly. Stewart also worked behind the scenes on the series, directing several episodes.
When the series was not in production, Stewart tackled other projects. He adapted the Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol into a one-man show, which premiered on Broadway in 1991. For his work, he won the 1992 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Solo Performance/One Person Show. Stewart also showed his more humorous side with a role in the 1993 Robin Hood spoof Men in Tights.
Star Trek: The Next Generation ended its television run in 1994. That same year, Stewart portrayed Picard on the big screen in Star Trek: Generations. He then devoted his time to stage and film work. He played Prospero in The Tempest at the 1995 New York Shakespearean Festival.
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