Fans of Star Trek: The Next Generation will recognize Marina Sirtis, who played Counselor Deanna Troi for the show’s entire seven-year run. But the 65-year-old actress—who was born in Hackney, London—has many other TV and movie credits to her name, including a number of popular British productions. Here, we take a look at this talented performer and find out what she’s up to today.
Marina Sirtis Played Deanna Troi In The Star Trek Franchise
Born on March 29, 1955, Sirtis was born with the itch to act. “I always wanted to be an actress,” she once said. “My mum told me that when I was about three, I used to stand up on the seat on the bus and entertain the other passengers and that’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. So after school, instead of going off to university, I went to drama school and then into the theatre.”
Throughout the late ‘70s and early ’80, Sirtis worked steadily, scoring roles in movies such as The Wicked Lady with Faye Dunaway and Death Wish 3 with Charles Bronson, and appearing in British TV shows like Up the Elephant and Round and The Return of Sherlock Holmes.
In 1986, the British-American actress relocated to the United States and landed her career-making role as Deanna Troi on Star Trek: The Next Generation (often called TNG by Trekkies). “ I had six auditions,” Sirtis recalled. “Of course, with every audition, you get more and more nervous because you know that you’re getting closer and closer. I wasn’t a big Star Trek fan. In fact, I didn’t really like sci-fi but it was a guaranteed 26 episodes and that would have been the best job I’d ever had at that point. The next six years were a bonus!”
As the half-human, half-Betazoid counselor with the ability to sense emotions, Sirtis appeared in almost every episode of the series and became one of TNG’s most beloved characters. She was also in all four of the Next Generation movies and guest-starred on episodes of other Star Trek series, including Voyager and Enterprise.
Sirtis said she loved her time on TNG and had a blast filming the show with her fellow castmates. “We laughed for seven years,” she said. “We were very noisy, we laughed all the time and we’re all still best friends, which I think is a testament to how well we got on.”
What Has Marina Sirtis Worked On Outside Of Star Trek?
While she’s best known for playing Deanna Troi, Sirtis has a long and impressive acting resume. In addition to appearing on popular American TV shows such as NCIS, Grey’s Anatomy, and Without a Trace, she’s also an accomplished voice actor, appearing on animated series such as Young Justice and video games like XCOM 2: War of the Chosen.
What Is Marina Sirtis Doing Now?
In 2020, Sirtis reprised her TNG role once again on an episode of the CBS All Access show Star Trek: Picard. Fans were thrilled to see Deanna return to the small screen, though the highly anticipated appearance almost didn’t happen.
“When I did hear about [the offer to guest star], I actually had to turn it down because I was doing a play in London,” she said. “The dates clashed. But, the wonderful people over there at Picard basically fixed it so that we shot out of sequence. I shot my stuff with Jonathan [Frakes] in the middle of a different episode. Everything is streaming now, so they can do that kind of stuff. It’s not like when we were shooting on actual film and shot a month in advance before the show was on the air, it was a very different time. So, it worked out and I am very happy it worked out.”
While it had been about 15 years she the last time she played Deanna Troi, the actress said that getting back into character was a piece of cake. “She’s so in my DNA now that I just open my mouth and it’s her,” Sirtis explained.
In January 2021, Sirtis got the attention of her fans on Twitter by announcing that she would be leaving California and returning to the UK to live full time.
Breaking news! I am moving back to the UK. Before you all jump to the wrong conclusions, it is because apart from Picard,all my work in the last 3 years has come from the UK. Having spent half my life here, it will be hard to leave. I hope I made a difference— Marina Sirtis (@Marina_Sirtis) January 19, 2021
The actress didn’t say what the move means in terms of her chances of returning to Picard for season two, but she did hint to her Twitter fans that she might pop up on Strictly Come Dancing, the UK version Dancing With the Stars.
We’re wishing Marina all the best with her move—and we’re still keeping our fingers crossed for a Deanna Troi return on season 2 of Picard!