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Denise Michelle Crosby (born November 24, 1957) is an American actress who is perhaps best known for her portrayal of Security Chief Tasha Yar on the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and the Stephen King film, Pet Sematary.


Personal life

Crosby was born in Hollywood, Californiamarker, the daughter of Marilyn Scott and actor Dennis Crosby. Her paternal grandfather was actor/singer/comedian Bing Crosby. She attended LeConte Junior High School with actress Rita Wilson (wife of Tom Hanks). Her choice of career solidified at an early age and was influenced by the involvement of other family members in show business.

Crosby was married to Geoffrey Edwards (son of director Blake Edwards) from 1983 to 1990. She appeared in a few of Blake Edwards' films, including Skin Deep, Trail of the Pink Panther, and Curse of the Pink Panther.

Crosby is currently married to Ken Sylk. They have a son, August William Sylk.

Star Trek

In 1987, Crosby was cast in the role of Tasha Yar for the much publicized return of Star Trek to television in the syndicated series Star Trek: The Next Generation. She had been tapped to play Deanna Troi before Gene Roddenberry switched her and Marina Sirtis. Initially one of the top-billed characters and featured prominently in episodes such as "The Naked Now" and "Code of Honor", the role of Tasha gradually moved into the background as other members of the ensemble cast became a greater focus of the series. It has been reported that Crosby grew disillusioned with her role because of the "Uhura-like" status of her role: Tasha was always present, yet her character was never expanded upon.

Ultimately, Crosby decided to leave the show. Her character was unceremoniously killed by the alien creature Armus during the episode "Skin of Evil". She had starred in 22 episodes of the program at the point of departure.

In later years, Crosby had second thoughts about leaving the show, and approached the TNG production team with the idea of reprising her role of Tasha Yar. This came to be in season three's "Yesterday's Enterprise" in which an alternate timeline is created after the USS Enterprise-C, the predecessor to TNG's USS Enterprise-D, comes forward 22 years in time. Yar joined the Enterprise-C before it returned to its own time. During the documentary Trekkies, Crosby commented that her Tasha Yar character had to die in order to get "the best episodes".

Crosby would also guest star in several other TNG episodes, "Redemption" as Romulan Commander Sela, the half-human, half-Romulan daughter of Tasha Yar, who had been impregnated after being taken prisoner in the past after joining the crew of the Enterprise-C in "Yesterday's Enterprise". Crosby later reprised the role in the Star Trek: Armada video game.

Tasha Yar was also featured in the feature length final episode of the series entitled "All Good Things..." in which Captain Picard is moving back and forth through time. In the past Tasha is taking him by shuttle to the Enterprise for the first time and features throughout the episode.

Crosby produced and narrated the 1997 documentary Trekkies, followed by the 2003 sequel, Trekkies 2. Both films star Crosby, who conducts interviews with devotees of Star Trek, more commonly known as "Trekkies".

Other work

Crosby appeared in Chris Isaak's first music video, "Dancin'". Her first high-profile role was as Lisa Davis on the soap opera Days of our Lives. One of her very first film appearances was in the 1982 Eddie Murphy film 48 Hours. In 1986 she appeared in a music video for Black Sabbath's "No Stranger to Love".

Following Star Trek, Crosby continued to work in television, notably as Dr. Gretchen Kelly on Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, as a sheriff on The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. episode "No Man's Land", as well as in features such as Deep Impact. In the early 1990s, she played the role of the mayor in the short-lived series Key West. Crosby has also appeared in Stephen King's Pet Sematary and Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown. She starred in the 2002 western horror film Legend of the Phantom Rider. She also appeared in two episodes of the cable television series Red Shoe Diaries, playing a different character in each episode. Crosby had a small recurring role in Aaron Spelling's prime time drama, Models Inc, a spin-off from Melrose Place. She was a guest star on the eighth season of The X-Files for two episodes, in which she plays a doctor who took examinations of Agent Scully's baby. In 1991 she was a guest star in a first season The Flash episode as Dr. Rebecca Frost, and in 2006 she was also a guest star in Dexter as Dexter's first victim. Crosby starred in the Tobe Hooper horror film Mortuary.

Following her appearance on Star Trek: The Next Generation, previously unpublished nude photos of Crosby originally shot for a pictorial in the March 1979 edition of Playboy magazine appeared in the May 1988 issue of Playboy (see List of people in Playboy 1980-1989). In the first pictorial, Crosby was featured as a new-wave model, with the additional angle of being the granddaughter of the legendary Bing Crosby.

Crosby announced in late 2008 that she was considering opening a small traveling actor's studio for small-town actors. She cited the difficulty in "country folk" finding a creative outlet as one of her reasons.


  1. Denise Crosby Biography (1957-) at

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