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McFadden in The Muppets Take Manhattan.

Gates mcfadden Twitter 2013-07-26

McFadden on set with Kermit and Piggy [1].

McFadden and Jennifer Connelly

McFadden and Jennifer Connelly.


McFadden with George Lucas and Jim Henson.

Gates McFadden (b. 1949), also credited as Cheryl McFadden, is an actress best known for her role as Dr. Beverly Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation and its spin-offs.

Earlier in her career, she worked with Jim Henson as a choreographer and actor on several projects. Henson had seen her play a triple role in a production of Cloud 9 directed by Tommy Tune and knew that she was teaching theatrical clown and working with masks at NYU Tisch.[1]

As an actor, she first appeared in The Muppets Take Manhattan, playing the secretary for Martin Price. The job came to her agent as an offer to audition for the part, but upon her arrival, she met directly with Henson and was granted the role without having to read for it.[2]

McFadden's mask work prompted Henson to invite her to direct the creature sequences in Dreamchild, which required a significant amount of coordination for where characters would focus in a scene. She received a "Special Thanks" in the film's credits rather than a Choreographer title for a lack of union working papers at the time.[3]

She later served as the Director of Choreography and Puppet Movement for Labyrinth. One of her duties on that film included staging an elaborate dance for Sarah's ballroom dream sequence. She was also meant to play the role of "Jennifer Connelly's mother" (likely the role of Sarah's stepmother, who appears on screen), but upon her arrival in England, the Actors' Equity Association would not grant her working papers.[4]

Footage of McFadden working on the set of Labyrinth is featured in the 1987 documentary Inside the Labyrinth and she was later interviewed for the retrospective featurette Journey Through the Labyrinth recognizing the film's 20th anniversary. McFadden also taught an acting class for the Henson troupe of puppeteers including Gabriel Velez, Ron Mueck, and Shari Weiser.[5]

McFadden's other credits include the films When Nature Calls and The Hunt For Red October and appearances on The Cosby Show, Saturday Night Live, the soap opera All My Children (recurring as Dr. Lisa Mallory) and Mad About You (as Paul's boss Allison).


Spaceship Surprise Doctor


  1. ↑ "GATES MCFADDEN Reveals What Working With JIM HENSON on the MUPPETS Was Really Like", Inside of You Clips, YouTube, 2023.
  2. ↑ New York Daily News "Gates McFadden on 'Star Trek,' Jim Henson and her new podcast" (YouTube) at 16:28, May 27, 2021
  3. ↑ New York Daily News "Gates McFadden on 'Star Trek,' Jim Henson and her new podcast" (YouTube) at 19:21, May 27, 2021
  4. ↑ New York Daily News "Gates McFadden on 'Star Trek,' Jim Henson and her new podcast" (YouTube) at 23:04, May 27, 2021
  5. ↑ Gabriel Velez's resume (archived)

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