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Leigh Taylor-Young

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Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)
Leigh Taylor-Young
Yanas Tigan.jpg

... as Yanas Tigan

Gender: Female
Date of birth: 25 January 1945
Place of birth: Washington, D.C., USA
Character(s): Yanas Tigan

Leigh Taylor-Young (born 25 January 1945; age 69) is the actress who played Yanas Tigan in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Prodigal Daughter". Her younger sister is fellow DS9 guest star Dey Young, who also appeared in episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Enterprise.

Early life and career Edit

Taylor-Young was born in Washington, D.C., and raised in Michigan. She attended Northwestern University in Illinois with an interest in economics but left prior to graduating to pursue a full-time acting career. Her first big break came in 1966, when she was cast as the mysterious Rachel Welles in the prime time soap opera Peyton Place. It was on this series that she met Academy Award-nominated actor Ryan O'Neal, whom she married in 1967. The union produced a son, Patrick, but Leigh and O'Neal divorced in 1973.

After leaving Peyton Place in 1967, Taylor-Young pursued a career in films. Her first film role came opposite Peter Sellers in the comedy I Love You, Alice B. Toklas! in 1968, receiving a Golden Globe nomination as Most Promising Female Newcomer. This was followed with The Big Bounce in 1969, co-starring with her then-husband Ryan O'Neal. Also a part of this film's cast were Star Trek movie actors Charles Cooper and Paul Sorenson, playing a senator and his associate, respectively.

Taylor-Young's best known film role is that of Shirl, the "furniture" girl, in the 1973 science fiction classic Soylent Green. Among her co-stars in this film were fellow DS9 guest actor Brock Peters and original Star Trek series guest stars Whit Bissell, Roy Jenson, and Celia Lovsky. Robert Ito also appeared, albeit uncredited.

Her subsequent film credits include Looker (1981, also featuring Barry Jenner), Secret Admirer (1985, co-starring Cliff DeYoung), the 1985 thriller Jagged Edge (with TNG and DS9 star Michael Dorn, as well as Bruce French and Biff Yeager).

In addition to her film work, Taylor-Young guest-starred on such television series as McCloud (starring Diana Muldaur and Ken Lynch, in an episode with Vic Tayback), Fantasy Island (starring Ricardo Montalban), The Love Boat, Hart to Hart (with Andrew Prine), Spencer: For Hire (starring Avery Brooks). In 1983, Taylor-Young returned to her soap opera roots when she starred in The Hamptons, a short-lived soap which co-starred Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan actress Bibi Besch. From 1987 through 1989, she played Kimberly Cryder on Dallas, the first major prime time soap since her first show, Peyton Place.

Later career Edit

Taylor-Young's recent film credits have included the 1990 comedy Honeymoon Academy (co-starring Kim Cattrall, Charles Rocket, and Jonathan Banks), Bliss (1997, written and directed by her brother, Lance), Slackers (2002, in which she and Sam Anderson play husband and wife), and Klepto (2003, with Michael Nouri). She also had a role in the 1998 direct-to-video release Addams Family Reunion, starring Ed Begley, Jr., Clint Howard, Carel Struycken, and Ray Walston.

Perhaps Taylor-Young's best-known TV work was on the series Picket Fences, on which she played Mayor Rachel Harris from 1993 through 1995. Her performance on this series earned her an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 1994. She also received a Golden Globe nomination for the same role the following year. Her co-stars on Picket Fences included fellow Star Trek actors Roy Brocksmith and Ray Walston.

In addition to her role on Picket Fences, Taylor-Young appeared on shows such as The Young Riders (with Anthony Zerbe), Murder, She Wrote (with Deborah Lacey and William Windom), and 7th Heaven (starring Stephen Collins and Catherine Hicks). She also had recurring roles on Beverly Hills, 90210 (including one episode featuring Ray Wise as her husband), The Pretender (working with Andrew Robinson, Tom Towles, and Steve Vinovich), and UPN's The Sentinel.

Taylor-Young has appeared in a handful of TV movies, including Perry Mason: The Case of the Sinister Spirit (1987, with Dwight Schultz, David Ogden Stiers, and Percy Rodriguez), Who Gets the Friends? (with Stan Ivar, James Sloyan, and Star Trek: Voyager's Tim Russ), and Stranger in My Home (1997, co-starring Daniel Hugh Kelly and Robert Curtis-Brown).

From 2004 through 2007, Taylor-Young played Katherine Barrett Crane on the soap opera Passions. She has also appeared on the NBC series Life with Roger Aaron Brown.

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