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Nana Visitor
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Nana Visitor

Birth name: Nana Tucker
Date of birth: 26 July 1957
Place of birth: New York City, New York State, USA
Character(s): Kira Nerys (Primary Character); see Other Appearances
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Nana Visitor (born 26 July 1957; age 57) is an American actress best known for her portrayal of Major (and later Colonel) Kira Nerys on the television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. She also voiced the character in the games Harbinger and The Fallen.

Career Edit

Early life and roles Edit

Visitor was born as Nana Tucker in New York City, the daughter of a Broadway choreographer and a ballet instructor. She began acting on stage while attending high school in the 1970s, and although she had been accepted into Princeton University, she chose instead to pursue a professional acting career. She continued acting on the New York stage, ultimately landing roles on Broadway. She also landed her first television gig as a regular – credited as Nana Tucker – on the short-lived sitcom Ivan the Terrible, which ran during the 1976-77 season. She also made her film debut in 1977 (still credited as Tucker) with a small role in the horror movie The Sentinel, which starred future DS9 guest actor Chris Sarandon. She then became a regular on the TV soap opera Ryan's Hope during the 1978-79 season, although future Star Trek: Voyager star Kate Mulgrew and DS9 co-star Andrew Robinson, who were also regulars on the series, had left the cast by that time.

1980s Edit

It was in the 1980s that Nana Tucker began acquiring major roles on Broadway, including the title role in Gypsy and a double role in My One and Only (co-starring Bruce McGill). It was during this time that she took on a stage name, "Nana Visitor", as "Visitor" is "an old family name on her mother's side." [1] With this new name, she not only continued her stage career but also became a regular on another soap opera, The Doctors, from 1980 through 1981, during which time fellow Star Trek alumni Glenn Corbett and Terry O'Quinn were also regulars on the series. She also had a recurring role on One Life to Live in 1982.

Visitor moved to Los Angeles, California in 1985, having recently starred in a revival of the play 42nd Street in that city. There, she acquired guest spots on such TV shows as Hunter (which featured Bruce Davison as a regular, in an episode with Gregory Itzin as a fellow guest star), MacGyver (two episodes, one in 1985, another – with Clive Revill – in 1987), Matlock (three episodes – one in 1987 with Bert Remsen and Jason Wingreen, another in 1989 with Michael Durrell and James Sloyan, and a third in 1993 with Daniel Roebuck) Remington Steele (in an episode with future DS9 guest star Kenneth Mars), Knight Rider, Highway to Heaven, Night Court (starring John Larroquette), L.A. Law (co-starring Corbin Bernsen, Larry Drake, and one-time DS9 guest star Deborah May), thirtysomething (with David Clennon), and Doogie Howser, M.D. (starring James B. Sikking and Lawrence Pressman). She was also seen in an episode of a series called Ohara with Star Trek: The Next Generation actress Denise Crosby, and had a brief recurring role on the Dynasty spin-off series The Colbys in 1987. Additionally, she appeared in the made-for-TV movies The Spirit (1987, with Daniel Davis, Bumper Robinson, and Garry Walberg), Meet the Munceys (1988, with Dan Gauthier), and A Father's Homecoming (also 1988, with Michael McKean).

1990s Edit

Visitor went on to star on the short-lived sitcom Working Girl, which aired for twelve episodes in 1990, opposite Sandra Bullock. Afterward, Visitor continued making guest appearances on various TV shows – including Murder, She Wrote and Empty Nest – before auditioning for the role of Major Kira Nerys in 1992. According to Visitor, the role piqued her curiosity because it wasn't "'a mother, or a wife, or a prostitute, or a killer. [Kira] is fully realized.'" [2]

Nana Visitor, 1999

Nana Visitor in a DS9 Season 1 interview

In December 1989 Visitor married fellow dancer Nick Miscusi. [3] The two had a child, Buster, in 1992, but divorced in 1994.

Visitor's role as Kira Nerys was written into the series after Michelle Forbes rejected the offer to star in the series as Ro Laren, her character from Star Trek: The Next Generation. When Visitor auditioned for the role of Major Kira, she decided to remain "in character" as Kira throughout the audition process. She later said that the producers "thought [she] was perfect for the role but would be a nightmare to work with." [4]

Visitor's regular makeup artist on the series was Camille Calvet. Visitor, who is extremely claustrophobic, had great difficulty filming the episode "Second Skin" due to the Cardassian makeup she had to wear. Due to this experience, she could not bring herself to wear the foam rubber head that was required for the holosuite scene in "Meridian" in which Quark's head is programmed onto Kira's body. As a result, a body double had to be used in Visitor's place. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)

During the course of Deep Space Nine, Visitor became involved with her DS9 co-star Alexander Siddig. The union ultimately produced a son, and Visitor's pregnancy was written into the series. Their son, named Django El Tahir El Siddig, was born on 16 September 1996, during production on the episode "Let He Who Is Without Sin...". Visitor and Siddig married the following year, although they divorced in 2001, two years after DS9 came to an end.

Several costumes and costume components worn by Vistor throughout the run of Deep Space Nine were sold off on the It's A Wrap! sale and auction on eBay, including her baseball cap from the episode "Starship Down". [5]

After DS9 Edit

Chicago Edit

After spending seven years on DS9, Visitor was cast as Roxie Hart in a production of the hit musical Chicago in Detroit, Michigan. She continued playing the role in Las Vegas and Washington before joining the prestigious Broadway version of the play in 2001.

Television Edit

Visitor was a recurring performer on James Cameron's cult science fiction series Dark Angel, playing the evil Dr. Elizabeth Renfro, aka "Madame X". She then made appearances on such series as Frasier (starring Kelsey Grammer in the title role, in an episode also featuring Ann Cusack and Harve Presnell), Las Vegas (with Nikki Cox, Sherman Howard, and Patrick Kilpatrick), and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (with Tina Lifford and Wallace Langham).

From 2005 through 2008, Visitor starred as Jean Ritter in Michael and Shawn Piller's ABC Family drama series, Wildfire. The series ran for four seasons, concluding on 26 May 2008, despite a campaign by fans attempting to keep the show on the air.

In 2008, Visitor was seen as a cancer patient in the sixth episode of the last season of Ronald D. Moore's Battlestar Galactica, entitled "Faith". Besides Moore, who wrote and produced for DS9, Visitor will also reunited with writers David Weddle and Bradley Thompson and artist Doug Drexler. According to Thompson, Visitor was the first person Weddle thought of after reading the script. According to Weddle, Moore attempted to cast Visitor in the previous season and jumped at the opportunity to cast her in this episode. "We have always thought she is a tremendous actress with great range," Weddle said. "We thought she could deliver an amazing performance in this particular role. She did not disappoint us." [6]

Visitor also became one of the many Star Trek performers to have a voice-over role on Seth MacFarlane's hit animated series, Family Guy. For this show, she was the voice of Rita, an older woman with whom Brian Griffin (voiced by MacFarlane) begins dating, in the eighth season episode "Brian's Got a Brand New Bag." The episode aired on 8 November 2009. Visitor had voice-over roles in two subsequent episodes of Family Guy. Among the other Star Trek alumni to lend their voices to Family Guy are Visitor's former DS9 co-stars Rene Auberjonois, Wallace Shawn, and ex-husband Alexander Siddig, as well as Majel Barrett, Connor Trinneer, and the entire cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

In 2011, Visitor appeared in Torchwood: Miracle Day, the fourth season of the Doctor Who spin-off series, Torchwood. John de Lancie also appeared in the series. Visitor appeared in the seventh and eighth episodes and de Lancie appeared in the last three. Jane Espenson and John Shiban wrote some of the episodes.

In 2012, Visitor appeared on ABC's Castle in a season with Penny Johnson joining the series as a regular and Michael Dorn in a recurring role.

Films Edit

Visitor had a role in the 2006 comic drama Mini's First Time, her first feature film since 1977's The Sentinel. She followed this with a supporting role in the horror movie Babysitter Wanted. She also appeared in the 2008 political comedy film Swing Vote, along with Charles Esten, Kelsey Grammer, and Mark Moses. More recently, she worked on the independent drama In My Pocket with Glenn Morshower.

Visitor played Pamela Voorhees, the mother of hockey-masked serial killer Jason Voorhees (played by stuntman Derek Mears), in the 2009 remake of the horror film Friday the 13th. Although Visitor's scenes were not included in a recent test screening of the film in Los Angeles due to some then-unresolved problems with a scene, she was added for the movie's final cut. [7] [8] Her voice was also heard in the trailers and television spots for the film, with Visitor (as Mama Voorhees) providing narration using lines from the original 1980 film. [9] The film also features Trek actress Kathleen Garrett and stuntman Michael Owen.

Additional characters Edit

Star Trek interviews Edit

  • TNG Season 7 DVD special feature "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine DVD Preview"
  • DS9 Season 1 DVD special feature "Crew Dossier: Kira Nerys", interviewed on 18 September 1992, 4 April 1999, and 10 May 1999)
  • DS9 Season 1 DVD special feature "Section 31-Hidden File 08", interviewed on 18 September 1992
  • DS9 Season 1 DVD special feature "Deep Space Nine Scrapbook Year One", interviewed on 18 September 1992


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