- This page features actor Robert Picardo; you may be looking for Robert Picard, brother of Jean-Luc Picard.
|Caption:||Robert Picardo as The Doctor|
|Characters:||The Doctor and other Emergency Medical Holograms, Dr. Lewis Zimmerman|
|Born:||October 27, 1953|
Robert Picardo is the actor best known to Star Trek fans for playing Starfleet's Emergency Medical Hologram, most notably The Doctor on Star Trek: Voyager. He also played the EMH creator, Dr. Lewis Zimmerman.
Robert Picardo – or "Bob", as he likes to be called – was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on October 27, 1953. He attended William Penn Charter School, graduating in 1971, after which he attended Yale University. Coincidently, he entered Yale aiming towards a career as a doctor, having graduated from William Penn as a Pre-Med major. However, while attending Yale, he was hit with the acting bug after performing in several University productions and graduated with a B.A. in Drama in 1975. Little did he know, however, that he would portray a doctor in numerous projects in the future.
In 1977, Bob made his Broadway debut in a production of Gemini. Since then, Bob has forged a stellar career not only on stage, but in film and television, as well. He has also established himself as a singer and an author in recent years.
Bob is among several Star Trek alumni who have appeared in numerous films directed by Joe Dante. Others who are members of the informal Dante troupe include Henry Gibson, Dick Miller, Wendy Schaal, William Schallert, and Kenneth Tobey.
In 1981, Bob made his feature film debut in Dante's contemporary horror classic, The Howling. Bob's character, Eddie Quist, was the instigator of the film's plot and was also involved in the film's most famous scene, the werewolf transformation. Miller and Tobey also appeared in this film, as did one-time TNG guest star Noble Willingham.
From then on, Bob would appear in almost every film and TV movie from Joe Dante, as would Dick Miller. Both would appear in Dante's films Explorers (1985, also with James Cromwell), Innerspace (1987, with Wendy Schaal, William Schallert, Henry Gibson, Kenneth Tobey, and Andrea Martin), The 'burbs (1989, with Schaal and Gibson), Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990, with Tobey and Gibson, as well as Zach Galligan, John Glover, Keye Luke, and Jerry Goldsmith), Matinee (1993, with Schallert), and Small Soldiers (1998, starring Kirsten Dunst and Schaal and featuring the voices of Frank Langella and Michael McKean). Both Picardo and Miller most recently appeared in Dante's Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003), in which Bob and fellow Trek actors Ron Perlman, George Murdock, and Marc Lawrence played Acme Vice Presidents.
The Dante-directed made-for-TV movies in which Bob appeared are Runaway Daughters in 1994, which also featured Dick Miller and Wendy Schaal (playing Bob's wife), and The Second Civil War in 1997. This latter film featured a whole slew of fellow Trek actors, including Joanna Cassidy, Brian Keith, Dick Miller, Ron Perlman, and William Schallert.
Other notable film roles
One of Bob's earlier films was a strange 1983 musical comedy called Get Crazy, in which he played an overzealous firefighter who ends up getting "lit" on "magic water". This film, while not directed by Joe Dante, also featured an appearance by Dick Miller. However, the star of the film was Star Trek: Generations actor Malcolm McDowell. Ed Begley, Jr. and Clint Howard also had roles in the movie. The following year, Bob appeared in Oh God! You Devil, which also featured James Cromwell.
In 1985, Bob appeared opposite Tom Cruise as a wicked female creature known as Meg Mucklebones in Ridley Scott's Legend. The following year, he made a brief appearance as a man having an affair with Rodney Dangerfield's wife, played by DS9 guest actress Adrienne Barbeau, in Back to School. This film also starred Terry Farrell (Jadzia Dax on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) and Sally Kellerman (Elizabeth Dehner in TOS: "Where No Man Has Gone Before").
Bob Picardo and Wendy Schaal starred together as husband and wife (as they will do again in Runaway Daughters) in the 1987 film Munchies. In 1988, Bob co-starred as a psychiatrist in the thriller Jack's Back. That same year, he appeared as an angry cop in the action horror film Dead Heat, starring Joe Piscopo and featuring Keye Luke and Dick Miller. In 1989, he had a memorable role as "Mark Dark" (a.k.a. Satan), opposite Jim Metzler, in the cult horror film 976-EVIL.
Also in 1989, Bob played a doctor in the comedy Loverboy; his character was married to another doctor played by Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan actress Kirstie Alley. Bob also co-starred with Vic Tayback in this film; the two had previously worked together on the television series Alice (see Television roles below).
In 1991, Bob had a major role in the little-known film Frame Up, in which he played a man on the run for a murder he didn't commit. He would also appear in dual roles in the surreal comedy Motorama that same year, as would his fellow Dante-phile, Dick Miller. Michael J. Pollard also had a role in this film. In 1994, Bob starred in the comedy Wagons East!, in which his soon-to-be co-star Ethan Phillips also had a role, as did Ed Lauter and Charles Rocket. And in 1996, he would co-star with Star Trek: The Next Generation guest star Corbin Bernsen as an ill-fated, corrupt politician in the science fiction film Menno's Mind. TNG star Michael Dorn had a supporting role in this film, and Bill Erwin also had a role.
Bob played a doctor in the 1998 film Archibald the Rainbow Painter, co-starring Michael McKean, Andrew Robinson, Ann H. Gillespie, and Spice Williams and directed by Les Landau. And in 2000, Bob had a brief role – again as a doctor – in The Amati Girls, which starred Paul Sorvino and featured Matt Winston.
Before taking on the role of the holographic doctor on Star Trek: Voyager, Bob was best known for playing a different doctor on a completely different television series. From 1987 through 1991, Bob portrayed Dr. Dick Richard in the acclaimed, Emmy-winning series China Beach. Jeff Kober, Megan Gallagher, and Concetta Tomei were also regulars on this series.
The Wonder Years & other TV appearances
Prior to this, however, one of Bob's earliest television appearances was in an episode of Taxi, a series which starred Star Trek III: The Search for Spock actor Christopher Lloyd. Bob also made several appearances as Officer Maxwell on the television sitcom Alice. This series starred Vic Tayback, who would later co-star with Bob in the film Loverboy.
Bob has also guest-starred in episodes of Frasier, starring Kelsey Grammer, and The Dead Zone, starring Nicole deBoer. He also appeared in an episode of The Golden Girls with Anne Haney and Bill Quinn. He also made two appearances as Joe "The Meat Man" Morton on Home Improvement (starring Tim Allen of the Star Trek parody Galaxy Quest) in 1993. Most recently, however, he had a recurring role as Detective Nick Traub in the short-lived drama The Lyon's Den. His Voyager co-star, Roxann Dawson, also made several appearances on this series.
Picardo also appeared in a number of made-for-TV movies throughout his career, beginning with 1980's The Dream Merchants, in which he was part of an ensemble, all-star cast. In 1987, he had a role in Rose Are for the Rich, which also featured his future Voyager cast mate Kate Mulgrew, as well as Anne Haney. That same year, he co-starred with Wil Wheaton and Bruce McGill in The Man Who Fell to Earth.
His other TV movies include The Violation of Sarah McDavid (1981, with James Sloyan), Lois Gibbs and the Love Canal (1982, with Bob Gunton), Bates Motel (1987, with Lori Petty and Gregg Henry), The Cover Girl and the Cop (1989, with Jonathan Frakes), A Murderous Affair: The Carolyn Warmus Story (1992, with Chris Sarandon), Fatal Deception: Mrs. Lee Harvey Oswald (1993, with Bill Bolender), Revenge of the Nerds IV: Nerds in Love (1994, with James Cromwell, Brian Tochi, and Bernie Casey), White Mile (1994, with Fionnula Flanagan and Jacqueline Kim), and Out There (1995). He made an uncredited cameo in this latter movie, which starred the likes of Wendy Schaal, Bill Cobbs, Paul Dooley, and Carel Struycken.
Star Trek: Voyager
When Picardo first auditioned for Star Trek: Voyager in 1994, he initially auditioned for the role of Neelix, but was passed over for Ethan Phillips. When the producers asked him if he would be interested in the role of the EMH instead, Bob was skeptical at first as he thought playing the role of a disgruntled hologram for several years wouldn't be much fun. He was also concerned because he had played a doctor several times before. Nonetheless, after reading for The Doctor, he was persuaded to play the part.
Bob also got some behind the scenes experience on Voyager when he directed two episodes of the series, "Alter Ego" and "One Small Step". He also became the first regular in a Star Trek series to write an episode when he helped pen "Life Line."
Bob has also done some voice-over work in films as well as in TV shows. In 1990, he supplied the voice of the Johnnycab in the science fiction thriller Total Recall. This film also featured the likes of Ronny Cox, Roy Brocksmith, and Marc Alaimo.
In 1994, Bob (credited as Robert Piccardo) lent his voice to a pirate in the fantasy film The Pagemaster. Also lending their voices to this film were Patrick Stewart, Whoopi Goldberg, Frank Welker, Leonard Nimoy, and Christopher Lloyd; the latter also starred in the film's live-action sequences.
Bob also lent his voice to the characters of Blackhawk and Amazo on the animated series Justice League. He has also voiced in episodes of Dinosaurs and Batman: The Animated Series. In the latter series, he voiced in the episode "The Man Who Killed Batman", which also featured the voice of TNG guest star Matt Frewer.
In 2002, Bob released a book based on his Star Trek: Voyager character, titled "The Hologram's Handbook". Picardo goes into depth about how he felt about various experiences while aboard Voyager, such as feeling "betrayed" by Kes when she extended the length of his bout with the flu, as well as genuine and helpful advice for any holograms finding it hard to fit in with 'organics'. The book featured illustrations by his "Flesh and Blood" co-star Jeff Yagher. The same year an audio version of the book, read by Bob, was released and includes a bonus song called, Song of the Hologram.
Bob has also released two parody CDs, Basic Bob (released first in 2001, then again in 2003 with an additional three tracks) and Extreme Bob (released in 2003), with most of the songs based on Star Trek. Extreme Bob also features guest vocals by fellow Voyagers Tim Russ and Ethan Phillips.
Besides performing in plays, Bob currently has a recurring role as Agent Richard Woolsey on the science fiction series Stargate SG-1. He is also working on two new films, both of which feature fellow Star Trek alumni. In Shockwave, he co-stars with TNG actor Michael Dorn; and in Love, Hollywood Style, he will appear with his "Message in a Bottle" co-star Andy Dick, as well as Ed Lauter.
Bob is currently set to re-team with director Joe Dante for the TV horror movie Homecoming. He also has a recurring role as Larry Kincaid on the NBC series E-Ring.
Appearances on Trek
|Other Characters performed by Robert Picardo|
|Dr. Lewis Zimmerman||EMH Mark I||Emergency Command Hologram|
"Doctor Bashir, I Presume?"
"Doctor Bashir, I Presume"
Star Trek: First Contact
"Equinox, Part I"
"Equinox, Part II"
"Tinker, Tenor, Doctor, Spy"
"Workforce, Part I"
"Workforce, Part II"
He has his own recipe, a pasta dish called Picardo's Pinette.
He owns two very talented parrots.