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Terry Farrell

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(written from a Production point of view)
Terry Farrell
File:TerryFarrell.jpg
Birth name: Theresa Lee Farrell Grussendorf
Date of birth: 19 November 1963
Place of birth: Cedar Rapids, Iowa USA
Character(s): Jadzia Dax (primary); see additional characters
JadziaDax2374.jpg

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Theresa Lee Farrell Grussendorf (born 19 November 1963; age 50), known professionally as Terry Farrell, is the actress who played Jadzia Dax on the first six seasons of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

She also played the mirror universe version of Jadzia in "Through the Looking Glass" and "Shattered Mirror", as well as Honey Bare in "Our Man Bashir" and Darlene Kursky in the acclaimed episode "Far Beyond the Stars".

She also provided the voice of Jadzia Dax in the video games Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - Harbinger and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Fallen.

Her favorite episodes are "Far Beyond the Stars", "Fascination", "Playing God", "Blood Oath", "You Are Cordially Invited", and "Change of Heart". [1]

In 2001, she had an asteroid named 26734 Terryfarrell after her by a DS9 fan.

Farrell was good friends with Marina Sirtis and Michael Dorn and several other cast members of Star Trek: The Next Generation before Deep Space Nine began. She was speaking to Sirtis when she got the call to go to Rick Berman's office, where she was told that she had gotten the role of Jadzia Dax.

In 1984, she starred in the short-lived television series Paper Dolls with her future DS9 guest stars Richard Beymer and Geoffrey Blake. (Blake is her second favorite DS9 guest star; her favorite guest star is John Glover, who starred in "Invasive Procedures".) The series also featured Jonathan Frakes, and several episodes were helmed by TOS directors Leo Penn and Ralph Senensky. In 1992, she played Cat in the second pilot of the American version of Red Dwarf. Despite playing the title role in the 1992 Quantum Leap episode "A Leap for Lisa" alongside Enterprise captain Scott Bakula and Enterprise guest star Dean Stockwell, she made only a brief appearance.

Among her film credits is 1986's Back to School (which also featured Sally Kellerman, Adrienne Barbeau, and Robert Picardo).

After six seasons on DS9, Farrell was presented with the chance to join the Paramount sitcom Becker. Instead of renewing her original contract for DS9 for one more season, she left and joined the cast of Becker in 1998 where she stayed for four years playing the character of Reggie Costas. There were many rumors as to why Farrell left DS9; some believed she wanted more money, there were differences with producers, or she had arguments with fellow cast members. Visual Effects Supervisor for the episode in which she made her last appearance, David Stipes, was present at the shoot and had this to say,

"Terry Farrell's contract was up on DS-9 and she was leaving the show. The story going around was that she did not wish to leave but the producers would not grant her contract requests. As the visual effects supervisor, I was on the DS-9 set to oversee the effects needed for her last scenes on the series. Terry was not very happy and was giving tearful goodbye hugs to her production crewmates. I have seen actors who were really obnoxious and uncooperative when they didn't get what they wanted so I was watching Terry with interest as the day unfolded. For every shot when called, she dried her tears, went on set, became her character, Dax, and delivered the best performances she could. She did not give an attitude, whine or make excuses. She did her job." Stipes was able to help Farrell out in the scene where her character was killed off. Continuing, he remembered:

"To give Terry an exit from the series, the DS-9 writers had bad boy Gul Dukat kill Jadzia Dax in the episode called 'Tears of the Prophets'. Dukat, possessed by the Pah-wraiths, uses an energy force to lift Dax off the ground then kill her. To accomplish this, Terry would have to wear a special flying harness which wrapped around her hips. Unfortunately the rig, made of thick leather and straps, was very uncomfortable and did nothing to flatter Terry's figure. In fact … she was horrified at how she looked. Terry came up to me with a look of desperation on her face; the harness around her hips made her look huge! Was there anything I could do to make her look better in her last shots?

I was so impressed with her qualities of character and professionalism that I assured her that I would do what I could to help her look good in the final shots. With that she appeared relieved and we went on to do the final death scene. When we got the footage into the digital compositing bay we began looking at techniques and options to see what we could do to help Terry regain her figure. Since we were on a budget for a limited effect for the death scene, we had to squeak this in somehow. We decided to cover Terry's torso and hips with effects elements rather then try to rotoscope or otherwise distort her filmed image frame by frame which would have cost a lot in man-hours and bay time.

Luckily, we had some resources. Over the years of production, we had amassed a collection of visual effects footage elements like fire, smoke and liquid nitrogen. We began experimenting with the elements over Terry's footage to see what worked. We decided to use licks of liquid nitrogen vapor fluttering out from the edge of the body and hiding her rig-thickened profile. While not a perfect fix, we did it within the budget we had. Months later at the DS-9 wrap party, Terry came over and gave me a warm thank you for making her look good. I told her how impressed I was with the way she handled herself in that situation so it was a pleasure to help her." [2]

Her stand-in and photo double from DS9, Cathy DeBuono, also worked in the same capacity for Farrell on Becker.

After leaving Deep Space Nine, Farrell stated that, if asked, she would love to return to Star Trek to play Jadzia as a clone, Jadzia from another universe or a hologram. She also stated she grew greatly from playing Dax and that she wouldn't change a second of her time with Star Trek.

Farrell's character, Jadzia, was not seen as a part of the flashback sequences toward the end of "What You Leave Behind". This was due to the circumstance that Farrell did not give the producers her permission to use pictures of her in those scenes. Although a scene was written for Jadzia in the final episode, budget costs meant they couldn't afford Farrell and the scene was never filmed.

At the Star Trek convention in 2007, Farrell said she wished she had not been so quick to leave Deep Space Nine, because "Jadzia Dax was the coolest character"; even Reggie can't compare: "It's hard to go from [playing] a hero to a neurotic, bad cook," she explained. At the Trek Las Vegas convention in the same year, she expressed her gratitude to the fans and their loyalty. [3]

Additional Star Trek characters

Star Trek interviews

  • TNG Season 7 DVD special feature "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine DVD Preview"
  • DS9 Season 1 DVD special feature "Section 31-Hidden File 05", interviewed on 30 September 1992
  • DS9 Season 1 DVD special feature "Section 31-Hidden File 06", interviewed on 30 September 1992
  • DS9 Season 1 DVD special feature "Deep Space Nine Scrapbook Year One", interviewed on 30 September 1992
  • DS9 Season 2 DVD special feature "Crew Dossier: Jadzia Dax", interviewed on 14 October 2002
  • DS9 Season 2 DVD special feature "Section 31-Hidden File 05", interviewed on 14 October 2002
  • DS9 Season 2 DVD special feature "Section 31-Hidden File 07", interviewed on 14 October 2002
  • DS9 Season 6 DVD special feature "Section 31-Hidden File 01", interviewed on 14 October 2002

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