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'Star Trek' actors: The best of all time, from Leonard Nimoy to William Shatner

"Star Trek" is celebrating its 50th anniversary on Sept. 8 with a monster convention, "Mission: New York," taking over the Javits Center Sept. 2-4. And so, we're celebrating with a list!

Lists about “Star Trek” could easily lead to fights and arguments, but here, we’re all about love. This is a list of my favorite “Star Trek” actors, the ones that resonate with me, the ones I can’t stop thinking about.

It is by no means a definitive list, run in chronological order, and it’s very limited in number slots, a mere 10, so tough choices had to be made.

And instead of telling me I’m wrong or stupid or whatever for my choices, leave in the comments the characters you love and why.

William Shatner (Captain James Kirk)

There is no
Photo Credit: NBCU Photo Bank

There is no "Star Trek" without Shatner's iconic performance as Capt. James T. Kirk (pictured right). Call it overacting, call it impassioned acting, call it what you will, but you will never forget it.

Leonard Nimoy (Mr. Spock)

Nimoy's inclusion on this list is, dare I
Photo Credit: Photofest / NBC

Nimoy's inclusion on this list is, dare I say, logical. He brought such gravitas to the role, which he took from the original series to the movies to "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and even the new movies.

Ricardo Montalban (Khan Noonien Singh)

Montalban makes the list with the shortest
Photo Credit: Paramount

Montalban makes the list with the shortest "Star Trek" resume, but he plays one of the most important villains in the franchise and his performance in "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" is unforgettable. Go ahead, scream his name. We'll wait.

Patrick Stewart (Captain Jean-Luc Picard)

A Shakespearean actor, Stewart had a tough job
Photo Credit: CBS

A Shakespearean actor, Stewart had a tough job in being the second captain of the Enterprise. He really brought that serious acting background to this role, and was a tough captain and almost like a father figure. To a certain generation, he is their captain and his performance is always engaging.

Brent Spiner (Lieutentant Commander Data)

A fast favorite on
Photo Credit: CBS

A fast favorite on "The Next Generation," Spiner's Data, an advanced android looking for humanity, frequently stole scenes. As the character grew and learned how to feel, so did Spiner's expert portrayal. Spiner also played Data's brother Lore and his creator/father Dr. Noonien Soong.

Avery Brooks (Captain Benjamin Sisko)

My personal favorite
Photo Credit: CBS

My personal favorite "Star Trek" actor, Brooks was both cool, serious and a total badass. The role presented the actor with numerous opportunities to show off his talent, whether it was dealing with an alien war, his role as a religious figure for the Bajoran people or as a father, and he always excelled.

Rene Auberjonois (Odo)

The veteran actor from the film
Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures

The veteran actor from the film "M*A*S*H" and the television series "Benson" play the changeling Odo, a shape-shifting being living on Deep Space Nine without any idea of his background or where he came from. Auberjoinois got to show a wide range of emotions, and also a good comedic turn as the space station's constable, playing against Ferengi bar owner Quark.

Kate Mulgrew (Janeway)

These days, Mulgrew is so good on
Photo Credit: CBS

These days, Mulgrew is so good on "Orange is the New Black," but it was her role as the tough captain of the lost ship Voyager that really made her a star. As the first female captain, she exuded power as she had to bring together a crew of Starfleet members, rebels and aliens.

Jeri Ryan (Seven of Nine)

Ryan joined
Photo Credit: UPN

Ryan joined "Star Trek: Voyager" in its fourth season as Seven of Nine Tertiary Adjunct of Unimatrix 01, a Borg drone capture on the ship who is brought out of the Collective and learning to be a unique individual. She really turned the show around when she joined the cast.

Robert Picardo (The Doctor)

There's a recurring theme in
Photo Credit: CBS

There's a recurring theme in "Star Trek" of gaining humanity -- not just in the sense of becoming more human, but becoming a unique, soulful individual. Robert Picardo's take as The Doctor on "Voyager" was another such performance. The character was a holographic program meant for short-time usage in an emergency, but through circumstance, was in full-time use. He grew from a bit of a jerk to this wonderful, egotistical, droll character trying to become more than just a computer program.


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