Weirdest Star Trek Cameos

Star Trek isn't just a television show or few, it's not just some mere movies, it's a lifestyle — just ask anyone who's invested some serious time into learning to speak Klingon. It also united people that, at a glance, might seem like they have nothing in common, and here's the really awesome part — it even unites some celebs, rock stars, and actors with the rest of us.

How? Because we'd all kill for the chance to have a cameo on Star Trek. Heck, even if there's a red shirt involved, that's fine — or, most of us would be totally fine with just lurking in the background, or being buried under a pile of prosthetics. You'd still know it was you, after all... and that's life-changing. 

Some people do get to live that dream, those lucky, lucky people. And here's the thing — while you might expect to see someone like Seth MacFarlane rocking the uniform of a science officer, there's plenty of other cameos that just make you say, "Is that... no, it can't be!" Here's the weirdest Star Trek cameos you've seen... and quite a few you probably missed.

Jeff Bezos: It's good to be a billionaire

Re-watch Star Trek Beyond, and keep an eye out for a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo — one that lasts about eight seconds. That alien officer, that's prepping the recently-rescued Kalara for her interview with Captain Kirk? That's Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

GeekWire says that the entire thing was his idea, and he's been pestering Paramount to let him be in a Star Trek movie for a long, long time. "I was very persistent," Bezos says. "And you can imagine the poor director who got the call, you know, 'You have to let Bezos be in your Star Trek movie.'" Bezos had some serious "requirements": while he was happy to wear makeup and be invisible, he also insisted that he have a speaking role, and one that was critical to the story — that was so he couldn't be cut afterwards. He got all his wishes, and spent an entire day on set to make his long-time dream come true. (After all, he credits Star Trek with inspiring Amazon's Alexa and Echo, and his Blue Origin rocket venture.)

It's possible he should have made one of his requirements telling the cast what was going on. Chris Pine told AP (via GeekWire), "I was there for the bit with his, like, nine bodyguards and three limos. It was really intense... I had no idea who he was. Not a clue. But he was obviously very important."

Mick Fleetwood: He even shaved his beard

Mick Fleetwood was one of the original founders of Fleetwood Mac, the band with the crazy story that goes back to the late 1960s. It wasn't until 1989 that he appeared in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Manhunt," (via Memory Alpha) but most won't recognize him. He plays a fishy alien hell-bent on destroying a summit meeting the crew of the Enterprise was escorting him to and surprisingly, it only took him two days to film all of his scenes.

For Fleetwood, it was the chance to fulfill a long-standing dream — he told the Vancouver Sun, "I always loved Star Trek. ... I loved that I could be a part of it in some shape or form. I shaved my beard to put all the prosthetics on. I said, 'I'll shave my beard off if you promise me that I get to beam down or beam up — at least one of those things.' ... I had a lot of fun."

Surprisingly, Fleetwood already had an in with the cast — his sister had been friends with Patrick Stewart. He said that Stewart was "very kind" when he was on the set, and added that meeting Leonard Nimoy had been nothing short of incredible. "... for me, his legacy seems to be that his personality, for real, was what eclipsed even the career he had, which I think is even more of a compliment..." 

And yes — he got to beam down.

Joan Collins: Just another gig

Joan Collins is probably best known for her role on the 1980s drama Dynasty, where she played the less-than-likable Alexis Carrington Colby. But years before that, she showed up in a 1967 episode of Star Trek: The Original Series — in an episode called "The City on the Edge of Forever," one that calls "one of the best sci-fi stories ever told."

They spoke to Collins about it, and she was somewhat less enthusiastic than they were. When they asked just what led her to the Star Trek set, she said: "My children. When I was asked to do Star Trek, I remember saying to my agent, 'Well, what is Star Trek?' I'd never heard of it. When I told my children... my daughter jumped up and down and said, 'Oh, mum, you must do it, it's a great show!' So that's why I did it."

The episode Collins appeared in is one that just makes the series great — it's characters put in a situation where they need to make a terrible choice, and it's the life of Collin's character that's at the center of it. When asked what she thought about the role, she responded: "I really didn't think about it very much. I just read the script and I thought the script was very good. And I thought it was an interesting premise ... So I just went ahead and did it."

King Abdullah II of Jordan: That's "Science Officer" King of Jordan, thanks very much

In 2015, King Abdullah II of Jordan made some waves when photos of him in military fatigues started circulating. According to The Independent, there were rumors that he was going to personally lead strikes on Isis after the murder of a Jordanian pilot, but that's wasn't the only thing the internet was talking about — they were also talking about that time he wore a different sort of military uniform: when had a cameo on Star Trek: Voyager.

As Buzzfeed notes, he was just a prince back then, and at the time, the 34-year-old was so psyched to be on the show that he was quoted as saying, "I would have been thrilled just to visit the set, but this is too much!" 

The role was uncredited and he didn't have any lines, but fans have had plenty of time to pick up on some details. The teal of his uniform identifies him as a science officer, and he's also sporting the rank of Lieutenant (junior grade). Presumably, they didn't have pips for "prince." Executive producer Jeri Taylor had good things to say about him, too, adding: "Take away the title and the trappings, and at the core, you have a Star Trek fan." Aw!

Jeffrey Dean Morgan: That role that almost made him quit

Jeffrey Dean Morgan — The Walking Dead villain that everyone loves to hate — had his time on Star Trek come in 2003. He was in the third season of Star Trek: Enterprise in the episode "Carpenter Street," but he was also buried under so much makeup and prosthetics that it's impossible to recognize him at a glance.

And he's pulled no punches when it's come time to talk about just how much he hated it. 

He had this to say about his time as part of the Trek universe (via Entertainment Weekly): "I had to pay my bills. I knew I'd play some guy saying some stuff. Then I got a call saying I needed to go in for a prosthetic fitting. I remember them dripping goop on my face, and I had straws sticking out of my nose. I couldn't eat lunch. I was claustrophobic. I'd go home in tears. This was the job that made me want to quit acting."

Stephen Hawking: The only person to play himself

Stephen Hawking wasn't just a science genius, he had a brilliant sense of humor, too — and those two things are what makes it just oh so fitting that he's the only person ever to have played himself on an episode of Star Trek. He showed up in The Next Generation episode "Descent," when Data puts him right in the middle of a holographic poker game with Einstein and Newton. In a truly epic fashion, he's cracking jokes about space and time — as pretty much only Hawking could — and he bluffs Einstein to take home the win (via Inverse). 

And this one isn't just weird, it's poignant. According to, Hawking was a lifelong Trekkie, and the entire idea came about when Hawking was at Paramount. He was actually shooting a promo spot for one of his books when he got to tour the set of TNG, and while he was there, he asked for a favor: to be lifted from his wheelchair and allowed to sit in the captain's chair. As he sat there — a rightful captain if there ever was one! — he asked if there was a way he could be on the show. Showrunners knew it needed to be a special scene, and it was executive producer Michael Piller who came up with the idea of the poker game among the greats.

Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson: Not bad, for a first acting gig

Remember when Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson was just another WWF superstar and definitely not an A-list actor? That actually wasn't that long ago — his first major movie role was as The Scorpion King in The Mummy Returns... and that was just in 2001. The year before, he showed up in an epic — albeit strange — episode of Star Trek: Voyager, where he played a character that was pretty much a WWF wrestler. The plot of the episode is very gladiatorial: Seven of Nine is kidnapped and put into an arena, where she's told to fight opponents for sport, glory, and mostly for entertainment.

Hilariously, Jeri Ryan had no idea who he was. "I didn't watch wrestling," she said (via The Big Issue). "I wasn't aware of his character of 'The Rock.' So the first time I met him was a fight rehearsal and he came in and he was just a super sweet, unassuming, gentle guy named Dwayne. We're talking about our kids and he's just lovely. We had a nice time working together."

So, she was super confused when she found that he'd left her a photograph, autographed with the phrase "The Rock smells what you're cooking!" It was one of the prosthetic people who explained who he was and what the catchphrase was, and it didn't change Ryan's opinion of him. "He was very sweet and lovely."

Kurtwood Smith: Three times is a charm

Depending on age, most people probably know Kurtwood Smith better from his role in RoboCop, or as the cranky dad on That '70s Show. Or, from any one of his three Star Trek cameos: Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country's Federation President, a Cardassian security officer on an episode of Deep Space Nine, and a scientist in a two-part storyline in Voyager.

So, was he a fan? Yes, he told, but he adds that he "wouldn't describe myself as a Trekkie, but I was definitely a fan of the genre." The crossover happened thanks to Nicholas Meyer, who directed both Star Trek VI and a movie called Company Business, starring Gene Hackman and Kurtwood Smith. He asked Smith if he'd like to be in Star Trek, and that's absolutely the kind of thing you can't say no to. 

But good news for fans: each one of his characters holds a special sort of place in his heart, even though the makeup wasn't his favorite thing to do. That part he described as "never really comfortable," but when asked what it meant to him to be a part of the Trek universe, he said, "It means a lot. ... it is a world unto itself."

John Rhys-Davies: Ancient character, futuristic world

John Rhys-Davies is still perhaps best known for his roles as Indy's friend Sallah in the Indiana Jones films and — of course — as Gimli in Lord of the Rings. He was also in Sliders, which — when the AV Club asked him about — he lamented, because "it could've been the Fox network's Star Trek franchise, [but] the writing was sometimes not up to the challenge."

And he knows — he was in Star Trek, too, after all, albeit as a hologram of Leonardo da Vinci in a 1997 episode of Star Trek: Voyager. Of all his roles, he says this is the one that got his son to call him and tell him, "Well, Dad, I guess you've finally arrived. I've just seen you in Star Trek: Voyager. If you're in Star Trek, you've really cracked it, Dad!"

According to The Chicago Tribune, Rhys-Davies made the jump right out of Sliders and into Voyager — and was nothing but excited to do it. "I thought it was a great idea ... The part was very well written, and I wasn't immediately sure how to play this man. That combination made me say, 'Yes.' ... I loved the role, the writing, and Kate [Mulgrew]."

Frank Gorshin and Lee Meriwether: Riddle me this, Catwoman

Way back in 1966, audiences were thrilled by Batman: The Movie. It starred Adam West and Burt Ward as Batman and Robin, and it was a huge deal. Weirdly, it also featured two actors who made the jump to Star Trek: Frank Gorshin, who played The Riddler, and Lee Meriwether, who played Catwoman.

Gorshin's episode was "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield," and it aired on January 10, 1969. He played a character that was black on one side of his face and white on the other — a huge deal in 1969. Later, he remembered what a big deal it was, saying (via, "That was a significant episode, in as much as it made a social comment at that time ... I played a character who was black on the right side and white on the left side, and my adversary was the opposite. He was black on the left side and white on the right side." 

The episode starring Catwoman — "That Which Survives" — aired soon after, on January 24, 1969. She plays Losira, a deadly and mysterious woman who, Tor notes, is the subject of numerous comments about her appearance. But that wasn't what stuck out in her mind — she told, "It was extremely difficult to play Losira, [but] I loved it. I loved it. I thought it was perfect. ... It was just amazing, and it still holds up."

Joe Piscopo: Can you teach humor?

Joe Piscopo has been around for a long, long time — Trek News notes that he'd come up through the ranks of comedy with infamous funnymen like Richard Pryor, Robin WIlliams, and Andy Kaufman. It's no wonder, then, that when it came time for Data to decide he needed a crash course in humor to help him relate to people, he turned to the holodeck and a comedian portrayed by one of the greats.

Piscopo's episode of The Next Generation was called "The Outrageous Okona," and while it was technically the b-story, it's one of those storylines that touches on just the right amount of humanity, cheese, and warm fuzzies that makes TNG what it is. And when he reminisced with, he said that his experience on the show was different. While most stars — guests and regulars — were required to stick with the script, they just let Piscopo do his thing. Once he explained that he was good at impressions, the rest is Star Trek history.

And he's thrilled to have done it, saying, "I was very grateful to be there, just so proud to be a part of it. ... And the coolest thing is I signed these cards. I have my own, like, baseball cards from the episode. They're these special edition cards with a hologram. They sent them, through my agent, and I signed them. I was so flattered. That makes me kind of proud as well."

Tom Morello: Hardcore Trekkie

Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello is a serious Trekkie. Like... serious. He told Loudwire, "It began with Gene Roddenberry's vision. The smarts, the humanity, and the sci-fi geekiness are three things that I love a lot."

While he freely admits that he wasn't into it from the very beginning, he does say that his obsession started in the 80s — when he was unemployed and living in Hollywood. And it wasn't just about the sci-fi, either, he's also praised the series for being "a social experiment on film," from the first interracial kiss to having both Russian and American cast members at the height of the Cold War. So, when he got the chance for both a cameo in Insurrection and a speaking part opposite Voyager's Captain Janeway, it's impossible to describe the excitement. "There's times you're the most nervous you've ever been in your life about an anticipatory moment. Certainly, where I'm about to say words in Star Trek was one of them ... I feel honored to be a part of the Star Trek pantheon."

Doubt Morello's sci-fi cred? He doesn't just stick to Star Trek. When he was at the Star Wars experience at Disneyland, a bartender snuck him a pin and whispered, "It's not often we get a Resistance General in here. Thank you for your service." Morello's response? He tweeted: "I almost cried."