Jonathan Frakes (born August 19, 1952) is an American actor and director best known for his portrayal of Commander William Riker in the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Moving on to directing in recent years, Frakes directed Star Trek: First Contact, which earned him the nickname "Two-Takes" Frakes for his efficiency as a director.
Frakes was born in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania and grew up in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts (in theater arts) at Penn State University in the early 1970s; he received a Masters from Harvard.
He moved to New York City and became a member of "The Impossible Ragtime Theater." In that company, Frakes did his first off-Broadway acting in Eugene O'Neill's The Hairy Ape. His first Broadway appearance was in Shenandoah. At the same time, he landed a role in the NBC soap opera The Doctors. When his character was dismissed from the soap, Frakes moved to Los Angeles, California and played guest spots in many of the top television shows of the 1970s and 1980s, including The Waltons and Steven Bochco's Hill Street Blues. He had recurring roles in Falcon Crest and North & South, before signing for the role of Riker on Star Trek: The Next Generation. He has also done animation voice acting, most notably voicing the recurring role of David Xanatos in the television series Gargoyles. Frakes also hosted Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction.
In the miniseries North & South, he played Stanley Hazard of Hazard Iron, a weak man easily manipulated by his mother and wife, a character in stark contrast to the strong Commander William T. Riker.
Frakes is married to soap opera actress Genie Francis. The couple now live in Maine with their son, Jameson, and daughter, Elizabeth.
He is also the only Star Trek regular to appear on four different Star Trek series (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: Enterprise).
In addition to acting and directing, Frakes has joined the faculty at Rockport College in Maine and will be teaching acting and film directing during this upcoming term.
His talents aren't limited to the Acting arts, Frakes appears on the Phish album "Hoist", playing trombone on the track titled "Riker's Mailbox".