Our first W.Y.O.S.T. subject is one of my favorites, Jeffrey Combs. Who, appropriately enough, is somebody who actually was on a Star Trek show. Several of them actually. In fact, he holds a number of records in that department. He’s had recurring roles in three of the Star Trek shows — Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise — and is one of only a small handful of actors to play seven different characters in the franchise, appearing in ten seasons and 43 episodes overall. What’s more, he’s one of only two actors who have played three different characters in a single season, as well as two unrelated characters in a single episode. All because he originally auditioned for the role of Riker on The Next Generation.
But Combs’ sci-fi resume is definitely not limited to Star Trek shows. A professionally trained actor, up until he moved to Los Angeles in 1980, he pounded the stages doing Shakespeare. To date, he’s clocked in well over 100 movie and TV appearances. My first exposure to him was in 1985, when he played the insane and hilarious Dr. Herbert West in the classic B-movie Re-Animator, which my brother and I videotaped off of cable and must have watched a thousand times. The movie was based on a story by horror writer H. P. Lovecraft, and would actually form the first relationship that Combs had with a franchise. He would go on to feature in a handful other Lovecraft-based flicks — From Beyond, Bride of Re-Animator, Lurking Fear, Castle Freak, Beyond Re-Animator, and (coming soon) House of Re-Animator — and even got to play Lovecraft himself once, in 1994’s Necronomicon. Continue reading