This week’s W.Y.O.S.T. subject is Stacy Haiduk (pronounced “High-Duke”). And the answer is no — she has never been in a Star Trek show. But she’s had feature roles in a few other sci-fi franchises. I wanted to work another woman into the list, and she was someone who quickly came to mind. She pinged my radar all the way back in 1988, when at the age of 20, she was cast in the role of Clark Kent’s childhood friend Lana Lang (the female lead) in the Superboy series, which ran for four seasons.
Prior to this, Michigan-born Haiduk had studied dancing, singing, and theater, appeared in some music videos, and did some commercial work. After Superboy was cancelled prematurely in 1992, due to ongoing legal battles between Ilya Salkind and Warner Brothers, Haiduk wasted little time finding work. Her piercing blue eyes and red hair helped her stand out from the crowd, and in 1993, she landed a major role as Lieutenant Commander Kathryn Hitchcock on SeaQuest DSV. Which, let’s face it, was really just Star Trek underwater, with Roy Scheider as captain and Peter DeLuise as Data. Right? So maybe in a way, Haiduk really was on a Star Trek show?
This week’s W.Y.O.S.T. subject is Brian Thompson. If you ever watched the original Terminator movie, then you’ve seen him. For a few minutes anyway. In one of the opening scenes, he and Bill Paxton play a couple of street punks who go up against a naked cyborg Arnold … and are promptly killed for their clothes. As first roles go, an actor could do far worse — although from the body of work that’s followed since that movie in 1984, one wonders how exactly Brian Thompson has avoided playing the role of a terminator himself over the years. After all, the square-jawed baritone actor has played just about every other kind of imposing bogey man you can think of — two different vampires, two different Klingons, a shape-changing Gotham City supervillain, an alien bounty hunter, an indestructible demon, and even a vengeful Greek Titan.
A child of two teachers, Thompson broke into Hollywood as a Terminator casualty, but has gone on from there to build a career as either a tough guy or an outright bad guy, mostly in sci-fi/fantasy projects. By the time the 80s were over, he had racked up more than 20 appearances in such shows as Moonlighting, Knight Rider, and Falcon Crest, as well as the classic movies Three Amigos, Miracle Mile, and Alien Nation. In 1989, he landed his first Star Trek role, playing a Klingon officer in The Next Generation, and his relationship with the franchise would persist over the years — he appeared in the Generations movie (1994), in Deep Space Nine (1993 & 1996), and even had a recurring role on Enterprise in 2005.
For this week’s W.Y.O.S.T. subject, the answer is actually no — Don S. Davis was never on one of the Star Trek shows. But he has been a regular on various sci-fi projects for over twenty years, including the other “Star” show, and odds are, you’ve seen him in something. Sadly, he passed away on June 29th, and for this reason, I thought it was only right to bump him to the top of the profile list.
Previously both a soldier and a theater professor, Davis was already 40 years old by the time he arrived on the television and movie scene. His first acting job was a one-shot on Joanie Loves Chachi in 1982, which he followed up over the next decade with a variety other small roles in shows like MacGyver, Wiseguy, L.A. Law, and 21 Jump Street, as well as the movies The Journey of Natty Gann, Stakeout, Watchers, Beyond the Stars, Look Who’s Talking, and Look Who’s Talking Too. But where I first became aware of him was in 1991, when he played the stoic Major Garland Briggs in 16 episodes of David Lynch’s creepy entree into television, Twin Peaks.