Jonathan Franks is best known for his work in Star Trek, both as an actor and as a director, but the love story of his life with his wife Genie Francis puts all of Will Riker’s romantic dalliances to shame. As Frakes recently told People, he and Francis have been together for 38 years, during which they have both built extensive careers in television and film. While Frakes has made his name primarily aboard starships, Francis has built an enviable career as a legend of daytime drama.
At 71, Jonathan Frakes is hardly slowing down, directing or acting in almost every current iteration of Star Trek, sometimes both at the same time. He also appears in the new Hallmark Christmas movie, A Biltmore Christmas. Meanwhile, Francis continues to be one of the most reliable actors in daytime television, working constantly in soap operas, which were not affected by the SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes.
It was on North and South, a production which grew longer after producers were very happy with what they were seeing in the dailies, that Jonathan Frakes and Genie Francis began spending time together and fell in love. During that production, they had their first date, taking a break during the Memorial Day holiday to travel to New Orleans together. 38 years later, they are still madly in love and still each other’s biggest fan.
Jonathan Frakes still marvels that Francis, who was a bigger star than him at the time, took a chance on him since he was much farther down on the call sheet. But it wasn’t long before he was cast as Commander Will Riker in Star Trek: The Next Generation, a role that would launch him to international stardom and a successful directing career as well. He even returned to the role of Riker for Star Trek: Lower Decks and Star Trek: Picard, which wrapped its third and final season last year, though he could show up again in the much buzzed-about series Star Trek: Legacy.
While Jonathan Frakes has had his own success, Genie Francis has been a mainstay of daytime television, with roles on The Young and the Restless, Days of Our Lives, and most notably, as Laura on General Hospital. She has also appeared on multiple primetime series in guest roles, and her husband is unabashedly in awe of her talent. Having run lines with her for her upcoming shooting days, Frakes bragged to People that she was shooting some 30 pages of dialogue the next day, clearly impressed at her ability to learn so many lines in such a short period.
Jonathan Frakes will be following in his wife’s footsteps by starring in the upcoming Hallmark film, and the two of them will surely continue to be each other’s greatest support in their future endeavors.