Armin Shimerman: Why Political Activism Hasn’t Hurt Him After Star Trek

By Rick Gonzales | 11 months ago

Armin Shimerman

Most of you know Armin Shimerman, whether you recognize him or not. Chances are you’ve seen him under heavy make-up, heard him while playing a video game, perhaps even read something he has written. Armin Shimerman has a vast library of work and while the talented actor may best be known as Quark (only one of his nearly two hundred acting credits), that Star Trek icon is only one piece of what continues to be an impressive career.


Armin Shimerman’s early career was comprised of TV movies and TV series. Starting in 1979 with the TV movie Women at West Point, Shimerman then appeared in many one-offs. Hill Street Blues, Oh Madeline, The Four Seasons, Cagney & Lacey, Remington Steele, and Alice were just a few of the many TV series he found himself on. Up until 1987, Shimerman continued to go from series to series, taking on whatever role he could. And then 1987 happened.


Beauty and the Beast

If anything, the amount of early-career bouncing only helped Shimerman. Playing different characters shaped him as an actor, allowing him to portray many different walks of life. In 1987,  Armin Shimerman took on one of his better-known roles as Pascal the “pipe master” on the series Beauty and the Beast that starred Ron Perlman of Hellboy fame and Linda Hamilton, who was still riding her high from playing Sarah Connor in The Terminator.

During this three-year run as Pascal, Shimerman continued to work on other projects. He was seen on the series Sledge Hammer, had bit parts in a few feature films (Dangerous Curves, Arena, and Big Man On Campus) and also tossed in a TV movie or two. He definitely kept busy.


Armin Shimerman on Star Trek

Armin Shimerman’s best-known role is one he nailed a full three years after the end of Beauty and the Beast. That would be as the Ferengi barkeep Quark on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (DSN). Shimerman’s time as the owner of Quark’s Bar, Grill, Gaming House, and Holosuite Arcade was used often as comedic relief on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, something that served his character well as DS9 would not be the only place Quark would be seen.

Armin Shimerman on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Quark, for Armin Shimerman, was a godsend. The character became so popular with the Trekkies that he even appeared on an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation in the series’ final season. Quark was so well-loved that Shimerman put his roots down on permanently on Deep Space Nine, appearing in all seven seasons of the show and not missing even one episode.

Of course, during his seven-year run with DS9, he branched out to do other things. Seinfeld, for one. Stargate SG-1 for another. There was Ally McBeal and The Practice too. He was still on Star Trel when another big series called.


Armin Shimerman

Buffy came calling for Armin Shimerman. Buffy, as in the vampire slayer. Another well-known role for Armin Shimerman was as Principal Snyder on the hit show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He landed it in 1997. Maybe not a big role, it covered four seasons, but pivotal, nevertheless and one that launched him into yet another fandom.

Armin Shimerman on Buffy the Vampire Slayer

The list goes on and on for Armin Shimerman. He is the actor you see in just about everything, very recognizable, except perhaps by name. His resume also includes The Invisible Man (series), The Agency, The Tick, Charmed, Girls Club, Invasion, and Boston Legal. These are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to his work.


Armin Shimerman voice work

It shouldn’t come as a surprise when you hear that included in Armin Shimerman’s work is a bunch of voice acting. Yes, he has used that talent on many occasions, both on animated shows and in video games.

Armin’s voice work includes Rocket Power, The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, Evil Con Carne, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Regular Show, and Justice League Action. He played Quark on the video games Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Harbinger and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Fallen.

Shimerman’s voice was also heard on video games such as the Rachet & Clank franchise as Dr. Nefarious. He is in the Mass Effect franchise, the BioShock franchise, he can even be heard in Diablo and Star Wars. His last video game work was on the best-selling game Death Stranding.


Star Trek book

Armin Shimerman’s talents don’t only translate to acting. He is an accomplished novelist as well. In 1999, he co-authored a Star Trek: Deep Space Nine novel with David R George III titled The 34th Rule. He then co-wrote a series of books called the Merchant Price series which included The Merchant Prince, Outrageous Fortune, and Capital Offense.


Armin Shimerman politics

Trek Against Trump. That is what Armin Shimerman called his attempt at a political campaign. According to Shimerman via SciFiNow, “I started it because I certainly did not want to see Donald Trump become President of the United States. And as I watched the polling numbers get closer to each other, my fear that he might become President increased.” Fear realized. He did try though.

Trek Against Trump pulled in numerous actors from the Trek world to speak out against Donald Trump. He explained to SciFiNow that it was at a convention where the idea came to him. “I was backstage with a lot of the other actors and friends of mine, and we were all concerned about the possibility of a Trump candidacy. I went home and was watching the news, and Hillary Clinton in one of her speeches said we all must do something to help, and I thought, “Well, what can I do to help?” And I thought, “Well, I by myself can’t do very much, but I’m part of a community of actors who all felt the same way.”


Armin Shimerman now

Armin Shimerman, failed political aims aside, continues to work in Hollywood. Unlike some actors (Adam Baldwin for instance), being open about his political leanings has not hurt him at all.

Not only does Armin continue his excellent voice work on both TV and video games, but he also continues to pull in the occasional feature film or TV series work too. But the one accomplishment he may be most proud of is the fact that he is a Professor of Shakespeare at the University of Southern California (USC).

Armin Shimerman has long been a student of Shakespeare, in fact his relationship with the bard goes back to 1993 when he presented his first workshop. Over the years (he also met his wife during a performance of Love’s Labor’s Lost) he continued working on Shakespeare, offering workshop after workshop to now, he is doing it in the big leagues at USC.

Chances are you’ve seen, heard, or read Armin Shimerman, even if you haven’t noticed. That’s the life of a working character actor, and Armin Shimerman is one of the best.