Even if you don’t know the name Michael Dorn, you are probably familiar with the character he played in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Worf. While Worf is what Michael Dorn is best known for, there’s more to him than Star Trek. And even though you probably haven’t seen him on screen in a long time, it doesn’t mean he hasn’t been busy working in Hollywood.
Here’s everything we know about where Michael Dorn has been and where he’s going now.
Michael Dorn’s career began way back in 1976, when he grabbed an uncredited role in the Sylvester Stallone Oscar-winning movie Rocky. In it, he played boxer Apollo Creed’s bodyguard. After this bit role, Dorn took on acting lessons to better hone his craft and from there landed his first TV series.
CHiPS came calling and Michael Dorn answered. The series starred Erik Estrada and Larry Wilcox as Ponch and Jon, with Michael Dorn coming on board as Officer Jedediah Turner. The series followed the adventures of two motorcycle CHP officers and ran for six seasons with 139 total episodes. Dorn appeared in 60 episodes being able to use CHiPS as a stepping stone to more work.
And more work is what Dorn got. Throughout the early and mid-80s Dorn appeared in numerous TV series, guest-starring in show such as Hotel, Hunter, Gimme A Break!, Punky Brewster, and Falcon Crest. During this time, he also appeared in a feature film, the thriller Jagged Edge that also starred Glenn Close and Jeff Bridges. Of course, all this was leading up to the role he is best known for.
MICHAEL DORN ON STAR TREK
Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry had no intention of making Worf a main character on The Next Generation. His desire was to avoid characters or races that had been present in the original Star Trek series. So, bringing in a Klingon was at first intended only as a recurring role at best.
Michael Dorn was not the first actor looked at to portray Worf, but his presence during his audition won him the part. In fact, it not only won him the part of Worf son of Mogh, but changed the minds of the show’s producers who then decided to make his character a regular part of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
As Worf, Michael Dorn appeared in all seven seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation, comprising 176 episodes. He then beamed aboard Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as Worf from seasons four through seven, covering 102 episodes. Not only that, but Dorn also appeared as Worf in the feature movies Star Trek Generations, Star Trek: First Contact, Star Trek: Insurrection, and Star Trek: Nemesis. He even played Worf’s ancestor in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.
Of all the series and movies, of all the actors and actresses that have been part of the Star Trek franchise, Dorn’s 282 appearances as Worf ranks him number one. He has appeared in more Star Trek than any other actor.
MICHAEL DORN NOW
The list of Michael Dorn’s voice acting credits is extensive and impressive. While Dorn probably could have grabbed more roles in front of the camera, much of his career has been in the audio booth. This is not to say after all his Star Trek work he didn’t star in the occasional movie or guest star on a TV series, he did. But his resume is littered with voice work.
Michael Dorn’s partial voice acting list includes Captain Simian & the Space Monkeys, Johnny Bravo, Cow and Chicken, Superman: The Animated Series, Dexter’s Laboratory, Spider-Man, Justice League, Justice League Unlimited, The Lion Guard, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Mind you, this is only a partial list.
Not only has Dorn worked on animated series, he has also done extensive voice work on video games. They include Emperor: Battle for Dune, World of Warcraft, Saints Row 2, Mass Effect 2, Infinite Crisis, and Master of Orion: Conquer the Stars. Again, this is also a partial list. Dorn continues on with his amazing voice work, his strong video game work and the occasional jump in front of the camera.
Most recently Michael Dorn appeared in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine documentary What We Left Behind. Next he’ll appear in the science fiction movie Agent II and in the movie Unbelievable!!!! with Snoop Dogg and a host of other Star Trek alums.
Everyone wants more Worf. But will it happen? When Star Trek: Picard was created, the prevailing thought was that some of the old Star Trek: The Next Generation cast would make an appearance. It was true. But there were several characters, fan favorites, who were not involved in the first season of Picard. Worf was one of the Enterprise crew left out.
Let’s let Star Trek: Picard star Patrick Stewart explain why Michael Dorn has been left out so far: “[W]e want to be really, really gratifying to someone who’s seen every episode [of TNG], and to someone who has never seen a one. [W]e made a point not to bring back any legacy characters that didn’t organically tell this story. Which is why, unfortunately, you don’t have Michael Dorn as Worf, and you don’t have [LeVar Burton as] Geordi. Otherwise, we keep joking it’d be The Next Next Generation,” he told TVLine. Of course, that was season one. With Star Trek: Picard being renewed for season 2, there’s a good chance we’ll see Worf of House Martok one more time!