Star Trek Star Robin Curtis Making A Comeback After Long Retirement

By Matthew Creith | Published

The Star Trek franchise has been making waves in recent years with new additions to its collection of television series seemingly released every year. What the films and television shows of the Star Trek universe have done so well for decades is to introduce audiences to actors not seen on other projects, as many of these actors seem destined to star in a science fiction drama. One former Star Trek actor, Robin Curtis, is coming out of retirement per a report by Deadline this week, joining forces with an Academy Award winner and science fiction veteran actor for the horror-thriller Awaken the Reaper.

star trek robin curtis
Robin Curtis as Saavik

Star Trek actor Robin Curtis has been retired from acting since the late 1990s, but she has now been cast alongside Louis Gossett Jr. and Lance Henriksen to lead Awaken the Reaper. The movie is currently filming in New York with directors Dave Campfield and Justin Paul in charge. Awaken the Reaper concerns a disturbed drifter who returns to their hometown to start therapy but quickly discovers they can’t shake persistent visions of a hooded skeletal figure that wields a scythe.

Prior to her work on several Star Trek projects, Robin Curtis costarred in the 1981 film Ghost Story with film legends Fred Astaire, Melvyn Douglas, and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. She began her run as Lieutenant Saavik in the 1984 movie Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, which was directed by Leonard Nimoy and starring William Shatner.

She reprised the role that defined her acting career in the next installment in the Star Trek film franchise, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, also directed by Nimoy and starring Shatner, Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, and George Takei.

Since her time playing Lieutenant Saavik in the Star Trek movies, Robin Curtis found fame in bit parts in 1990s-era horror films like The Unborn 2 and the action thriller Bloodfist VI: Ground Zero. Curtis also took to television roles on MacGyver, Knight Rider, and played Tallera/T’Paal in two episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation. With parts drying up towards the tail end of the 1990s, Curtis made a few appearances at Star Trek conventions over the last 20 years, but eventually left acting altogether and became a real estate agent in New York.

The character of Lieutenant Saavik in Star Trek was originally played by Cheers actor Kirstie Alley, but Alley chose not to return to the franchise in hopes she wouldn’t get typecast, so Robin Curtis was brought on board instead. In beginning another phase of her acting career after 23 years away from the business, Curtis is joined by veteran actors Lance Henriksen and Louis Gosset Jr., both of whom have made indelible marks in the film business. The 82-year-old Lance Henriksen is probably best known for playing Bishop in the Alien series of films, while 86-year-old Louis Gossett Jr. hit a career high in 1982 when he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his turn as Sergeant Emil Foley in An Officer and a Gentleman.