Jonathan Frakes On Riker’s Beard And Why Gene Roddenberry Approved Of It

By Rudie Obias | 8 years ago

Having a beard has its perks. First, don’t be fooled, women love beards! Secondly, if you’re an actor growing a beard on a TV series, apparently, it’s considered the opposite of “jumping the shark.” Well, at least to Star Trek: The Next Generation actor Jonathan Frakes, growing a beard is the best thing you can do for your TV series.

According to, while promoting the release of the upcoming Blu-ray restoration of Star Trek: The Next Generation Season Two, Frakes, along with LeVar Burton, appeared on Attack of the Show on G4 to discuss all things TNG. Frakes disclosed that the reason he grew a beard was out of laziness and comfort, but the reason he kept the beard on the series was due to Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry’s vision of the future. “Jonathan, I love the beard. It’ll be nautical. We’ll shape it and, that way, it’ll be decorative,” said Roddenberry. Watch the segment below (the Riker’s beard talk begins around 1:40).

So maybe there is something to the whole “Riker’s beard” thing; after a shaky first season, the quality of TNG did get better, but did Riker’s beard have anything to do with it? Perhaps, he did become a sex symbol (of sorts) to female Trekkies, and even picturing Lieutenant William Riker without a beard is a scary thought.

The rest of G4’s Attack of the Show segment is entirely worth watching. There are some great stories about the making of season two of TNG, and how Frakes and Burton act when a photon torpedo hits the Enterprise. It’s priceless! And here’s proof that women love beards (or at least Counselor Deanna Troi does)…

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