Marina Sirtis is an actress made famous by her portrayal of Counselor Deanna Troi on Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Marina Sirtis was born on March 29, 1960 in East London to Greek parents and raised in North London. Her parents didn't want her to become an actress and so when she completed high school she secretly applied to the Royal Shakespeare Company affiliated Guild Hall of Music and Drama School. There her interest in acting blossomed and after graduation she became a member of the Worthing Repertory Theater, where she portrayed a number of classical roles including Ophelia in Hamlet. Afterwards, she appeared with a number of other European acting companies including in Coventry Repertory's production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame as Esmerelda and in The Rocky Horror Picture Show as Magenta.

When Marina had distinguished herself in the theater, she moved onto British television. She has appeared in TV series such as Minder & Hazel, the film One Last Chance, and had roles in feature films such as Death Wish III, The Wicked Lady, and Blind Date. Her American theater debut came in Hartford Stage's production of Loot and she later starred in Neil Simon's Hotel Suite.

It was her portrayal of Counselor Deanna Troi, a half-human, half-betazoid empath, on Star Trek: The Next Generation that brought her real fame. Marina had moved to Los Angeles in 1986 and tried to audition for parts for six months. She planned to go back home to London and not long before she auditioned for the part of Tasha Yar on TNG. Feeling unsuccessful, she got ready to board the plane and minutes before she left she received a phone call telling her she had received the role of Counselor Deanna Troi. In the show, her English accent isn't heard because she uses a combination of accents that she devised. As she puts it, "In the 24th century, geographical or nationalistic barriers are not so evident. The Earth as a planet is your country, your nationality. I didn't want anyone to be able to pin down my accent to any particular country, and being good at accents, the producers trusted me to come up with something appropriate."

After her seven years on Star Trek: The Next Generation, she appeared in all the TNG films, ending with Star Trek X: Nemesis in December, 2002. On June 21, 1992 she married musician Michael Lamper in a traditional Greek ceremony. Marina is a big soccer fan because her younger brother Steve plays it in Greece and her favorite soccer club is Tottenham Hotspur. She can be seen in Paradise Lost, Net Games, and she has lent her voice to the character of Demona on Gargoyles.

Actress Filmography:


Sources:
"Marina Sirtis". Startrek.com 27 Oct 2002 <http://www.startrek.com/library/bios.asp?ID=69069>
"Biography for Marina Sirtis". IMDB. 2004. 13 Jul4 2004 <http://us.imdb.com/Bio?Sirtis,+Marina>
"Off Screen - Marina Sirtis". 27 Oct 2002 <http://www.marinasirtis.tv/sub/off_screen.htm>
I met Marina at a Star Trek convention in Pasadena, California back in the mid-1990s. She is a very outgoing, loquacious woman whose English accent is more pronounced when she's not playing the role of Ms. Troi. Marina and Jonathan Frakes (CDR William T. Riker on STTNG) were signing autographs and having a grand old time talking with the line of fans waiting to see them. It was a bit odd not hearing the "normal" British-sorta accent coming from Marina when we chatted.

There is some real chemistry between Marina and Jonathan, and they play off each other constantly. They ding each other with light-hearted jokes and jibes, and you can tell that they're good friends outside the studio walls.

After signing autographs, they took the stage for some reminiscing of the 'good old days' of The Next Generation. It's easy to see that they must have been the life of the party. She was very disappointed that she didn't get the role as Tasha Yar (she thought she'd make a great tough-gal role model), but the producers convinced her she'd make an excellent Troi. If you look at the very early episodes, you'll see the combination of Troi and Tasha until she nails the character down (and the neckline goes up). Marina Sirtis can also be found on the Internet in a bit part she played in the movie Death Wish III, where she gets raped and appears topless. If you're a big fan of Troi, don't bother looking for it.

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