If you were a fan of the successful TV series Star Trek: The Next Generation, you will certainly remember Denise Crosby. The American actress made herself popular with the audience with her portrayal of the tireless Lieutenant Tasha Yar in the series. At the end of the first season, however, she managed a shock exit. This development saddened many believers of the show and also led to several conspiracy theories about why the actress left the show. Some claimed that it was because of her excessive ambition, while others stated that she was fired because of a nude photoshoot. So what is the real reason for Crosby’s departure and what has she done since? All this and more can be found in the following sections.
How Denise Crosby’s acting career began
Denise Crosby was born on 24 November 1957 in Los Angeles, California. Her father is a popular actor, Dennis Crosby, while her paternal grandfather was the legendary entertainer Bing Crosby. Coming from a line of entertainers, it is not surprising that Denise had the desire to enter the acting business at a very early age. In order to realize these ambitions, Crosby enrolled in theater studies at college. However, she broke off her studies after some thoughtless remarks of one of her teachers. When she left school she decided to continue her professional acting career and made her debut in 1979 in the novel comedy, 10th Symphony.
From then on she played minor roles in several movies and TV series, including Days of Our Lives, Malice in Wonderland, L.A. Law, Trail of the Pink Panther, The Man Who Loved Women, Desert Hearts, and Eliminators. Eliminators is a 1986 sci-fi/action movie that follows Dr. Reeves, a mad scientist who uses the body of a dead pilot to construct a cyborg called Mandroid. Reeves first uses the Mandroid as a guinea pig, but the cyborg later takes revenge with the help of another scientist named Nora. Eliminators like Patrick Reynolds and Andrew Pine were present, while Crosby played the role of Nora.
The real reason why she left Star Trek
After almost a decade of supporting roles, Denise Crosby got her well-deserved breakthrough when she was cast in Star Trek: The Next Generation in 1987. The series is the third part of the Star Trek franchise and takes place in the 24th century. It follows the adventures of the spaceship USS Enterprise-D while exploring the Milky Way galaxy. In TNG, Denise Crosby plays the role of Lieutenant Tasha Yar, the head of security onboard the spaceship.
Her character is known for her insane close combat skills, but she also amazes fans with her hidden sensuality. Crosby appeared in about 26 episodes of TNG before he decided to leave. Her decision was based on the fact that her character was not fully utilized. Although Yar appeared in many episodes, her appearance was limited to standing on a bridge and greeting the captain of the ship. To make matters worse, only her legs were visible.
This situation made Crosby unhappy and she sought out the creator of the series to see if there were improvements in the future. The creator, however, told her in no uncertain terms that the show would continue to revolve mainly around the Captain, Data and the First Officer and that there would be no further development of her character. So Crosby realized that her continued stay on TNG would not benefit her career. So she left the series and her character was written off afterward.
It should be noted that Crosby left TNG on good terms. She resumed the role of Tasha in Season 3, Episode 15 with the title “Yesterday’s Enterprise”. The California-born actress also returned to portray Yar’s daughter Sela in four episodes. They are the finale of Season 4, Season 5, Episodes 1, 2, and 7.
Her post-star trek career
Denise Crosby’s acting career did not end with Star Trek: The Next Generation. Since leaving the series, she has appeared in several movies and TV series, including Legend of the Phantom Rider, Relative Four, Skin Deep, Miracle Mile, Itsy-Bitsy, Key West, Ray Donovan, The Walking Dead, The X-Files, and Baywatch, among others. One of Crosby’s latest projects is the long-running right-wing drama Suits, in which she appeared in the last season of 2019. She played the role of Faye Richardson, a special master appointed by the New York Bar Association to oversee the firm’s activities.
Denise Crosby also remains loyal to the Star Trek universe. Although she has left the show, the actress is very grateful for her time on the show and never takes it for granted. For this reason, she often appears at various sci-fi conventions to discuss the series. She has also appeared in a video game series, Star Trek: Armada, and an online series produced by the indie, Star Trek: New Voyages.
Crosby is also one of the executive producers of Trekkies, a documentary that provides a humorous insight into the lives of Star Trek fans. While Trekkies 1 was released in 1997, Trekkies 2 followed in 2003, and Trekkies 3 is also in progress. In an interview with MediaVillage in July 2019, Crosby revealed that she is thinking about a 3rd and final episode of the series.