Denise Crosby (born November 24, 1957) guest starred as Captain Susan Salinger in the first and second seasons of Southland. Her character is the ex-wife of main character Daniel Salinger. She is an American actress best known for portraying Security Chief Tasha Yar on Star Trek: The Next Generation. She is also known for her numerous film and television roles, for starring in and producing the film Trekkies, and for being the granddaughter of singer Bing Crosby.
Crosby was born in Hollywood, California, the daughter of Marilyn Scott and actor Dennis Crosby. Her paternal grandfather was actor/singer/comedian Bing Crosby. She attended LeConte Junior High School with actress Rita Wilson (wife of Tom Hanks). Her choice of career solidified at an early age and was influenced by the involvement of other family members in show business.
Crosby's first high-profile role was as Lisa Davis on the soap opera Days of our Lives. She has appeared as Dr. Gretchen Kelly in three episodes of Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, and as a sheriff on The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. episode "No Man's Land". In the early 1990s, she played the role of the mayor in the short-lived series Key West. She also appeared in two episodes of the cable television series Red Shoe Diaries, playing a different character in each episode. Crosby had a small recurring role in Aaron Spelling's prime time drama, Models Inc, a spin-off from Melrose Place. She was a guest star on the eighth season of The X-Files for two episodes, in which she plays a doctor who took examinations of Agent Scully's baby. In 1991, she was a guest star in a first season The Flash episode as Dr. Rebecca Frost. In 2006, she was a guest star in Dexter as Dexter's first victim.
Crosby has a recurring role in Southland as Susan Salinger, the ex-wife of main character Detective Dan "Sal" Salinger. She appeared in the first and second seasons of the series.
One of her very first film appearances was in the 1982 Nick Nolte/Eddie Murphy film 48 Hrs. In 1986, she played a robotics engineer, Nora Hunter, in the science fiction movie Eliminators. She had the leading role in the film Dolly Dearest in 1992. She also appeared in Stephen King's Pet Sematary and Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown. She starred in the 2002 western horror film Legend of the Phantom Rider. Crosby starred in the Tobe Hooper horror film Mortuary. She also appeared in the 1998 movie Deep Impact starring Elijah Wood.
In 1987, Crosby was cast in the role of Tasha Yar for the much publicized return of Star Trek to television in the syndicated series Star Trek: The Next Generation. She had been chosen to play Counsellor Deanna Troi before Gene Roddenberry switched the roles that she and Marina Sirtis had initially been given. Initially one of the top-billed characters and featured prominently in episodes such as "The Naked Now" and "Code of Honor", the role of Tasha gradually moved into the background as other members of the ensemble cast became a greater focus of the series. It has been reported that Crosby grew disillusioned with her role because of its "Uhura-like" status: "I was struggling with not being able to do much with the character. I had all these ideas and couldn't do them. I was just stage dressing." Ultimately, Crosby decided to leave the show. Her character was unceremoniously killed by the alien creature Armus during the episode "Skin of Evil." She had appeared in 22 episodes when she left.
In later years, Crosby had second thoughts about leaving the show, and approached the TNG production team with the idea of reprising her role of Tasha Yar. This came to be in season three's "Yesterday's Enterprise" in which an alternate timeline is created after the USS Enterprise-C, the predecessor to TNG's USS Enterprise-D, comes forward 22 years in time. Yar joined the Enterprise-C before it returned to its own time. During the documentary Trekkies, Crosby commented that her Tasha Yar character had to die in order to get "the best episodes."
Crosby also guest starred in several other TNG episodes, "Redemption" as Romulan Commander Sela, the half-human, half-Romulan daughter of Tasha Yar, who had been taken prisoner in the past while on-board the Enterprise-C. Crosby later reprised the role in the Star Trek: Armada video game.
Tasha Yar was also featured in the final episode of the series entitled "All Good Things..." in which Captain Picard is moving back and forth through time, and encounters Tasha during the events just prior to the pilot episode.
Crosby produced and narrated the 1997 documentary Trekkies, followed by the 2003 sequel, Trekkies 2. Both films star Crosby, who conducts interviews with devotees of Star Trek, more commonly known as "Trekkies."
Along with other Star Trek actors, she has also appeared as Dr Jenna Yar (grandmother of Natasha Yar) in the fan produced series Star Trek New Voyages: Phase II.
Following her appearance on Star Trek: The Next Generation, nude photos of Crosby that originally appeared in the March 1979 edition of Playboy magazine were republished in the May 1988 issue. In the pictorial, Crosby was featured as a new-wave model, with the additional angle of being the granddaughter of the legendary Bing Crosby.
Crosby appeared in Chris Isaak's first music video, "Dancin'". In 1986, she appeared in a music video for Black Sabbath's "No Stranger to Love".
In January and February 2010, Crosby performed alongside Gale Harold and ex-model Claudia Mason in Tennessee Williams' Orpheus Descending at Theater/Theatre in Los Angeles. The production and cast received mostly positive reviews in the Los Angeles Times stating, "Harold, ideally cast, beautifully ignites with Crosby, whose unconventional interpretation is an affecting revelation."
Crosby was married to Geoffrey Edwards (son of director Blake Edwards) from 1983 to 1990. She appeared in a few of Blake Edwards's films, including 10, Skin Deep, Trail of the Pink Panther, and Curse of the Pink Panther. Crosby is currently married to Ken Sylk. They have a son, August William Sylk.
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