Leonard Crofoot is best-known to Trek fans for his role as Trent in the first season episode Angel One, and the actor liked the idea of a planet run by women.
Crofoot made three appearances on Star Trek. The two that he made on The Next Generation meant the most to the actor.
Crofoot originally tried out for a Ferengi role. “My agent submitted me for the parts for three different Ferengi,” he said. “When I read for those parts I was told that I was more right for another episode, which turned out to be Angel One.”
Angel One featured a world run by women. “I loved the concept of living on a planet controlled by women,” he said. “I wish there were more women in positions of power. The women cast for this episode were very tall, and I am not, which created a strong visual for dominant women. The role of Trent was important to me because even though I was playing subservient to mistress Beata, I also did away with people at her command. There was a sense of a villain in that character and I loved that. Originally, Gene Roddenberry had the makeup department do me up in gorgeous model-type makeup, but they nixed that because they felt that it was a bit too much. They went with a more subdued look, but with a serpent earring and an outfit that managed to be prettified while still vaguely masculine. It was brilliant.”
Next up was The Offspring, where Crofoot played the mannequin version of Lal. Crofoot’s role in that episode was courtesy of Jonathan Frakes. “A few years later I had another audition,” said Crofoot. “This time it was for The Offspring. Jonathan Frakes spoke to me before I auditioned and explained that he had me come in because of my dance experience and he really needed someone who could offer many movement possibilities.”
“My background is both in acting and in dance, so this role felt like an especially good fit,” said Crofoot. “I found interpreting the behavior of the android child of an android a particularly compelling role and was grateful for the opportunity.”
Crofoot enjoyed working with the Next Generation cast both times. “My recollection of the first season was that the whole cast was on edge, wondering if the show was going to be picked up,” he said. “By the third season they had settled in. I loved working with the entire cast on both episodes. They made me feel at home and part of the team the entire time. I remember the intensity of Patrick observing and walking around Lal and I admired the physicality he invented. Brent was generous in demonstrating his own physical mannerisms in the creation of Data. Jonathan is a true gentleman, as a person and as a director. Even though I was only there for a single episode, he was always kind, helpful and generous. Marina was both light-hearted and comforting, just like her character. We held hands. I’ll never forget working with her.”
Crofoot is still acting, and still dancing. “I have been a background player several times on The Big Bang Theory and am astonished at the ability of those performers,” he said. “I take several ballet classes a week with maestro Stefan Wenta and recently performed in a theater piece called Blue Apple, playing a doctor in an insane hospital. I have been working on a two-person play and love listening to music, especially the work of Icelandic singer Bjork. I feel very fortunate to have had led such an interesting life.”