Marina Sirtis (born March 29, 1955) is a British-American actress who is most noted for playing the comely half-human half-Betazoid Counselor Deanna Troi on the television and film series Star Trek: The Next Generation. She also provided the voice of Demona in the animated series, Gargoyles.
Sirtis was born in London, England. She is a naturalized U.S. citizen of Greek descent. Marina Sirtis has been married to Michael Lamper since June 21, 1992. Her younger brother, Steve, plays soccer in Greece and played for Columbia University in the early 1980s when he was both Ivy League Rookie of the Year and later Player of the Year in 1982 and 1983.
Before her role in Star Trek, Sirtis had only done a few films of little note, including the Faye Dunaway film The Wicked Lady, the Charles Bronson sequel Death Wish 3, and film Blind Date. She appeared topless in the first and nude in the latter two which, once she became famous on Star Trek, caused a legion of youth to seek out stills of those scenes on the early Internet.
Gene Roddenberry was inspired to ask the exotic-looking Sirtis to audition for a role after seeing the film Aliens with Bob Justman, which featured the prominent Latina character 'Vasquez', played by Jenette Goldstein. Sirtis and Denise Crosby initially tried out for the other's eventual role on The Next Generation. Sirtis' character was going to be named Lt. Macha Hernandez, the Security Chief. Gene Roddenberry decided to switch them, and Macha Hernandez became Natasha Yar. Sirtis recalls that on the day she received a call offering her the role of Deanna Troi, she was actually packing to return to England, because her six-month visa had ended.
She has also reprised her character of Deanna Troi in Star Trek: Voyager on several occasions, and also in the series finale of Star Trek: Enterprise.
In 1998, she had a guest role in an episode of the Dick Van Dyke CBS series, Diagnosis: Murder. In 2001, she made a highly publicized guest appearance on the BBC hospital drama series Casualty. In 2004, Sirtis had a role in the Academy Award winning ensemble movie Crash as the wife of an Iranian shopkeeper. She has also appeared in Stargate SG-1 playing the Russian Dr. Svetlana Markov and as Sister Margaret in Earth: Final Conflict.
Sirtis also has experience as a voice actress from the 1994 Disney animated television series Gargoyles, where she provided her voice for the antagonistic character Demona. She voiced the character again for an episode of the unmade Animated Series, Team Atlantis.
Dillard, JM. Star Trek: A History in Pictures. Paramount and Pocket Books, 1994. New York.