Gates McFadden of Picard worked on David Bowie’s Labyrinth
Before McFadden Gateswho, as Dr. Beverly Crusher in Star Trek: The Next Generationtaught Data (Brent Spiner) to dance, choreographer Cheryl McFadden (Gates’ first name) taught Mr. “Let’s Dance” himself, David Bowie, how to waltz on set Labyrinth.
Because space geeks and goblins love it when their fandoms collide, the news than before it GNT role, McFadden served as director of choreography and puppet movement on Jim Henson films, including The dark crystal and The Muppets take Manhattan, breaks up every few years when a Trekkie reporter or die-hard David Bowie first hears about it. In a Tweet sent on September 16, 2022, the “Holodeck Four” Twitter account (@holodeckfour) shared several images highlighting McFadden’s work as “Director of Puppet Choreography and Movement” for the cult film 1986 Labyrinthstarring David Bowie as Jareth, the Goblin King, and Jennifer Connelly as Sarah Williams, a teenage girl who embarks on a quest to reach the center of the eponymous maze in order to save her baby brother from Gareth.
Originally, McFadden was cast as Sarah’s mother and agreed to do the choreography on top of that. However, due to UK labor laws, she was not allowed to appear on screen, even though she had been told for two years that she would fill both roles, and instead she did not. only played the role of choreographer. In the final version of the film, she is credited with her first name, Cheryl McFadden. This is because his choreography work is usually credited in this way.
McFadden is best known for her role as Dr. Crusher in GNT and in the star trek movies. She also recently appeared in an episode of Star Trek: Prodigy and will reprise the role for the third and final season of Star Trek: Picard. Although better known as Starfleet, she has an extensive acting resume. At the Jim Henson Company, she was also director of choreography and puppet movement for 1984 The Muppets Take Manhattanin which she also appeared on screen as Nancy, Martin Prince’s secretary.
Gates McFadden is an accomplished stage actor
In addition to performing in front of and behind the camera, McFadden is also an accomplished stage actor. In 1992, she appeared in four performances of a stage performance of Every good boy deserves a favorwho shared the limelight GNT alumni Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner and Colm Meaney. And that’s not all for this multi-talented Starfleet officer, McFadden has also taught at several universities (including Harvard, Purdue and the University of Pittsburgh) and served as an adjunct faculty member at the School of Theater at the University. University of Southern California.
McFadden continues to be involved in the Trek community too. In 2021, she narrated and executive produced Central Headquarters: 55 Years of Star Trek, a documentary series for the History Channel. She also hosts a podcast featuring many guests who know Trekkies well: Gates McFadden investigates.