The man who portrayed Gul Dukat on “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” Marc Alaimo, was compelling in the role. From making empty threats to Captain Sisko and Garak to the veiled sexual messages he sent to Major Kira, Dukat was a menace from the start to the end.
Some might be surprised to learn that Alaimo played various roles on several “Star Trek” series, and not all were Cardassian. Though, he was the first Cardassian.
In fact, his neck inspired the look of the Cardassian race. For the first appearance of the race on “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” the show’s makeup guru Michael Westmore created the Cardassian neck ridges after Alaimo’s unique physical appearance.
Here are the various roles and appearances of the great Marc Alaimo on Trek:
Fans might remember “Lonely Among Us” as the episode when the Enterprise hosted the dog-like Antican species and their arch-rivals, the lizard-esque Selay. Alaimo played an Antican named Badar N’D’D, whose name was not used in the episode. Alaimo was uncredited for the role, but fans figured it out and credited him on Memory Alpha.
Alaimo donned the pointed ears of a Romulan for the TNG episode, “The Neutral Zone.” He and Anthony James were the first actors to portray Romulans on “The Next Generation.” Alaimo matched wits with Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart), warning Picard on the Federation’s incursion into Romulan space.
Another first for Alaimo — he portrayed the first Cardassian on “Star Trek.” It was Gul Macet, not Dukat. In the episode “The Wounded,” Gul Macet argued with Picard much the same way Dukat would argue with Sisko. Since he is so closely associated with the Cardassians, one might assume Alaimo got the part of Gul Dukat after playing Macet. But this is not the case.
“I didn’t even know this until much later on, but they brought in someone else to do Gul Dukat,” Alaimo told writer Steve Eramo in 2011. “It turned out that he was an incredible friend of mine but didn’t work out, so they called me in. Since then, I’ve had this sense that nothing is forever and that you can’t count on anything, particularly in this business. I went in, though, did the audition, and got the part, and Dukat’s been a marvelous extension for me as an actor.”
In his final appearance on “The Next Generation,” Alaimo played a cowboy-hustler who got outwitted by Mr. Data (Brent Spiner). As Frederick LaRouque, Alaimo invited Data to play a poker game, as Data was trapped in the 19th Century.
Alaimo appeared on “Deep Space Nine” as Dukat over 33 episodes. Sometimes he was the ally of Sisko and Kira (Nana Visitor). Other times, he was their sworn enemy. And there were a few episodes where Dukat was the enemy of Sisko’s enemy… so they were in a few uneasy alliances. Alaimo is particularly proud of his time as Dukat, as he told writer Steve Eramo in 2011.
“I’ve had a pretty long career in a lot of different areas, but ‘Deep Space Nine’ has become this wonderful little feather in my cap, and I’m thankful for that,” said Alaimo in the interview. “I’m proud of the series, and the whole experience has been a very positive one for me.”
Alaimo got to show his human side for the episode “Far Beyond the Stars.” Burt Ryan was a racist cop who harassed people in New York City. Many hail “Far Beyond the Stars” as among the very best DS9 episodes. Written by Ira Steven Behr and Hans Beimler, based on a story by Marc Scott Zicree, the episode was directed by Avery Brooks.
This character was actually Gul Dukat in disguise. Alaimo appeared as Tennan during the “The Changing Face of Evil,” and other episodes, which aired in the seventh and final season of the show.
READ NEXT: Top 7 Best New Star Trek Toys & Collectibles