Actor John de Lancie

John Sherwood de Lancie, Jr. (born March 20, 1948) is an American actor, director, producer, writer, educator, and comedian, best known for his role as the alien Q in various Star Trek series (1987–present), beginning with Star Trek: The Next Generation. His other television series roles include Eugene Bradford in Days of Our Lives (1982–1986; 1989–1990), Frank Simmons in Stargate SG-1 (2001–2002), Donald Margolis in Breaking Bad (2009–2010), Agent Allen Shapiro in Torchwood (2011), as well as the voice of Discord in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (2011–2019). In the 2010s, de Lancie received credit for his public support of bronies of the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fandom. He has become an outspoken secular activist and was a featured speaker at the 2016 Reason Rally and CSICon 2019.

Early life

De Lancie was born John Sherwood de Lancie, Jr. in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on March 20, 1948, one of two children born to John Sherwood de Lancie, Sr. (1921–2002), principal oboist of the Philadelphia Orchestra from 1954 to 1977, and Andrea de Lancie. He has a sister named Christina.

He was diagnosed with dyslexia as a child and, as such, struggled with reading difficulties throughout his school years. He did not learn to read until he was 12. One of his teachers recommended that his parents encourage him to consider a career as an actor. He began to act around the age of 14, performing in a high school production of William Shakespeare’s Henry V. De Lancie went on to study acting at Kent State University (he was in attendance during the Kent State shootings on May 4, 1970) and won a scholarship at Juilliard. He performed in numerous stage productions, participating at such engagements as the American Shakespeare Festival and the Mark Taper Forum, as well as establishing a successful career in film and television.


Film and television

De Lancie portrayed Q, a recurring character in several series of the Star Trek franchise. Q is notable for his mischievous personality. He is one of the few characters appearing in multiple series of the franchise: eight episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation (“Encounter at Farpoint,” “Hide and Q,” “Q Who,” “Deja Q,” “Qpid,” “True Q,” “Tapestry,” “All Good Things…”), one episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (“Q-Less”), three episodes of Star Trek: Voyager (“Death Wish,” “The Q and the Grey,” “Q2”), and one episode of Star Trek: Lower Decks (“Veritas”). De Lancie’s son Keegan de Lancie appeared with his father as Q Junior in one episode of Star Trek: Voyager (“Q2”).

My popularity is very disproportionate to the amount of times that I actually was on the show. … It’s a double-edged sword. I never partook of the financial rewards of the show in terms of being a regular, I just came on and once a year would do a show.

Initially, de Lancie was too busy to audition for the part of Q, but Gene Roddenberry (whom he did not know) arranged a second opportunity. De Lancie recognized that even though Star Trek was only a small part of his career, it opened doors for him.

In a 2012 interview, de Lancie recalled his original audition for Q, after which Roddenberry approached him, touched him on the shoulder, and said, “You make my writing sound better than it is.”

In April 2021, it was announced that de Lancie would reprise the role of Q in the second season of Star Trek: Picard.

In addition to his role in Star Trek, de Lancie appeared in many other television series. He was a popular actor on Days of Our Lives as Eugene Bradford. He also co-starred in Michael Piller’s creation Legend and had recurring roles in Stargate SG-1 as an NID agent.

He guest-starred in multiple television series, including Breaking Bad as Donald Margolis, The West Wing, Charmed, Andromeda, The Unit, MacGyver, Law & Order: LA, Torchwood: Miracle Day, Touched by an Angel, Time Trax, the 1980s revival of Mission: Impossible, and Special Unit 2.

De Lancie’s film credits include The Hand that Rocks the Cradle, Get Smart, Again!, The Fisher King, Bad Influence, The Onion Field, Taking Care of Business, Fearless, Arcade, Multiplicity, Woman on Top, Good Advice, Pathology, Evolver, Reign Over Me, My Apocalypse, Crank: High Voltage, and You Lucky Dog.

De Lancie was a celebrity spokesman for Compaq computers. His son Keegan also appears in commercials for Dell computers.

De Lancie voiced Antonio Malochio in Interstate ’76, Trias in Planescape: Torment, Dr. Death in Outlaws, William Miles in Assassin’s Creed: Revelations and Assassin’s Creed III, Fitz Quadwrangle in Quantum Conundrum, and Q in both the Star Trek: The Next Generation pinball game and the mobile game Star Trek Timelines, and portrayed Q in Star Trek: Borg. He further voiced the human emperor in Master of Orion: Conquer the Stars. He also voiced Alarak in StarCraft 2: Legacy of the Void and reprised the role for Heroes of the Storm. More recently, he voiced Geist, the leader of the Templars in the XCOM 2 expansion War of the Chosen. He voiced the narrator wizard of Popup Dungeon.


De Lancie was a member of the American Shakespeare Festival, the Seattle Repertory Company, South Coast Repertory, the Mark Taper Forum, and the Old Globe (where he performed Arthur Miller’s Resurrection Blues).

He performed and directed for Los Angeles Theater Works, the producing arm of KCRW-FM and National Public Radio, where the series The Play’s the Thing originated.

De Lancie co-hosted and appeared in Star Trek: The Music, a touring company, with fellow actor Robert Picardo, who portrayed the Doctor in Star Trek: Voyager. De Lancie and Picardo narrate around the orchestral performance, explaining the history of the music in Star Trek. He performed Pierre Curie in Alan Alda’s play, Radiance: The Passion of Marie Curie in 2001 at the Geffen Theater in Los Angeles.

De Lancie hosted the children’s concerts at Walt Disney Concert Hall during the 2003–04 season.

Voice acting

Known for his quite deep, resonant voice, de Lancie has lent his voice to a number of projects. He played the voice of Discord, a recurring character in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. Discord was inspired by Q as an omnipotent being who embodies chaos, but is genuinely good-hearted and is occasionally helpful to the heroes of the show; another connection to Q is that Discord often uses less contractions in his vocabulary. Initially, Lauren Faust wanted to cast someone who could impersonate de Lancie, but Hasbro suggested casting de Lancie himself. Ironically, de Lancie has stated in an interview that, in preparation for his role as Discord, he did not draw from his past experience as Q. De Lancie mentioned during a 2013 convention panel that his voice recordings of Discord are sped up and lose their deep bass sound. According to Jim Miller in The Art of Equestria, de Lancie’s sessions are always done by phone, but his first session as Discord was videotaped.

His other animated roles included The Angry Beavers, Extreme Ghostbusters, Invader Zim, Duck Dodgers, Max Steel, Duckman, Young Justice, and DC Super Hero Girls as Mr. Freeze.


De Lancie co-wrote the Star Trek novel I, Q with Peter David, as well as co-writing the novel Soldier of Light (with Tom Cool). He wrote the DC comic book story The Gift. In 1996 with Leonard Nimoy and writer-producer Nat Segaloff, De Lancie formed and recorded Alien Voices, a collection of audio dramas based on classic science fiction and fantasy stories, such as The Time Machine and The Lost World.


De Lancie has performed as narrator with a number of major orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and Symphony Nova Scotia. He provided the narration for the world premiere of Lorenzo Palomo’s The Sneetches and Other Stories (based on the book by Dr. Seuss) with the Oberlin Conservatory Orchestra. He has written and directed ten symphonic plays which were produced with the Milwaukee, St. Paul Chamber, Ravinia, Los Angeles, and Pasadena Orchestras.

De Lancie was the writer, director and host of First Nights, an adult concert series at the Walt Disney Concert Hall with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, based loosely on the book of the same name by Thomas Forrest Kelly, which explored the life and music of Stravinsky, Beethoven, Mahler, Schumann, and Prokofiev. In 2006, de Lancie made his opera directorial debut with the Atlanta Opera performing Puccini’s “Tosca” from May 18–21.[citation needed]

In September 2019, de Lancie narrated as “Forever of the Stars” in the first ever live performances of Ayreon’s Sci-Fi concept album Into the Electric Castle.


While on stage at the 2012 Ottawa ComicCon, de Lancie announced that he had made plans to co-produce a documentary about “bronies” (older, usually male teenage and adult fans of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic). De Lancie stated he was taken aback by how disrespectfully national news media portrayed the brony fandom.

He started a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the documentary, now titled Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony. The Kickstarter campaign began on May 13, 2012, and by June 10, had reached a total of $322,022, becoming Kickstarter’s second-highest funded film project of all time.

Personal life

De Lancie is married to Marnie Mosiman, and the couple have two sons, Keegan (born 1984) and Owen (born 1987).

De Lancie is an experienced sailor, spending time on the Pacific Ocean, which “sometimes involves very terrifying experiences.”

He is long-time friends with fellow Star Trek alumna Kate Mulgrew. He is also good friends with MacGyver and Stargate SG-1 star Richard Dean Anderson. They have both appeared together in episodes of both series, as well as in the 1995 television series Legend.

Secular activism

Raised by secular parents, de Lancie is an advocate for atheism and humanism. Of his education in a religious school in Philadelphia, he remembers associating religion with manipulation. Rather than developing a religious outlook, he became fascinated by an ever-changing world: “I’m wondering if one of the things at the core of believing in God, or not, has to do with change. I have grown to embrace change. Personally, I love reading the science section in the paper every morning. I’m in awe of humankind’s boundless curiosity.”

On June 4, 2016, he addressed the participants at the Reason Rally in Washington, D.C. Speaking in reference to his Star Trek character Q, he said:

My name is John de Lancie, and I am a god. At least, I’ve played one on TV. And I’m here to tell you as a god that I was created by humans. And the words I spoke were written by men and women … My creators took great care in exalting me to the position I hold today. And just like all the gods before me—Zeus, Baal, Yahweh—my god creators wanted you to believe that I am the omnipotent one. The alpha and the omega. … Truth be told, … I don’t exist any more than the thousands of other gods that humans have created, worshipped, and died for since the beginning of time. … But if you insist on believing in me, you do so at your own risk. … I will lead you down the path of ignorance, intolerance, and bigotry. … All because you believe. …

On July 14, 2017, he attended the unveiling of a statue of Clarence Darrow at the Rhea County Courthouse, Dayton, Tennessee, the site of the Scopes Trial in 1925, where Darrow had argued in favor of the teaching of evolution and secular education.

In October 2019, de Lancie was a featured speaker at the annual conference of the Center for Inquiry, CSICon. At the conference he announced two new projects. The first, an animated series, titled God’s Goofs, is meant to point out that intelligent design is absurd. The second project is a play based on the 2005 intelligent design trial in Dover, Pennsylvania.



Year Title Role Notes
1979 The Onion Field LAPD Lieutenant No. 2
1990 Bad Influence Howard
Taking Care of Business Ted Bradford, Jr.
1991 The Fisher King TV Executive
1992 The Hand that Rocks the Cradle Dr. Victor Mott
1993 Arcade Difford
Fearless Jeff Gordon
1994 Deep Red Thomas Newmeyer
1995 Evolver Russell Bennett
1996 Multiplicity Ted Gray
1997 Trekkies Himself
1998 Saving Private Ryan Letter-Reader Voice
You Lucky Dog Lyle Windsor
1999 Final Run George Bouchard
2000 Woman on Top Alex Reeves
2001 Nicolas Dr. Fisher
Good Advice Ted
2007 Reign Over Me Nigel Pennington
Teenius Principal Senseman
2008 My Apocalypse Nathan Eastman
Pathology Dr. Quentin Morris
2009 Crank: High Voltage Fish Halman
Gamer Chief of Staff
2013 Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony Himself Co-producer
2015 Visions Victor Napoli
2017 Olaf’s Frozen Adventure Mr. Olsen Voice


Year Title Role Notes
1977 Barnaby Jones Grady Season 6 Ep21 Terror on a Quiet Afternoon
McMillan & Wife Powell
SST: Death Flight Bob Connors Television film
1977–1978 The Six Million Dollar Man Various Characters
1978–1979 Emergency! Dr. Deroy
1978 The Bastard Lt. Stark
1979 Battlestar Galactica Officer Episode: “Experiment in Terra”
1981 Nero Wolfe Tom Irwin Episode: “Might as Well Be Dead”
1982–1986, 1989–1990 Days of Our Lives Eugene Bradford
1983 The Thorn Birds Alastair MacQueen Miniseries
1986 The New Twilight Zone The Dispatcher Episode: “Dead Run”
MacGyver Brian Ashford Episode: “The Escape”
Murder, She Wrote Binky Holborn Episode: “If the Frame Fits”
1987–1994 Star Trek: The Next Generation Q 8 episodes
1988 Trial and Error Bob Adams Regular cast
Mission: Impossible Matthew Drake Episode: “The Killer”
Hooperman Lucius Cain Episode: “High Noon”
1989 Get Smart, Again! Major Preston Waterhouse Uncredited
The Nutt House Norman Shrike Episode: “Pilot”
1991 L.A. Law Mark Chelios Episode: “The Beverly Hill Hangers”
1993 Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Q Episode: “Q-Less”
Batman: The Animated Series Eagleton
1994 Without Warning Barry Steinbrenner Television film
1995 Legend Janos Bartok
1996 Picket Fences District Attorney Episode: “Three Weddings and a Meltdown”
Touched by an Angel Justinian Jones Episode: “Jones vs. God”
1997 Duckman Tyler Fitzgerald Episode: “From Brad to Worse”
1996–2001 Star Trek: Voyager Q 3 episodes
1996–1997 The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest Dr. Quest 17 episodes
2000 Angry Beavers The Yak in the Sack Episode: “Yak in the Sack”
The Outer Limits Donald Finley Episode: “The Gun”
The West Wing Al Kiefer 2 episodes
Sports Night Bert Stors Episode: “April is the Cruelest Month”
2001–2002 Andromeda Sid Barry alias Sam Profitt 2 episodes
2001 Special Unit 2 King of the Links Episode: “The Eve”
The Practice Walter Bannish
Dan Dare: Pilot of the Future Gerard Hamilton Episode: “The Surrender of Earth”
2002 Crossing Jordan Medical Examiner Thaxton Episode: “Payback”
2001–2002 Stargate SG-1 Frank Simmons / Goa’uld 5 episodes
2003 Judging Amy Dr. Eagan Episode: “Picture of Perfect”
2003 Duck Dodgers Sinestro Voice
Episode: “The Green Loontern”
2004–2005 Charmed Odin
2005 The Closer Dr. Dawson Episode: “Flashpoint
2005 Invader Zim Agent Darkbootie Voice
2 episodes
2008 The Unit Elliott Gillum Episode: “Dancing Lessons”
2009 Greek Himself Episode: “The Dork Knight”
2009–2010 Breaking Bad Donald Margolis 4 episodes
2011 Law & Order: LA Judge Avery Staynor Episode: “Carthay Circle”
Franklin & Bash Gallen Episode “Bachelor Party”
Torchwood: Miracle Day Agent Allen Shapiro 3 episodes
Young Justice Mister Twister Voice
Episode: “Welcome to Happy Harbor”
2011–2019 My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Discord Voice
23 episodes
1 television special
2012 NTSF:SD:SUV:: Leonardo da Vinci Episode: “Time Angels”
The Secret Circle Royce Armstrong Episode: “Crystal”
2014 The Mentalist Edward Feinberg Episode: “Silver Wings of Times”
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation General Robert Landsdale Episode: “Boston Brakes”
2015 The Librarians Mephistopheles Episode: “And the Infernal Contract”
2016 Justice League Action Brainiac Voice
2 episodes
2017 Star Trek Continues Galisti Episode: “What Ships Are For”
2019 DC Super Hero Girls Mr. Freeze
2020 Star Trek: Lower Decks Q (voice) Episode: “Veritas”
2022 Star Trek: Picard Q Filming; 6 episodes

Episode: “Welcome to Happy Harbor”

Video games

Year Title Role Notes
1996 Star Trek: Borg Q
1997 Outlaws Matthew ‘Dr. Death’ Jackson Voice
Interstate ’76 Antonio Malochio Voice
1998 Star Trek: The Game Show Q
Interstate ’76 Arsenal Antonio Malochio Voice
1999 Gabriel Knight 3: Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned Montreaux Voice
Planescape: Torment Trias the Betrayer Voice
2000 Star Trek: ConQuest Online Q Voice
2011 Assassin’s Creed: Revelations William Miles Voice
2012 Quantum Conundrum Professor Fitz Quadwrangle Voice
Assassin’s Creed III William Miles Voice
2014 Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff Q Voice
2015 StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void Alarak Voice
My Little Pony, Twilight’s Kingdom Storybook App Discord Voice
2016 Master of Orion: Conquer the Stars Human Emperor Voice
Heroes of the Storm Alarak Voice
StarCraft II: Nova Covert Ops Alarak Voice
World of Warcraft: Legion Vydhar / Morphael Voice (uncredited)
2017 XCOM 2: War of the Chosen Geist Voice
2018 Payday 2 46th President of the United States
2019 Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Rushmore

External Links

Actor John de Lancie – Wikipedia

About the author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *