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Jonathan Frakes Biography – Early Life, Acting Career & Net Worth

Jonathan Frakes Biography

Jonathan Frakes is a veteran Hollywood star who has worked on over 90 projects since making his debut in the late 1970s. He is known not only for his acting journey but also as the host of the anthology series Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction and his voiceover works. Furthermore, he has served as the director of numerous television series such as Star Trek: Picard, Leverage: Redemption and The Librarians to name a few.

As a result of his long and successful journey in the entertainment world, people have shown interest in Jonathan and his story. So, in this biography we will take a detailed look at Frakes’ childhood, family life, career and more.

Where Is Jonathan Frakes From?

The multi talented star was born Jonathan Scott Frakes in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, on August 19, 1952. He grew up alongside his younger brother named Daniel Frakes who sadly passed away from pancreatic cancer in 1997. Jonathan Frakes’ parents Dr. James R. Frakes and Doris J. Yingling aka Doris J. Frakes raised him and his brother in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Frakes’ father, James served as a professor of English at Lehigh University from 1958 to 2001. He was reportedly the Edmund W. Fairchild Professor in American Studies there and also worked as a New York Times Book Review critic.

Moreover, James also worked as a book editor until his tragic death in 2002. Jonathan’s mother, Doris on the other hand passed away in 2020.

Talking about his childhood, the talented actor grew up in the Lehigh Valley region of eastern Pennsylvania and attended the Liberty High School there. At school Jonathan apparently ran track while also playing with the school’s Grenadier Band. He was a member of the International Thespian Society.

Frakes graduated from high school in 1970 and then enrolled at the Pennsylvania State University. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater Arts in 1974 before earning his Master of Arts degree in 1976 from Harvard University.

When Did Jonathan Frakes Start His Acting Career?

Jonathan Frakes’ career in the entertainment world started in the 1970s when worked for Marvel Comics, appearing at conventions in Captain America costume. Following his move to New York City, he joined the Impossible Ragtime Theater. Through the company, the Pennsylvania native made his off-Broadway debut in the production of The Hairy Ape. As for his first Broadway play, he appeared in the production of Shenandoah.

At the same time, Frakes also booked the part of Tom Carroll in the show, The Doctors. He appeared in 90 episodes from 1977 to 1978 before his character was dismissed. He then moved to Los Angeles and booked guest roles in numerous top TV series of the 70s and 80s such as The Waltons, Eight Is Enough, The Dukes of Hazzard, Hart to Hart, Matlock, Quincy, M.E. and Hill Street Blues. He also appeared in  a few TV movies including Bare Essence and Beach Patrol.

Then in 1987, Jonathan booked the part of Commander William T. Riker in the sci-fi series Star Trek: The Next Generation. He not only starred in all 176 episodes of the show but was also allowed to sit in the behind the camera process. This helped him prepare for his role as a director and he directed 8 episodes between 1990 and 1994.

Frakes continued to star in many other series in the Star Trek universe such as Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Insurrection and Star Trek: Generations. He also directed numerous episodes and movies in that universe.

Besides his work in the Star Trek universe, Jonathan Frakes is also known for his voiceover work in the animated series, Gargoyles. He voiced the recurring character David Xanatos in 34 episodes from 1994 to 1996 and reprised the role in other related projects, Gargoyles the Movie: The Heroes Awaken and Gargoyles: The Goliath Chronicles.

Continuing with his acting journey, the talented star has worked on numerous movies and television series over the years. Listed below are few of the projects that he starred in over the years:

  • Dying to Live
  • Rosewell
  • Futurama
  • The Librarian: Return to King Solomon’s Mines
  • Criminal Minds
  • Glenn Martin DDS
  • Beckinfield
  • Leverage
  • B-52: Three Generations
  • Devil’s Gate
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • The Astronauts

Furthermore, Jonathan has also directed episodes of many popular television series such as Finding Carter, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Castle, Make It or Break It, Leverage, The Twilight Zone and more.

Frakes returned to the Star Trek universe reprising the part of William Riker in Star Trek: Lower Decks and Star Trek: Picard. He also directed 7 episodes in Star Trek: Discovery and 6 episodes in Star Trek: Picard.

Well, it is evident that Jonathan Frakes’ net worth of $25 million is mostly thanks to his work in the Star Trek universe. But he must have also earned a considerable sum from his appearance in other projects. And with even more projects on the horizon there is no doubt that his fortune will increase in the coming days.

Who Is Jonathan Frakes Married To?

Talking about his personal life, Jonathan Frakes has been married to his longtime partner, Genie Francis since 1988. The pair first met while working on the show, Bare Essence, but started dating only in 1985. They got engaged the following year and then tied the knot in May 1988.

In their over three decades long marriage, Jonathan and Genie have welcomed two kids together. Jonathan Frakes’ children are Elizabeth Frances Frakes and Jameson Ivor Frakes and they were born in 1997 and 1993 respectively. Neither of the Frakes’ kids are involved in the entertainment world.