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Michelle Forbes (born January 8, 1965) is an American actress and the voice actress for Judith Mossman in Half-Life 2 and the episodes. She is best known for her television work on shows such as Star Trek: The Next Generation, 24, Homicide: Life on the Street, Battlestar Galactica, and Prison Break.


Initially wanting to do ballet, Forbes moved to New York at age 16 to audition for a film role, and ended up with the William Morris Agency.

In 1987, she was cast in a pivotal role on the daytime soap opera Guiding Light. She received acclaim for her portrayal of the complicated dual role of Sonni/Solita; she was just 20 years old when she was cast, and was involved in a story with two of the show's powerhouse characters. Forbes earned a Daytime Emmy nomination.

After this role, she continued in theater, which was an early love of hers, and began appearing in small guest roles on television to raise her profile.

Star Trek: The Next Generation

In 1991, she had a small role in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation as the daughter of a character played by David Ogden Stiers ("Half a Life"). The producers were evidently impressed, as she was brought back in the fifth season to play Ro Laren, a recurring character, for several episodes. Ro was a Bajoran whose bad-girl attitude made her several enemies, but the crew of the Enterprise - particularly Guinan (Whoopi Goldberg) - took her in.

With Star Trek: The Next Generation such a hit, the producers decided to make another Trek series: Deep Space Nine. They originally envisioned Ensign Ro as the lead character, but at that stage in her career, Forbes wasn't interested in a long-running television role, so a new character, Kira Nerys (Nana Visitor) was created for the show.

Forbes returned - to the enjoyment of the fans - for one final episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation entitled Preemptive Strike.

Ro Laren remains a hugely popular character amongst Trek fandom, and Dennis Haysbert, with whom she later starred in 24 was said to be starstruck working alongside "Ensign Ro". Perhaps because of her huge fan base, the producers asked Forbes back again when launching Star Trek: Voyager but she again declined.


Forbes also guest starred in an episode of Seinfeld, playing a girlfriend of George Costanza (Jason Alexander). Episode titled "The Big Salad".

Forbes appeared in "Stitch in Time", a second season episode of The Outer Limits and followed that with a role with Stockard Channing in a TV film entitled The Prosecutors in 1996.

Her first major television role was as Julianna Cox in Homicide: Life on the Street from 1996 to 1998. In 1998, Forbes was written out of the show as part of a massive cast change which many fans see as responsible for the show's demise just one season later. She returned in the 2000 TV movie.

In 2000, Forbes had a recurring role in the first eight episodes of the TV series The District which she followed up with the TV series Wonderland, a series set in a mental institution. Forbes played one of the doctors. The series was critically hailed, but it only aired for a few weeks before being canceled. Forbes herself described it as a "mess that put her off series television".

In 2001, Forbes learned British Sign Language for the role of the profoundly deaf wife of Detective Red Metcalfe (Ken Stott) in the BBC television serial Messiah, and she returned for the sequels in 2003 and 2004. She also appeared in Perfume (aka Dress to Kill), an ensemble film about the world of fashion.

Forbes's next foray into television was in 2002, when she joined the cast of the Kiefer Sutherland-led FOX series 24. The series, set in real time over the course of one day, had been a critical success during its first season. Forbes played Lynne Kresge, aide to President David Palmer (Dennis Haysbert). Notoriously, several plot points - including Lynne Kresge's fate, - were left open and never resolved; while the show returned for a third season, Forbes did not.

In 2004, Forbes was part of the cast of Mark Milgard's Dandelion which received rave reviews at the Sundance Film Festival; appeared at the Palm Springs International Short Film Festival, in a short named Al Roach: Private Investigator alongside James Garner; and also provided the voice of Dr. Judith Mossman, a character in the video game Half-Life 2.

In 2005, Forbes was set to head the cast of Mark Burnett's television series based on the Global Frequency series of comic books, but the pilot was not picked up. She subsequently guest starred on Alias and The Inside.

She appeared on another sci-fi series, as the power-crazy Admiral Helena Cain on three episodes of Battlestar Galactica, in 2005 and 2006.

In 2006, Forbes was a recurring cast member on Prison Break playing Agent Samantha Brinker, and she appeared in an episode of Boston Legal.

Forbes has a lead role in the 2007 film Bitter Reward directed by Keoni Waxman.

On February 18–19, 2007, Series 6 Episode 6 of the BBC One drama Waking The Dead titled Yahrzeit, Michelle Forbes plays the role of Sarah, a Mossad agent interested in the latest mystery uncovered by the London cold case squad.

In 2007 she reprised her role as Helena Cain in the made-for-TV movie, "Razor" as part of Battlestar Galactica. The movie focused around her time on board the Pegasus.

Upcoming roles

Forbes will appear in an unspecified number of episodes in the upcoming HBO series In Treatment, starring Gabriel Byrne.

Feature films

In 1993, she starred with David Duchovny, Brad Pitt, and Juliette Lewis in the cult film Kalifornia, following this up alongside Kevin Spacey and Frank Whaley in Swimming with Sharks and in John Carpenter's Escape From L.A.

Personal life

For a brief time in the early 1990s, Forbes was reportedly married to actor Ross Kettle. She also dated her Homicide co-star Reed Diamond.

Although a long time resident of New York City, Forbes now lives in Los Angeles.


Year Award Category Production Nomination/Win
1990 Daytime Emmy Outstanding Supporting Actress The Guiding Light Nomination
1990 Soap Opera Digest Award Outstanding Villainess The Guiding Light Nomination
2003 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Ensemble 24 Nomination (shared with co-stars of 24)

External links