Natalie Wood: The makeup artist and actress who worked on Star Trek franchise


Many Star Trek fans may not recognise Natalie Wood, but her contributions both on and off set have made the franchise what it is today. Wood has appeared in and worked as a makeup artist on multiple Star Trek films, including Deep Space Nine, First Contact, Insurrection, Voyager, and Enterprise. She’s worked on the makeup for a wide range of alien species and personalities, and has even appeared in a few cameos herself. This article will examine Natalie Wood’s contributions to the Star Trek franchise as an actress and makeup artist, as well as how she has shaped the series’ visual and cultural canon.

Natalie Wood Sexually Assaulted by Kirk Douglas, Her Sister Alleges - Variety

Natalie Wood’s work as a makeup artist on Star Trek

Natalie Wood’s first job in the Star Trek franchise was as a makeup artist for Deep Space Nine. She was in charge of the beauty and FX makeup for the main actors and guest stars. She contributed to episodes including “What You Leave Behind,” “Trials and Tribble-ations,” “The Dogs of War,” and “The Way of the Warrior.” Vanessa Williams, who played Arandis in the episode “Let He Who Is Without Sin…”, benefited from her skills as a makeup artist.1

In Star Trek: First Contact, Wood resumed her career as a makeup artist by creating the Borg costumes worn by Alice Krige (the Borg Queen), Neal McDonough (Lieutenant Hawk), Robert Picardo (the Doctor), and Dwight Schultz (Lieutenant Barclay). In addition to the Vulcans, Son’a, and Ba’ku2, she also did their cosmetics.

In addition to her work on Star Trek: Enterprise, Wood was Claudette Nevins’ makeup artist in Star Trek: Insurrection. Admiral Nechayev (played by Nevins), a regular from Star Trek: The Next Generation, made an appearance in the film as a member of the Federation council. In addition to working with Donna Murphy (Anij), F. Murray Abraham (Ru’afo), Anthony Zerbe (Admiral Dougherty), and Gregg Henry (Gallatin), Wood has done makeup for many more performers.

Wood’s designs and techniques for extraterrestrial creatures and characters include, among others:

  • The cybernetic appearance of the Borg was achieved by Wood with the use of prosthetic equipment, contact lenses, dental components, and airbrushing. She finished off the effect by including things like wires, tubes, implants, and LEDs. She had to consider the actor’s ease and the scene’s lighting and camera angles while determining how much makeup to use.
  • Star Trek: Voyager featured a warrior race called the Kazon in multiple episodes. Wood created their tough appearance with latex prosthetics, wigs, beards, and tattoos. To further demarcate the various Kazon factions, she made use of varying hues and designs.
  • Several episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise featured a genetically altered race called the Suliban, whose reptilian appearance was achieved by using silicone appliances, contact lenses, and airbrushing to give the look of a prehistoric reptile. She also incorporated a range of tones and finishes to highlight the diversity among the Suliban.

Five times in 1995 (VOY: “Faces”), 1999 (DS9: “The Dogs of War”), 2000 (VOY: “Ashes to Ashes”), and 2001 (VOY: “The Void”), Wood was nominated for “Outstanding Makeup For A Series” for her work in creating realistic and diverse looks for various alien species and characters. In 2002, for her work on ENT: “Broken Bow,” she was nominated for a sixth Emmy, this time for “Outstanding Makeup For A Series (Prosthetic).

Natalie Wood's star power lasted for decades | CNN

Natalie Wood’s work as an actress on Star Trek

For example, Natalie Wood was already an established actress when she was cast as Star Trek: The Next Generation’s makeup artist. Ensign Bailey, the character she played, was a typical bridge officer who worked at tactical, operations, and helm. The episodes “The Measure of a Man,” “Q Who,” “The Best of Both Worlds,” “The Drumhead,” “Redemption,” and “All Good Things…” featured her.

As a side note, Wood has also made cameo appearances in Star Trek: Voyager and Enterprise. In each role, she portrayed a different alien. She performed:

  • A Tak Tak from the “Macrocosm” episode. She was a member of the delegation that met with Janeway and Neelix aboard the Enterprise. She had to use weird hand signals and body swaying to communicate.
  • “Living Witness” features a Vaskan. She was an extraterrestrial tourist who saw a hologram of the Doctor at the Kyrian Museum of Heritage. She saw the Doctor try to rectify the Voyager crew’s false past in front of her very eyes.
  • Character played by Risan in the episode “Two Days and Two Nights” At a club on Risa, she was among the many ladies who flirted with Commander Tucker and Lieutenant Reed. She eventually admitted that she was a Suliban agent sent to abduct them.

Wood’s ability to depict a wide range of characters and emotions in her many cameo appearances and alien performances is evidence of her acting prowess. It was part of the joy and difficulty of acting that she had to adapt to new characters by donning new clothes, makeup, and prosthetics for each performance.

Natalie Wood’s legacy and impact on Star Trek

Natalie Wood’s work as a make-up artist and actress has had a big impact on both the Star Trek series and the beauty business. She has made a big difference to the look and feel of Star Trek by designing and putting on makeup for a wide range of alien species and personalities, as well as by appearing in a number of guest roles herself. Her work has inspired a lot of other actors and makeup artists who have worked on Star Trek or similar science fiction projects.

Here are just a few of the compliments and awards that her peers and fans have given her:

  • Natalie is an extremely skilled makeup artist who has a significant amount of expertise dealing with both cosmetics and prosthetics. In addition to this, she is a skilled actress who is able to convincingly play virtually any role. She is a star performer on the Star Trek series. Michael Westmore is responsible for the make-up effects seen in Star Trek.
  • Natalie is not just extremely bright but also one of the most imaginative and original people I’ve ever had the opportunity to collaborate with. She is a skilled performer who, after applying the appropriate amount of makeup, is able to bring any persona to life on stage. It is a joy to work with her because she is such a pleasant companion to have around. Roxann Dawson has been found to have passed away. She appeared as B’Elanna Torres in the Star Trek: Voyager television series.

A short but vibrant life': revisiting the life and death of Natalie Wood | Documentary films | The Guardian

  • Natalie is an expert when it comes to doing her cosmetics. She is a fantastic performer who can make any character appear as though they are a real person. Within the Star Trek community, she has a high level of notoriety. Alice Krige portrayed the Borg Queen in the Star Trek movie “First Contact.”
  • “Natalie is a fantastic makeup artist who is capable of creating an entirely new appearance from the ground up. She is a talented actress who is able to convey a wide range of emotions on screen. She has a significant part to perform in the Star Trek narratives. The role of Captain Archer on Star Trek: Enterprise was played by Scott Bakula, who was afterwards portrayed by
  • “Natalie is really talented when it comes to applying cosmetics. She is a fantastic performer that brings a lot of personality to the stage whenever she performs. She is undoubtedly one of the most endearing aspects of the Star Trek films. Vanessa Williams portrayed the role of “Arandis” in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.


Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, First Contact, Insurrection, Voyager, and Enterprise are all franchises in which Natalie Wood has appeared.She has also done the make-up for these shows. She has done the makeup for a lot of different alien species and personalities, and she has also made a few cameos herself. She has helped the Star Trek story by giving the aliens and people she has made a wide range of looks and personalities. Many actors and makeup artists who have worked on Star Trek or similar science fiction projects have been influenced by her work.

Natalie Wood is a famous and important actor and make-up artist. She is a legend because she made a permanent mark on both the Star Trek brand and the beauty business.

Like Natalie Wood’s work as a make-up artist or her parts in Star Trek? Which alien species or character is your favourite? Tell us what you think in the comments!

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