Star Trek Guide

Star Trek: All 7 Characters Played By JG Hertzler

Although he's best known for playing Klingon General Martok on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, J.G. Hertzler has actually played 7 characters throughout the Star Trek franchise, putting him in the same club as fellow DS9 alum Jeffrey Combs. Hertzler was actually part of the very beginning and end of DS9 since he appeared as the Vulcan Captain in DS9's series premiere, "Emissary," and cameoed in the crowd at Vic Fontaine's (James Darren) holosuite nightclub in the series finale, "What You Leave Behind."

Hertzler has been acting since the 1970s and he joined the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco in 1981. He credits his Shakespearean training for helping him in his Star Trek roles. Hertzler's first major guest-starring role was an episode of Quantum Leap, and he played the villainous Alcalde Ignacio De Soto in the third and fourth seasons of Zorro. Hertzler met Patrick Stewart while working on the Paramount lot, where the star of Star Trek: The Next Generation ran Shakespeare workshops, and he auditioned for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine multiple times.

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Finally, DS9's casting director asked Hertzler to read for General Martok; after receiving the instruction to make the Klingon "angrier," he threw a chair into the wall, which also ripped his thumbnail, causing it to bleed. Hertzler got the part and debuted as Martok in DS9's season 4 premiere, "The Way of the Warrior." But DS9 was just the beginning of Hertzler's Star Trek journey; in addition to acting, Hertzler co-wrote two Star Trek novels with Jeffrey Lang about Martok and Worf, Star Trek: The Left Hand of Destiny Books 1 and 2. Along with Martok, the following are of all the roles J.G. Hertzler played throughoutthe franchise.


Trekkers wouldn't actually meet the "real" Martok until the 14th episode of DS9 season 5, "In Purgatory's Shadow" as the Martok who Hertzler played up to that point was a Changeling imposter. As a close friend of Worf (Michael Dorn), whom the General brought into the House of Martok, the one-eyed Klingon became one of the most popular Klingon characters in Star Trek. In fact, DS9's writers considered Martok the purest Klingon in the series.

Martok fought side-by-side with Captain Benjamin Sisko (Avery Brooks) and the Federation during the Dominion War, and he shared all of their major victories and defeats. He also grieved with Worf when his wife, Jadzia Dax (Terry Farrell), was killed. In DS9 season 7, Worf killed Gowron (Robert O'Reilly) and became Klingon High Chancellor, but passed that honor to Martok, making Hertzler's warrior the new leader of the Klingon Empire when Star Trek: Deep Space Nine ended.

Vulcan Captain

Credited as John Noah Hertzler, the Vulcan Captain of the U.S.S. Saratoga in DS9's series premiere, "Emissary," was Hertzler's first appearance in Star Trek. Hertzler also played one of the Bajoran Prophets taking the form of the Captain in Commander Sisko's vision.

Roy Ritterhouse

In the classic DS9 season 6 episode, "Far Beyond the Stars," Hertzler (sans makeup) played Roy Ritterhouse, the in-house artist at the Incredible Tales 1950s sci-fi magazine who illustrated Benny Russell's (Avery Brooks) idea of a space station called Deep Space Nine.


In "Chimera," Hertzler played Laas, an arrogant Changeling who grew up in the Alpha Quadrant without the Dominion. Constable Odo (Rene Auberjonois) tries to teach him to trust "solids," to no avail.

Hirogen Fighter

Hertzler guest-starred as a Hirogen in a memorable Star Trek: Voyager episode, "Tsunkatse," which also featured a role played by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. Hertzler's Hirogen even fought Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) in the episode.


Hertzler returned to playing Klingons on Star Trek: Enterprise. He took the role of a Klingon lawyer named Kolos in the Enterprise season 2 episode, "Judgment."

Klingon Captain

In the Star Trek: Enterprise season 4 episode, "Borderland," Hertzler was once again in command of a Bird-of-Prey as its Klingon Captain.


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