Warp Factor Trek

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I recently enjoyed chatting with Kitty Swink, who guest-starred twice in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (as the Bajoran Minister Rozahn in the Season 2 episode “Sanctuary”, and the Vorta commander Luaran in the Season 7 episode “Tacking Into the Wind”). Swink has also been married to Quark actor Armin Shimerman for the past forty-one years.

What memories do you have from working on Deep Space Nine?

Truthfully, I was only there for two episodes. So, most of my memories are of going to visit the set when I wasn’t working or, if I was shooting something else on the Paramount lot, I would stop by.

Sadly, Armin and I never worked together, though we have happily done so, both on stage and on camera, many times. But shooting with friends is always delightful, so that is what I remember from doing DS9. The joy of collaborating with pals. That, and the fact that Andy Robinson killed me!

You played a Bajoran and a Vorta on DS9. Which makeup did you find harder to wear?

Vorta, hands down. The contact lenses drove me nuts! And it is a lot more appliance than the Bajoran nose. But compared to the folks who did it all the time and especially compared to the Cardassians, I had it easy.

I once did a little horror film where I played a one-hundred-plus-year-old serial killer. Now that makeup was a thrill ride!

You also reprised the Vorta character as a voice role in the Deep Space Nine videogame “The Fallen”. What was that experience like?

It was great. Kris Zimmerman, one of animation’s best directors and a terrific human being, was in the booth. And right before me, recording that day, was Paul Eiding. He did an episode of TNG and he is one of my favorite people. As are his wife and daughters. He was also doing a Vorta.

Kris asked, “Can you tell us anything about this species?” And I told him just what Jeff Combs told me before I auditioned for my Vorta character on DS9. “They’re obsequious and evil.

What was it like when your husband, Armin Shimerman, got the part of Quark?

Well, it certainly changed our lives. We were working actors. But having a regular gig like DS9 gave us breathing room.

Plus, we were and are both fans. I grew up watching TOS with my oldest brother, who went on to become a rocket scientist. He was always going to be a scientist, but Trek put his head in the stars.

And finally, we have so many friends for life because of Star Trek. Actors, writers, directors, crew folks, fans. What a gift!

I understand you’re involved in a charity project currently. Can you tell us a bit about that?

I am an ambassador for PanCAN, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. A little over eighteen years ago, I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. At that time, the five-year survival rate was 3 to 4%. I am reminded every day how lucky I am. Armin and I are. And a few years before I got sick, Jonathan Frakes lost his brother Daniel to the disease. So, when PanCAN reached out to me about coming aboard, I didn’t hesitate. And when I asked Armin and Jonathan to join me, they jumped right in. The survival rate is now 11%, which is better but not good enough. PanCAN has made a huge difference and I am happy to help. Honored to help.

Our annual fundraiser, PurpleStride was last month, but you can still donate by going to www.PurpleStride.org. If you look up Teams, you will find Trek Against Pancreatic Cancer. We’d appreciate any support you can give.

Thank you so much for this interview, Kitty Swink, and we wish you all the best with the charity fundraising. Please donate now, folks!

1 thought on “An Interview with Kitty Swink

  1. Thank you Dan for this article. My sister passed away just recently due complications from pancreatic cancer. I am so happy for Kitty that she is a survivor.

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