Denise Crosby played Lt. Tasha Yar for only one season of Star Trek: The Next Generation
Denise Crosby ended her full-time run on Star Trek: The Next Generation when her character was killed by a grotesque, tarry life form on the 23rd episode of the first season of the series. She returned in two additional episodes as Lt. Yar later on in the series and portrayed Sela, the half-human, half-Romulan commander born in an alternate timeline. And as much as fans hated the way her character was killed off, Crosby herself was glad to be gone from the show. (And she did get a better sendoff when she returned for the episode, Yesterday’s Enterprise.)
"I was miserable. I couldn’t wait to get off that show… This was not an overnight decision. I was grateful to have made that many episodes, but I didn’t want to spend the next six years going ‘Aye, aye, captain’ and standing there, in the same uniform, in the same position on the bridge. It just scared the hell out of me that this was what I was going to be doing for the next X-amount of years."
Crosby wanted more for the character, and her audition scene, which showed more depth to the character, never showed up in the series, which disappointed her.
"She was so physically capable and had this very strong persona, but inside was just this little girl that felt very much out of her depth."
She tried to work portions of that feeling and those emotions into the character to no avail.
"I was always trying to find moments where I could sort of play that, as an actor, and have that stuff going on inside. It was really a letdown in a way, once the show got up and running."
Though Crosby wasn’t happy with the way she was forced to play Tasha Yar, she does appear at Star Trek conventions and even voiced her old character in the 2010 Star Trek Online game. She’s still very much a part of the Star Trek community.