Gates McFadden is well-known for playing Dr. Beverly Crusher
The actors who attend the Star Trek conventions habitually regale attendees with funny stories and anecdotes about their time on the set as well as off. They’re all well-known as their characters, and fans flock to the conventions for brief interactions that usually include an autograph. At one particular convention, Brent Spiner, who portrayed Lt. Cmdr. Data on Star Trek: The Next Generation, shared the story of the one time Gates McFadden, who portrayed Dr. Beverly Crusher, willingly (but briefly) changed her name to accommodate a fan.
Spiner and McFadden were on the same flight on their way to the convention when an excited fan approached Spiner with giddy excitement, revealing the usual glowing adoration of the series. Then promptly proceeded to ask for Spiner’s autograph. Spiner, being the nice guy that he is, willingly obliged, and before the fan could leave, he asked, motioning to McFadden, “but don’t you want hers, too?” (After all, a fan of The Next Generation would instantly recognize McFadden, right?)
Gates McFadden willingly became Mrs. Spiner for the moment
With a quick apology, the fan corrected the mistake, saying “Oh my yes, I’m so sorry. I would love your autograph, Mrs. Spiner!” Now, McFadden could have corrected the misconception, but that would have probably led to more embarrassment. Instead, she signed the napkin as “Mrs. Spiner.”
And now I wonder how embarrassed that fan really was when realizing who McFadden was. Hopefully, not too much when seeing how much fun Brent Spiner had with the story, and obviously, McFadden was a good sport about it. It’s a great story, and one that the attendees saw the humor in, too.