Forbes moved to New York at age 16 to audition for a film role, and ended up with the William Morris Agency, and a role on the daytime soap opera The Guiding Light. For her dual role as Sonni/Solita, she earned a Daytime Emmy nomination. After this role, she continued in theater - an early love of hers - and began appearing in small guest roles on television to raise her profile.
In 1991, she had a small role in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation as the daughter of a character played by David Ogden Stiers. The producers were evidently impressed, as she was brought back in the fifth season to play Ro Laren, a recurring character, for several episodes. Ro was a Bajoran whose bad-girl attitude made her several enemies, but the crew of the Enterprise - particularly Guinan (Whoopi Goldberg) took her in.
With Star Trek: The Next Generation such a hit, the producers decided to make another Trek series: Deep Space Nine. They originally envisioned Ensign Ro as the lead character, but at that stage in her career, Forbes wasn't interested in a long-running television role, so a new character, Kira Nerys (Nana Visitor) was created for the show. After this, Forbes and the Trek producers did not get on well, so she moved on. To this day, Forbes does not usually discuss her decisions regarding Trek in interviews.
In 1993, she starred with David Duchovny, Brad Pitt and Juliette Lewis in the cult film Kalifornia, following this up alongside Kevin Spacey and Frank Whaley in Swimming with Sharks and in John Carpenter's Escape From L.A..
Michelle also guest starred in an episode of Seinfeld, playing a girlfriend of George Costanza (Jason Alexander), and then returned - to the enjoyment of the fans - for one final episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation entitled Preemptive Strike. Ensign Ro remains a hugely popular character amongst Trek fandom, and Dennis Haysbert, with whom she later starred with in 24 was apparently awestruck to be working alongside Ensign Ro. Perhaps because of her huge fan base, the producers asked Michelle back again when launching Star Trek: Voyager but she again declined.
For a brief while in the early 1990s, Michelle was reportedly married to actor Ross Kettle. In 1996, Michelle appeared alongside Stockard Channing in a TV film entitled The Prosecutors and then gained her first major television role in Homicide: Life on the Street playing Dr. Julianna Cox from 1996 to 1998. In 1998, Forbes was written out of the show as part of a massive cast change which many fans see as responsible for the show's demise just one season later. She returned in the 2000 TV movie. For some time, Michelle was in a relationship with her Homicide co-star Reed Diamond.
In 2000, Michelle had a recurring role in the first eight episodes of the TV series The District which she followed up with the TV series Wonderland, a series set in a mental institution. Michelle played one of the doctors. The series was critically hailed, but it only aired for a few weeks before being cancelled. Michelle herself described it as a mess that put [her] off series television.
In 2001, Michelle learned British Sign Language for the role of the deaf mute wife of Detective Red Metcalfe (Ken Stott) in the BBC television serial Messiah, and she returned for the sequels in 2003 and 2004. She also appeared in Perfume: a love-it-or-hate-it ensemble film about the world of fashion.
Michelle's next foray into television was in 2002, when she joined the cast of the Kiefer Sutherland-led FOX series 24. The series, set in real time over the course of one day, had been a critical success during its first season, and the second season opened with the threat of a nuclear bomb in Los Angeles. Michelle played Lynne Kresge, aide to African-American President David Palmer (Dennis Haysbert). Towards the end of the season, Lynne discovered a plot to unseat the President, led by the Vice President Jim Prescott (Alan Dale) and Chief of Staff Mike Novick (Jude Ciccolella) but the price of her discovery was that she was almost killed. Notoriously, several plot points - including her fate - were left open and never resolved. While the show returned for a third season, Michelle did not.
In 2004, Michelle was part of the cast of Mark Milgard's Dandelion which received rave reviews at the Sundance Film Festival; appeared at the Palm Springs International Short Film Festival, in a short named Al Roach: Private Insectigator alongside James Garner; and also provided a voice for Dr. Judith Mossman, character of the video game Half-Life 2.
In 2005, Michelle was set to head the cast of Mark Burnett's television series based on the Global Frequency series of comic books, but the pilot was not picked up. She has also recently guest starred on Alias and The Inside.
Michelle will guest star in at least two episodes of Battlestar Galactica, playing the crazed Admiral Nelena Cain. The first episode aired in September 2005, and the second to air after a hiatus, in January 2006.
Although a long time resident of New York City, Michelle now lives in Los Angeles. Before pursuing acting, Forbes wanted to perform ballet.
Michelle Forbes Facts
|Birthday||January 8, 1967 (51)|
|Birthplace||Austin, Texas, USA|
|Height||5' 10" (1m78) How tall is Michelle Forbes compared to you?|
|Johnson County War (2002)|
|Escape from L.A. (1996)|
|Swimming With Sharks (1995)|
|Kalifornia (1993) as Carrie|
|The Playboys (1992)|
|Young Lady Chatterley (1977)|
|Confessions of an American Girl|