(written from a Production point of view)
Alan Ruck (born 1 July 1956; age 59) played John Harriman, the somewhat hapless captain of the USS Enterprise-B in Star Trek Generations. He is probably most recognizable for his roles as the equally hapless Cameron Frye, Ferris Bueller's hypochondriacal best friend, in the 1986 comedy film Ferris Bueller's Day Off (with Michael G. Hagerty and Jonathan Schmock) and as Assistant Deputy Mayor Stuart Bondek in the television sitcom Spin City (in which he worked with Victoria Dillard).
Ruck hails from Cleveland, Ohio, and is a graduate of the University of Illinois. He made his film debut in the 1983 drama Bad Boys, which was also the film debut of Star Trek: Enterprise guest star Clancy Brown. Later that year, Ruck appeared in the comedy film Class with Virginia Madsen.
After acquiring fame for his role in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Ruck appeared in such films as Three Fugitives (1989, with Bruce McGill, Sherman Howard, Tim de Zarn, Brian Thompson, Scott Lincoln, Albert Henderson, and Gary Armagnac), Bloodhounds of Broadway (1989, with Ethan Phillips and Googy Gress), and Young Guns II (1990, with Christian Slater, Tracey Walter, Leon Rippy, Robert Knepper, and David Paul Needles). In 1990, he won a lead role on an ABC situation comedy called Going Places, opposite Star Trek: The Next Generation guest star Hallie Todd. In this series, Ruck and Todd were among four writers who not only worked together shared a Los Angeles beach house, as well. Later in the show, the four began working for a talk show host played by Steve Vinovich, but the series was canceled in 1991 after only one season.
Later, Ruck became a regular on the short-lived sketch comedy series The Edge. He subsequently starred in the CBS series Daddy's Girls, but this show was pulled from the schedule after only three episodes. His next show was the WB's Muscle with Dan Gauthier in 1995, which was also canceled after one season. He followed this with a recurring role on the hit NBC series Mad About You before he landed the role of Stuart Bondek on Spin City. This series was a success, running for six seasons from 1996 through 2002. Ruck was a regular on the show for all six seasons.
In between failed TV shows, Ruck expanded his film resume, appearing in the blockbuster action thrillers Speed (1994, with Carlos Carrasco, Richard Lineback, Jordan Lund, and Bruce Wright) and Twister (1996, with Bruce Wright, Richard Lineback, Scott Thomson, Patrick Fischler, Zach Grenier, and Sean Whalen). Also during this time, Ruck guest-starred on such television shows as Picket Fences (working with Leigh Taylor-Young and Ray Walston), Tales from the Crypt, and The Outer Limits.
In 1998 Ruck was one of the many Star Trek actors to appear in the acclaimed HBO mini-series From the Earth to the Moon. His co-stars on this series included Sam Anderson, David Andrews, David Clennon, Ronny Cox, Brett Cullen, Robert Curtis Brown, Ann Cusack, Jerry Hardin, Clint Howard, Daniel Hugh Kelly, John Carroll Lynch, Dakin Matthews, Deborah May, Andy Milder, Holmes Osborne, Ethan Phillips, Harve Presnell, Mark Rolston, and Stephen Root; David Carson and Michael Grossman were among the directors.
In 2000 Ruck co-starred (again) with Star Trek: Voyager's Ethan Phillips in the independent film Endsville. That same year Ruck appeared in another independent film, Everything Put Together, with Matt Malloy. His more recent film credits include the hit 2003 remake Cheaper by the Dozen (with Holmes Osborne and the 2007 comedy Kickin It Old Skool (co-starring Christopher McDonald). Most recently he can be seen in M. Night Shyamalan's thriller The Happening and the Paramount Pictures release, Ghost Town.
Since Spin City ended, Ruck has been seen on such shows as Scrubs (starring Ken Jenkins), Stargate Atlantis (starring Paul McGillion and Robert Picardo), Medium, Ghost Whisperer, and Greek. He also appeared as a reporter on the ESPN mini-series The Bronx Is Burning. In November 2008, he appeared on the ABC drama series Boston Legal, playing an attorney whose client was played by Saul Rubinek. Series regulars John Larroquette and William Shatner, as well as guest star Bill Smitrovich, also appeared in Ruck's episode.
Ruck reprised the role of Captain John Harriman (now much more competent) for the Star Trek fan film Star Trek: Of Gods and Men, directed by Tim Russ and co-starring Russ, Walter Koenig, Nichelle Nichols, Garrett Wang, J.G. Hertzler, Chase Masterson, Gary Graham, and many other Star Trek veterans. Ruck has also reunited with Koenig for the science fiction film InAlienable, which Koenig wrote and which co-starred Erick Avari, Gary Graham, Richard Herd, J.G. Hertzler, Andrew Koenig, Judy Levitt, Lisa LoCicero, Bertrand Roberson, Jr., Patricia Tallman, and TNG star Marina Sirtis.
Other Trek connections
- Hard Knox (1984 TV movie) with Bill Erwin
- First Steps (1985 TV movie) with William O. Campbell, Molly Hagan and James B. Sikking
- Three for the Road (1987 film) with James Avery, Sally Kellerman and Bert Remsen
- Shooter (1988 TV movie) with Rosalind Chao, Jeffrey Nordling, and Noble Willingham
- The Famous Teddy Z episode "Teddy Sells His House" (1989) with Bibi Besch
- The Ransom of Red Chief (1998 TV movie) with Brad Greenquist, Brent Hinkley, Christopher Lloyd, and Richard Riehle
- I Love You, Beth Cooper (2009), in which his character's son named a medical skeleton after Leonard McCoy