(written from a Production point of view)
Barbara Townsend (4 August 1913 – 29 January 2002; age 88) was the actress who in 1990 appeared on Star Trek: The Next Generation, playing Vice Admiral Connaught Rossa in the fourth season episode "Suddenly Human". An actress on television since that medium's golden age, Townsend passed away in her birthplace of Arlington, Virginia, at the age of 88.
Townsend's earliest TV work, like many of her contemporaries, were various live anthology programs during the late 1940s and early 1950s. in 1957, she worked alongside future Star Trek star Leonard Nimoy in an episode of the crime series Highway Patrol. She took a break from television during the 1960s, during which she performed in at least one Broadway production, Tennessee Williams' The Rose Tatoo, in 1966. She returned to television in 1977 for a small part in an episode of The Streets of San Francisco, also featuring Phillip Richard Allen and Gary Lockwood. She then went on to make frequent TV appearances during the 1980s and 1990s.
In 1981, she was seen in an episode of Walking Tall along with fellow Trek alumni Richard Herd and Gail Strickland. She subsequently appeared on such shows as Little House on the Prairie (in an episode with Stan Ivar), Remington Steele (with Gary Graham), Knight Rider (with Jeffrey Alan Chandler and Brian Thompson), Highway to Heaven (with Jeff Kober), Mr. Belvedere (with James Gregory), St. Elsewhere (starring Ed Begley, Jr., Ronny Cox, Norman Lloyd, France Nuyen, and Jennifer Savidge), Civil Wars (with Susan Diol, Gregg Henry, Norman Large, Susanna Thompson, and Herta Ware), and Northern Exposure (with Bibi Besch). She also guest-starred on Quantum Leap, the hit science fiction time travel series starring future Star Trek: Enterprise actors Scott Bakula and Dean Stockwell, while her two appearances on Murder, She Wrote saw her working with the likes of Ray Buktenica, Christopher Neame, Lawrence Pressman, Eugene Roche, Madlyn Rhue, and William Windom. In addition, she had a supporting role in the 1990 Steven Seagal action film Hard to Kill, co-starring William Sadler) and also appeared in the 1991 film One Good Cop with Kevin Conway and Tony Plana.
Perhaps most notably, Townsend starred as Mildred Potter on the short-lived AfterMASH. The series, a sequel to the highly-successful M*A*S*H, also starred Rosalind Chao and Wendy Schaal and aired on CBS from 1983 through 1984. Townsend departed after the first season, which lasted 21 episodes. The second season, however, lasted only nine episodes before the show was canceled. This was Townsend's only regular role.