(written from a Production point of view)
Outside of Star Trek, he is best known to television audiences for his five-time Emmy Award-nominated role as Doctor Victor Ehrlich on the medical drama St. Elsewhere. Throughout its run, the series also starred Norman Lloyd, Ronny Cox, Ellen Bry, France Nuyen, Chad Allen, Deborah May, Brian Tochi, Alfre Woodard, Bruce Greenwood, David Birney and Jane Wyatt. Begley would reprise his role as Ehrlich with a cameo in the 2000 TV movie Homicide: The Movie, co-starring Michelle Forbes and Reg E. Cathey.
He also had a recurring role as "Doctor Hank Hastings" on 7th Heaven, co-starring Stephen Collins and Catherine Hicks(brother-in-law to Collins' Reverend Eric Camden), and as "Hiram Gunderson" on HBO's Six Feet Under, which featured James Cromwell in its last two seasons.
Primarily a supporting actor, he has appeared in a number of films and TV movies opposite fellow Star Trek performers. He appeared in two cult Paul Bartel comedies featuring his Voyager co-star Robert Beltran: Eating Raoul in 1982 (also with Hamilton Camp) and Scenes from the Class Struggle in Beverly Hills in 1989 (also with Wallace Shawn). In 1983, he appeared in the 1983 comedy Get Crazy along with another Voyager guest star, Robert Picardo, as well as Malcolm McDowell, Dick Miller and Clint Howard. The other regular Trek performers he has appeared with on non-Trek projects are the late James Doohan in 1995's Storybook (with Robert Costanzo and Robert Easton), DS9's Rene Auberjonois in 1995's Batman Forever (with George D. Wallace), and TNG's Marina Sirtis in 2003's Net Games. He also appared in Columbo: How to Dial a Murder (1978), alongside Kim Cattrall and Tricia O'Neil, and 16 years later co-starred in Columbo: Undercover, which was directed by Vincent McEveety.
Begley also co-starred in the 1994 fantasy The Pagemaster, which featured the voices of Trek regulars Leonard Nimoy, Patrick Stewart, and Robert Picardo. The film also starred Christopher Lloyd and the voices of Whoopi Goldberg, Frank Welker, and George Hearn.
He also appeared in the Christopher Guest mockumentaries This Is Spinal Tap (1984), Best in Show (2000), and A Mighty Wind (2003), all of which co-starred fellow Voyager guest actor Michael McKean (with the latter also featuring Paul Dooley and Bill Cobbs). Begley also co-starred with McKean in the films Young Doctors in Love (1982, with Saul Rubinek, Deborah Lacey, Charlie Brill, and Hamilton Camp), Auto Focus (2002), and the upcoming Relative Strangers (2006).
His many other film credits also include a brief appearance in Hardcore (1979, with Gary Graham, Marc Alaimo, and Bibi Besch) and larger supporting roles in the hit Navy drama An Officer & A Gentleman with Tony Plana, Cat People (1982, with Star Trek Generations actor Malcolm McDowell, who would co-star with Begley in Get Crazy the following year, and John Larroquette from Star Trek III: The Search for Spock), Protocol (1984, with Chris Sarandon, Gail Strickland, Cliff DeYoung, Keith Szarabajka, Kenneth Mars, and George D. Wallace), The Accidental Tourist (1988, with TNG guest star David Ogden Stiers), Greedy (1994, with Olivia d'Abo and Kirsten Dunst), I'm Losing You (1998, with Salome Jens and Frank Langella), and Get Over It (2001, starring Kirsten Dunst).
Begley has worked with both Captain Braxtons: Allan G. Royal in Future's End and Bruce McGill in both the 1977 film Handle with Care (along with Charles Napier) and the 2008 film Recount, about the contested 2000 presidential election. In this film, Begley played real-life Democratic strategist David Boies while McGill played Mac Stipanovich. Recount also starred fellow Trek alum Jack Shearer, who played Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
Other Trek connections
Additonal film and TV projects in which Begley has appeared with other Star Trek performers include:
- The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes (1969 feature film, with William Schallert, Michael McGreevey and Frank Welker)
- Evil Roy Slade (1972 TV movie, with Henry Gibson and Arthur Batanides)
- Now You See Him, Now You Don't (1972 TV movie, with William Windom)
- Stay Hungry (1976 feature film, with Joanna Cassidy)
- Handle with Care (1977 feature fim, with Bruce McGill and Charles Napier)
- Goin' South (1978 feature film, with Christopher Lloyd and Georgia Schmidt)
- Record City (1978 feature film, with Frank Gorshin, Alan Oppenheimer, and Wendy Schaal)
- The In-Laws (1979 feature film, with Richard Libertini) and Rosana DeSoto)
- Streets of Fire (1984 feature film, with Deborah Van Valkenburgh, Jeff Smolek, Spiro Razatos, Bernie Pock, and Vince Deadrick, Jr.)
- Meet the Applegates (1991 feature film, with Roger Aaron Brown)
- Running Mates (1992 TV movie, with Scott Alan Smith)
- The Shaggy Dog (1994 TV movie, with James Cromwell)
- The Late Shift (1996 TV movie, with Daniel Roebuck, Lawrence Pressman, and Nicholas Guest)
- Santa with Muscles (1996 feature film, with Don Stark, Robin Curtis, and Clint Howard)
- Addams Family Values (1998 video, with Ray Walston, Carel Struycken, Leigh Taylor-Young, and Clint Howard)
- Diary of a Sex Addict (2001, with Lisa Lord and Bobby C. King)
- Kingdom Hospital (2004 TV mini-series, with Bruce Davison and narrated by W. Morgan Sheppard)
- CSI Miami ("A Grizzly Murder" Season 5, 26 February 2007 with David Lee Smith)
- Fly Me to the Moon (with Christopher Lloyd)
- King of the Hill (with Stephen Root)
- Gary Unmarried (with Jessica Collins)