(written from a Production point of view)
Faran Haroon Tahir (born 16 February 1963; age 52) is a Pakistani-American actor who plays Federation Captain Richard Robau in 2009's Star Trek. The 2013 virtual collectible card battle game Star Trek: Rivals used a picture of him for card #75, Captain R. Robau.
Tahir was born in Los Angeles, California, where his parents had been studying acting and directing at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Growing up in Pakistan, Tahir returned to Los Angeles in 1980. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, with a BA in Theater before acquiring a graduate degree from Harvard University's Institute for Advanced Theatre Training.
He made his film debut playing Nathoo in the Disney's 1994 live-action version of Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book. He has since appeared in such films as Picture Perfect (1997), Anywhere But Here (1999, featuring John Carroll Lynch and Stephanie Niznik), and Charlie Wilson's War (2007, featuring Cyia Batten and Star Trek co-star Rachel Nichols). He also played the male lead in the 1999 independent film ABCD.
In addition to his part in Star Trek, Tahir played a villain in another blockbuster film from Paramount Pictures, the Marvel Comics-based Iron Man. Jon Braver, who was Tahir's stunt double on Star Trek, was also his stunt double in this film. Bill Smitrovich had a role in Iron Man, as well; Jamie Kelman was among the make-up artists working on the film.
Tahir more recently starred with Christopher Lloyd and Tony Todd in the family fantasy-comedy Super Athlete. He will also be seen in the sci-fi action thriller Elysium and the Arnold Schwarzenegger-Sylvester Stallone action film Escape Plan, both set for release in the summer of 2013.
Tahir first worked with Star Trek director/producer J.J. Abrams and writers/executive producers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman in the fourth episode of the Abrams-created spy series Alias. He later appeared on Abrams and Damon Lindelof's hit series, Lost, starring Daniel Dae Kim and Terry O'Quinn (in an episode with Sam Anderson and Alan Dale).
In the early 2000s, Tahir guest-starred on such television shows as
- The Practice (in an episode with Robert Curtis Brown and George D. Wallace)
- Family Law (with Michael Reilly Burke, Rosalind Chao, Denise Crosby, Christopher McDonald, and Julie Warner)
- The Agency (with Ed Begley, Jr., Daniel Benzali, David Clennon, Ronny Cox, Lawrence Pressman, and Dwight Schultz)
- NYPD Blue (with Gordon Clapp, Juliana Donald, and James MacDonald)
- 7th Heaven (starring Stephen Collins and Catherine Hicks)
- The West Wing (with John Cothran, Jr. and Thomas Kopache)
- JAG (with Alan Dale, Scott Lawrence, Richard McGonagle, Zoe McLellan, and Barry Wiggins)
- Judging Amy (in an episode directed by Andrew Robinson)
- The D.A. (with Steven Weber, Jonathan Del Arco, John Prosky, and Sara Mornell).
In addition, Tahir appeared in two episodes of the hit FOX series 24, as well the prequel episode to the show's fourth season. His co-stars on this series included fellow Star Trek alumni Alexander Siddig, Michelle C. Bonilla, Jude Ciccolella, Roger Cross, Steven Culp, Daniel Dae Kim, Michelle Forbes, Penny Johnson, and Harris Yulin. In 2005, Tahir co-starred with Robert Beltran and Chase Masterson in the 2005 Syfy original movie Manticore.
Tahir more recently appeared on such shows as Monk (featuring Stanley Kamel), Justice (with Jeffrey Nordling), Cold Case (in an episode with Paula Malcomson and Holmes Osborne), Chuck (with Bonita Friedericy and Clyde Kusatsu and produced by Robert Duncan McNeill), Childrens Hospital (with Matt Winston), Blue Bloods (starring Len Cariou), and Supernatural (with Jim Beaver). He has also been playing the recurring roles of "Smiling" Frank Ashkani on TNT's Dallas and Adwin Kosan on Syfy's Warehouse 13, the latter of which stars Saul Rubinek.