(written from a Production point of view)
Jeri Lynn Mooney (born 28 January 1943; age 72), better known as Susan Howard, is the American actress who played Mara, the first female Klingon to appear in Star Trek, and one of only two (and the only one with a speaking part) ever seen in the original series, in the episode "Day of the Dove".
Howard was born in Marshall, Texas, and graduated from Marshall High School in the early 1960s. She attended the University of Texas for two years, after which she moved to California, becoming a member of the Los Angeles Repertory Company. She began acting on television programs in 1966.
Outside of Star Trek, Howard is best known for playing Donna Culver Krebbs on the primetime soap opera Dallas from 1979 through 1987. This role actually began with a single guest appearance in 1978, but the producers liked her performance so much that they asked her to return, and she played the character for an additional nine years. Throughout her run on this series, she co-starred with other Trek actors, including Barbara Babcock, Joanna Cassidy, Glenn Corbett, Barry Jenner, Leigh J. McCloskey, Derek McGrath, Bert Remsen, William Smithers, Paul Sorenson, Ray Wise, and Morgan Woodward. Howard also tried her hand at writing for the series, ultimately becoming a member of the Writers Guide of America, a position which she currently still holds.
Prior to Dallas, Howard was a regular on the legal drama series Petrocelli (1974-76), playing lawyer Tony Petrocelli's wife (a role played by Diana Muldaur in the 1970 movie The Lawyer, from which the Petrocelli series was spun off). David Huddleston was also a regular on this series; the show's pilot movie, entitled Night Games, co-starred Henry Darrow. Other guest appearances on the show include William Shatner, John Colicos, Susan Oliver and Glenn Corbett among others. Howard's performance on Petrocelli garnered her nominations from both the Emmy Awards and the Golden Globes. Despite this, the series was canceled in 1976.
In addition, Howard has made guest appearances on such TV series as I Dream of Jeannie (working with Lou Antonio and Ted Cassidy), The Flying Nun (including an episode with Michael Pataki), Bonanza (with John Beck, Dean Stockwell, and Harry Townes), and Mission: Impossible (co-starring James B. Sikking and Paul Sorensen and directed by Reza Badiyi). Shortly after working with Michael Ansara on Star Trek, she appeared with him in an episode of Here Come the Brides, a series which starred TOS guest stars Robert Brown, Mark Lenard and David Soul.
Howard reunited with her TOS co-star William Shatner in the unsold TV pilot, Indict and Convict. Alfred Ryder and Michael Pataki appeared in this project, as well. Howard has also starred in a number of made-for-TV movies, including The Silent Gun (1969, with John Beck, Walker Edmiston, and Michael Forest), Columbo: The Most Crucial Game (1972, with James Gregory, Don Keefer and Dean Stockwell), and Superdome (1978, with Jane Wyatt and Michael Pataki).
She has only three feature films to her credit. The first was the 1977 drama Moonshine County Express, in which she starred with fellow TOS guest stars Morgan Woodward and Jeff Corey. That same year, she starred in the biker movie Sidewinder 1, which also featured Byron Morrow. Most recently, she co-starred with Stanley Kamel in the 1993 independent drama Come the Morning.
Other Trek connections
Additional television projects on which Howard has worked with other Star Trek alumni are as follows:
- Tarzan episode "Trina" (1968) with Nehemiah Persoff
- The Virginian episode "Halfway Back from Hell" (1969) with Parley Baer and William Windom
- Land of the Giants episode "Collector's Item" (1969) with Don Marshall
- Mannix episode "Who Killed Me?" (1969) with Hal Baylor and Yvonne Craig
- Mannix episode "Round Trip to Nowhere" (1971) with Tim O'Connor
- Love, American Style segment "Love and the Baker's Half Dozen" (1971) with Susan Oliver
- Love, American Style segment "Love and the Sweet Sixteen" (1971) with Henry Gibson, Barbara Luna, and Lee Meriwether
- Savage (1973 pilot) with Bill Quinn
- Marcus Welby, M.D. episode "The Tall Tree" (1973) with Joan Pringle
- The Rockford Files episode "Feeding Frenzy" (1976) with Roger Aaron Brown and directed by Russ Mayberry
- Barnaby Jones episode "Death Leap" (1973) with William Bramley, Brooke Bundy, Jonathan Lippe, Lee Meriwether, Tim O'Connor, Barry Russo, and Jerry Summers
- Most Wanted episode "Ms. Murder" (1977) with William Smithers
- Killer on Board (1977 TV movie) with Thalmus Rasulala
- The Fantastic Journey episode "Vortez" (1977) with Jason Evers and Ike Eisenmann
- Barnaby Jones episode "Yesterday's Terror" (1977) with Lee Meriwether and Granville Van Dusen
- The Busters (1978 pilot) with Lance LeGault and directed by Vincent McEveety
- Vega$ episode "Classic Connection" (1979) with Roy Jenson