Cast and Crew - Geordi LaForge

TREKCORE > TNG > CAST AND CREW > Geordi LaForge / LeVar Burton

The outstanding characteristic La Forge shows is his longtime adaptability to and satisfaction with life, symbolized by the fact that his birth-blindness until recently was overcome not by direct surgery but by the unique VISOR instrument - which, though painful allowed him to "see" throughout the electromagnetic spectrum.

La Forge did not yet have a VISOR at the time of his major childhood trauma: a fire which trapped him for two minutes until he was pulled to safety. The incident left him with the longtime need to be reassured of his parents' proximity - a feeling only exacerbated with the Starfleet couple often being posted in separate places, requiring La Forge and his sister Ariana to move constantly during childhood. He was living at home, however, when he left for Starfleet Academy after graduating from Zefram Cochrane High School, coincidentally named for one of his heroes.

His mother died in 2370 as captain of the lost U.S.S. Hera, but in grief he disobeyed Picard and nearly died to save what he thought was her - an image created from his own memory by aliens seeking rescue. The incident occurred as he tested a unique remote-control system for a self-propelled robot drone interfaced with his own VISOR and neural system.

As an ensign he served under Captain Zimbata on the U.S.S. Victory, where a parasite picked up on an away mission to Tarchannen IV in 2362 nearly led to his transformation five years later into a non-sentient species. Only his close friendship and trust with former crewmate Susanna Leitjen saved him.

La Forge first met Captain Jean-Luc Picard sometime before their Enterprise tour, when he impressed his superior officer so much with his all-night refit of a shuttle engine after an off-hand comment by Picard during an inspection tour.

La Forge's irreverence has been tempered somewhat with his added responsibilities, but his sense of humor remains strong. His faith in technology and his ability to master it, normally an inspiration to those around him, was shaken slightly with the 2370 discovery that warp drive can harm the fabric of some spatial areas.

In his personal life, La Forge is plagued by a slight insecurity regarding dating and female relationships, although this has lessened with time; significant relationship in this regard included Christy Henshaw, Lt. Aquiel Uhnari, and a passing attraction to Dr. Leah Brahms, begun as a reconstructed holo-program. He served as best man for Miles O'Brien at his wedding to Keiko, and allowed Dr. Crusher to coax him into singing a role in her shipboard troupe's upcoming performance of "The Pirates of Penzance."

His hobbies include the senior officers' weekly poker game, scale model building of old sailing ships, chess, swimming, skin-diving, and the history of his profession: during the Cochran project he recalled the Phoenix test vehicle's intermix chamber from memory. He holds his own in fencing, but writing and mandolin playing are not strong suits, despite a preference for guitar music. Food favorites include iced coffee and pasta dishes such as fungilli. He is adept at many languages including Hahlian, owing to his nomadic childhood.

In Star Trek: The Next Generation, LeVar Burton plays the blind Lieutenant Geordi La Forge.

"He's been blind since birth, but sees through the use of the VISOR he wears over his eyes. In fact, I am told that my character is named after a disabled Star Trek fan who passed away," explains LeVar.

LeVar presently serves as host and series producer of "Reading Rainbow," the highly acclaimed, long-running Emmy Award-winning series on PBS. A 1990 recipient of a star on Hollywood's legendary Walk of Fame, LeVar is also proud to be a member of the cast of "Captain Planet," an animated series designed to empower children to be environmentally responsible.

After applying for and winning a scholarship to USC, LeVar began working toward a degree in drama and fine arts. During his sophomore year he auditioned for his Emmy-winning role Kunta Kinte in the award-winning miniseries, "Roots."

Following "Roots," LeVar starred in a variety of television movies including the Emmy-nominated "Dummy," "One in a Million: The Ron LeFlore Story," "Grambling's White Tiger," "The Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones," "Battered," "Billy: Portrait of a Street Kid," "A Roots Christmas: Kunta Kinte's Gift" and the miniseries "Liberty." Among his feature film credits are "Looking for Mr. Goodbar," "The Hunter" with Steve McQueen and "The Supernaturals."

As the president of Eagle Nation Films, LeVar is currently developing projects for film and television, some of which he will direct as well as produce.

LeVar has also directed several episodes of the spinoff Star Trek shows, including Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager and Enterprise. LeVar's directing duties on Voyager included starring and directing in the fifth season's - and 100th episode of the show - "Timeless."

Biographies derived and edited from the Official Site.