Cast and Crew - Keiko O'Brien

TREKCORE > TNG > CAST AND CREW > Keiko O'Brien / Rosalind Chao

Starfleet botanist who has served aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise-D, Deep Space 9 and the planet Bajor. Born Keiko Ishikawa, she is the wife of Starfleet officer Miles O'Brien. They got married in 2367 aboard the Enterprise-D in a ceremony that combined Japanese and Irish traditions. That wedding took place in the ship's Ten-Forward lounge, which is where, a year later, Keiko gave birth to their first child, Molly, during a ship-wide systems failure.

When her husband was assigned to Deep Space 9 as chief of operations in 2369, Keiko accepted a transfer to the same outpost. Keiko found adapting to life on the station difficult. She was dissatisfied by the lack of professional opportunities on the station for a botanist, and was concerned about the lack of educational facilities for her daughter. She therefore requested permission to establish a schoolroom on the station, which Commander Sisko granted. Keiko operated the school until early 2371, when enrollment dropped dramatically because of fears of a possible Dominion attack.

Shortly thereafter she accepted an assignment as chief botanist on an agrobiology expedition to Bajor. The assignment kept Keiko and her daughter, Molly, away from the station for the better part of a year. In 2372, Keiko became pregnant with her second child, and after completing her assignment on Bajor, she and Molly returned to live on DS9. But Keiko's second pregnancy nearly ended disastrously when she was seriously injured in an accident aboard a runabout during a botanical survey mission. Dr. Bashir saved her life, but it was necessary to remove the unborn child from her womb and implant it into the body of Kira Nerys, who carried it to term. Keiko and Miles invited Kira to live with them in their quarters so they could care for her during the pregnancy, and in 2373, Kirayoshi O'Brien - a boy - was born in a traditional Bajoran birthing ceremony.

In 2375, upon the end of the Dominion War, Keiko, Molly and Yoshi moved to Earth when Miles took a job as instructor at Starfleet Academy.

Keiko grew up with strong Japanese traditions and has always been close to her extended family. As a child, Keiko helped her grandmother with her Japanese brush painting; it was her special task to fill the old chipped cup that her grandmother - whom she called Obachan (a Japanese term of endearment for an older woman) - used to clean the brush. In 2369 Keiko and Miles took a break from duties aboard DS9 to visit Earth for her mother's 100th birthday.


First-generation Californian, Rosalind Chao's parents ran a successful restaurant near Disneyland. It was Chao's father who encouraged her to audition for her first acting role on the early-'70s TV sitcom Here's Lucy. Enrolling in the communications department at U.S.C., Chao hoped to go into broadcasting, but returned to acting after a disillusioning year at the CBS-owned radio station in Hollywood. Remembering her work on an episode of the 1972 TV series Anna and the King, producer Burt Metcalfe hired Chao to portray Soon-Lee, the Korean war bride of Corporal Klinger (Jamie Farr), in the climactic episodes of the long-running M*A*S*H. She would repeat this role in the short-lived (1983-1984) spin-off series After M*A*S*H.

Chao has also been seen as Miss Chung on Diff'rent Strokes (1982-1983) and Keiko O'Brien, the wife of transport chief Miles O'Brien (Colm Meaney) in Star Trek: The Next Generation (1992-1994) and Star Trek: Deep Space 9 (1992-1993). Rosalind Chao's later film roles include Rose in The Joy Luck Club (1993) and "the Chinese Mom" in North (1994).

Biographies derived and edited from the Official Site and All Movie Guide/MSN