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Cheryl Gates McFadden was born on March 2nd, 1949 in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio went to a private school and during her college years she went to France to study acting with Jacques LeCoq. Gates found the communicating in another language helped to become fluent in French.

Before her famed role as the Chief Medical Officer Dr. Beverly C. Crusher in Star Trek: The Next Generation, Gates was involved in theatre and choreography. The theatre, her first love, has continued to be a part of her life.

Gates worked with Jim Henson for several years, Gates helped choreograph three of his films, Dreamchild, The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth.

Gates McFadden was the first actress to "read" for the role of Dr. Beverly Crusher . To audition for the part, Dropped from season Two, and after support from the viewers she returned in season Three. In The Next Generation episode "Genesis" Gates added directing,to her long list of creative abilities and established her as the first female cast member to direct an epsiode of Star Trek. she worked six years with Next Generation Series.