Born in Chicago, Illinois, on September 14, 1936, Walter Koenig spent his childhood in the Inwood area of Manhattan, NY and has been a life-long Yankee’s fan.
Walter’s interest in psychiatry prompted him to attend Grinnell College in Iowa with a pre-med major; he later transferred to UCLA. After recieving a BA in psychology, a professor encouraged him to invest in his acting talents and he enrolled in New York’s Neighborhood Playhouse. His classmates there included Dabney Coleman, Brenda Vacarro, Christoper Lloyd, Jessica Walters, Elizabeth Ashley and James Caan. His work at the Playhouse was rewarded with a scholarship from the school’s regents.
In a touch of irony, Walter is best known for his recurring television portrayals both of the hated, intensely driven Alfred Bester (Babylon 5) and the likeable, perpetually cheerful Pavel Chekov (Star Trek). His recurring role of Bester on Babylon 5 was voted as “Best Guest Villan” in a poll of over one hundred thousand fans, and in later polls was voted both “The Man We Most Love to Hate” and “The Best Villan in a Series: Most Evil and Complicated Character”. Walter’s film work includes the first seven Star Trek feature films, for which he earned two Saturn Award Best Supporting Actor nominations. His many other films have been independent projects with challenging roles. Walter also has a long and varied resume of stage work including over three dozen productions.
Walter is an intelligent, honest, insightful, and remarkably funny man whose wide range of talents is not limited to acting. He has been the producer of films, directed stage productions, and is a published author. As a writer, Walter has penned books, screenplays, episodes for several television series, plays, and a comic book series for Malibu Comics. You’re Never Alone When You’re a Schizophrenic, a one-man play Walter wrote and performed, was a finalist in the 1996 New York Film Festival.
Walter has shared his multiple talents by teaching classes in acting, directing and psychology. He has taught privately and at UCLA, Actor’s Alley Repertory Company, the California School of Professional Psychology, and The Sherwood Oaks Experimental Film College in Hollywood.
Walter was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2012.