Entertainment And News

'Star Trek' Actress Stephanie Niznik Dies Unexpectedly At 52

Photo: Getty
How Did Stephanie Niznik Die? New Details On The Death Of 'Star Trek' Actress At 52

People reported that actress Stephanie Niznik died at age 52.

There are lots of people in Hollywood who earn their bread and butter working as actors, and many of them you'll never even hear about. That doesn't mean that they weren't successful. After all, it's not everyone who can ascend to the level of an Angelina Jolie or a George Clooney. Sure, A-Listers are awesome, but there are plenty of roles out there and we count on working actors to perform them brilliantly. 

Niznik was one of those actors.

Niznik was a hard-working actress, a devoted mother-figure to younger actors, and a woman with many different gifts who will not be forgotten.

RELATED: Disney Star Cameron Boyce Dead At 20 — Here's What We Know

Read on to learn what made her so special to everyone who knew her. 

1. How did Stephanie Nizik die?

On June 23rd it was reported that Stephanie Niznik, a television and movie actress, died at the age of 52. According to the L.A. Coroner, Niznik died from Chronic Liver Disease and alcohol use. Niznik was found in her home in Encino, California.

If you're a fan of TV chances are Niznik's face is a familiar one. From 2002 to 2006 she starred as Nina Feeney on the WB hit series, Everwood. In addition to this critical role, fans of Star Trek are likely to know Niznik as a veteran of the Roddenberry universe, having appeared in Star Trek: Insurrection, as well as making other limited appearances on Star Trek.

Different outlets have reached out to her agent who hasn't responded with any more information regarding her untimely passing as of this writing.

2. Niznik's background

While the blonde, blue-eyed actress may have looked every inch the California girl, that wasn't always the case. Though she ultimately chose to make the West Coast her home, Niznik was originally from New England. She was born and raised in Bangor, Maine.

As much as Maine is at odds with California, so were Niznik's original dreams. She hoped to work in genetics, but when she was accepted by Duke University, her educational focus shifted. She wound up graduating with a double major in Russian and theatre. After finishing her bachelor's degree at Duke, she moved on to pursue her masters at Cal Arts where she first started getting bit roles on TV shows like Angela Lansbury's iconic Murder She Wrote. 

3. Niznik was a rising star 

Making it to the top isn't easy in any profession, let alone in the wacky world of Hollywood and acting, but Niznik didn't let the rejections and the hard work stop her from working to achieve her goals. She gained guest spots on shows like Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman and Nash Bridges which in turn led to her finally getting a coveted recurring spot on Diagnosis Murder.

It was this role that led her to Everwood where she eventually played Scott Wolf's love interest for two season. Speaking of her passing, Wolf said: “This is heartbreaking. She was so kind, and so fun to work with. I’m lucky to have known her. Rest In Peace Stephanie.”

RELATED: 'Willy Wonka' Star Denise Nickerson Dead At 62 — Here's What We Know

4. Niznik in Star Trek 

Wolf isn't the only star who knew and worked with Niznik to speak out about how sad they have been to hear about her passing. Everwood co-star Vivien Cardone tweeted out her own best wishes to Niznik's family. “An absolutely beautiful soul gone far too soon. So grateful to have met, worked with, and learned from such a strong, confident, kind, incredible woman. You will be so dearly missed Steph," she wrote.

She won't just be missed by Everwood fans, either. Niznik was well-known by Star Trek fans for playing Trill Starfleet Ensign Kell Perim in the movies, Star Trek: Insurrection and for her appearance as Wraith in the "Rogue Planet” episode of Star Trek: Enterprise.

5. Niznik was known for giving back 

Acting may have been why Niznik was known by the world at large, but those who knew her personally understood that there was much more to this talented woman than good looks and a gift for stage and screen. She was extremely focused on altruism and often worked as a volunteer for hunger organizations, children and animal rescue organizations, and was a long-time volunteer at the Four Winds Heart-Centered Healing center.

At her passing, she left behind her mother and her stepfather, her brother and her sister-in-law, her nieces and nephews, her aunt and uncle, and her dogs Nucleus and Jake to whom she was said to be deeply devoted.

Hearing how many people loved her makes this passing all the more tragic

6. Greg Berlanti's statement on Stephanie Niznik's death

When Everwood creator Greg Berlanti and the show's showrunner Rina Mimoun heard of Niznik's passing they issued the following statement, and it's one that will tug at your heartstrings: "Everwood was more than a television show. It was a family. We recently lost the mother of our tribe, Stephanie Niznik. Stephanie played Nina, the next door neighbor to Andy Brown, and the woman who helped raise his children as he struggled with being a single father. She continued that role offscreen by being an incredible friend, a nurturing mother figure to our younger cast members and an artist who brought warmth, compassion and humor to every episode and our set. Everyone who was lucky enough to know and work with her will miss her dearly," it read.

RELATED: John Travolta Allegedly Tried To Resurrect Dead Son In Bizarre Scientology Ritual, According To Ex-Scientologists

Rebecca Jane Stokes is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York with her cats, Batman and Margot. She's an experienced generalist with a passion for lifestyle, geek news, pop culture, and true crime.