Happy Birthday, Barbara March! (October 9)
Barbara March played Lursa in 3 TNG episodes, 1 DS9 episode and Star Trek: Generations. Lursa and B’Etor are thugs, which is a role women villains don’t often get to play. More than that, they’re conniving and intelligent.
Other cool things about Barbara March:
- She’s Canadian (this is cool to me as a Canadian)
- She started as a stage actress at the famous Stratford Festival, where other Canadian Trek actors like William Shatner and Christopher Plummer built their early careers
- In the late 80s she played Lady Macbeth on Broadway and she drew on that role for inspiration in playing Lursa: “March drew on Lady Macbeth as a model, a character she describes as ‘sensual, sexual, very strong, very quiet. It’s holstered up inside, she’s sitting on it, whereas B’Etor got to erupt.'” [x]
- Since Trek she’s written several screenplays and treatments for TV, a play and several novels, and worked as a story editor on a Canadian TV show, Mysterious Island.
- She has awesome stuff to say about her costume’s boob window and beauty standards: [x]
I felt that I did good by doing Lursa, because I’m a large woman – I’m 160 pounds, big bones, big everything,” said the actress. “When I meet large women who come to conventions with their cleavage exposed, and for the first time feel proud of their bodies with a sense of dignity and a kind of sexual aggressiveness, I am so grateful. That’s important. I’m so glad that those women can come out and feel like they’re beautiful.
But she felt there was more untapped opportunity:
I think the characters should’ve been allowed to go further. We should have been more terrifying – like the men, who are very aggressive and brutal. We should have bumped heads or something. In comparison to the men, the Duras sisters were more sly and calculating. We really didn’t do anything really devastating, like killing and maiming. I wanted to shoot someone. If we’re awful, then let us be really awful.Star Trek Fan Club Canada magazine, Fall 1993
She’s also spoken out against ageism in Hollywood:
Being 40 and a female in L.A. is a kiss of death. The parts for women as leading ladies are really limited, let alone those for older women. There are two female roles for every 20 roles for men.Star Trek Fan Club Canada magazine, Fall 1993