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. His parents were Russian Jewish immigrants from the Republic of Lithuania
in the Soviet Union. He attended New York public grammar schools and
graduated from Fieldston High School in Riverdale, NY. He did his first on-stage
work in high school with the lead role in both Peer Gynt and Shaw's Devil's
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.
Walter Koenig's professional acting career spans more than forty six years of
stage, television and film work. His remarkable talents and range as an actor
have won him accolades for roles including everything from a teenage gang leader
(Alfred Hitchcock Presents) to a middle-aged Tom Sawyer (The Boys In Autumn).
On television, Walter's work began in 1960 with several roles on the series A
Day in Court. He has since appeared on television over 110 times in no less than
42 separate roles.
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. Youre Never Alone When Youre 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 has been married to Judy Levitt since 1965. They have two children:
Andrew and Danielle Koenig. The entire family is involved in the film and theatre
industries in a variety of ways.