The day a Spurs dream came true for Star Trek star Marina Sirtis
Wed 12 September 2018, 12:32|Tottenham Hotspur
Marina Sirtis used to live within walking distance of White Hart Lane. The Hackney-born, LA-based actress admits those days now feel like a galaxy away...just like in the Star Trek films and TV series that made her famous in the role of Deanna Troi.
However, for two hours earlier this summer, her beloved Spurs were in her neighbourhood in Los Angeles and the players she still adores from long distance were within touching distance.
“My 15-year-old self is doing summersaults right now,” beamed Marina from pitchside at our Open Training event at LA Galaxy’s StubHub Center. “I am beside myself with joy. I’m so excited to be this close to the players. I don’t know how I’m not jumping up and down. It’s like a dream come true.”
As a young girl. Marina’s family moved to north London. “I went to Tottenham High Girls School and Spurs were the nearest boys!” she told us. “That was one of the reasons we were so fanatical about Spurs.
“There was a group of us at school who were big, big Spurs fans. We used to go to watch the team train at Cheshunt (our training base, 1952-87), that’s how long ago it was!
“We watched the youth team on Saturday morning, the first team every other week, the reserves every other week, we’d go to every cup game. That’s what I miss the most...the stadium was within walking distance, we were very close.
“The Club has had my heart ever since those days but yes, it does seem like I’m a millions miles away."
After working as an actress in England for 10 years, Marina’s career – and life – changed completely back in 1986.
She explained: “I just thought ‘maybe I should try my luck in America’ and I just came out here. I cried all the way, didn’t know anyone and when I got here I booked a job within five days and thought ‘that’s a good sign’.”
Marina landed the role of Deanna Troi in Star Trek: The Next Generation in 1987 and that has been her life since with a further two TV series and four Star Trek films keeping her in that role until 2005.
She’s also appeared in the likes of Grey’s Anatomy, NCIS and a number of films including Oscar-winner Crash in 2004.
There is still that Spurs gap in her life - thankfully now filled for Marina and countless fellow Spurs fans by more and more TV coverage of ‘soccer’ and particularly the Premier League in the States. Remember, we have 66 official supporters’ clubs across the pond.
“I get up at 4.30am on a Saturday or Sunday morning if it’s the early game, otherwise I don’t have to get up until seven!” explained Marina. “I can see more football here than in England because NBC Sports show every Premier League game. I can pretty much watch every game, including La Liga and Serie A as well.
“The great thing is that we’ve something really special now. Mauricio Pochettino is my hero at the moment because he has created this fantastic team, our local boy made good Harry is up there with Messi and Ronaldo and I’m so proud of the lads.”
Meanwhile, Marina will be closer to home at the end of this year. “I’m coming over for three months in October because I’m doing panto in Bridlington, Yorkshire. I’m the Bean Fairy in Jack and the Beanstalk. I’m really excited about it, can’t wait.”
From Minder to Star Trek – Marina’s journey
Here's Marina's acting journey, in her own words.
“I started acting in 1976 and I was pretty much like all English actresses in that I did a lot of regional theatre, the occasional TV show, all the old ones like Minder, Raffles, those TV shows.
"After about 10 years of doing the occasional TV show and the occasional film, I just thought ‘maybe I should try my luck in America’ and I just came out here. I cried all the way, didn’t know anyone and when I got here I booked a job within five days and thought ‘that’s a good sign’.
"Six months later, I booked Star Trek, and that has been my life since. The show was on for seven years and I did four films after the show and the conventions are still going strong. I’m amazed people still remember us but they love us even more than when the show first started, so I’m blessed in that respect.”