Star Trek: The Next Generation star Jonathan Frakes was once Captain America for Marvel. Fans think of his time playing Cmdr. William Riker in Star Trek: The Next Generation as Frakes'breakout role, but he was a Marvel superhero before he joined Starfleet. The role wasn't for television or in film, but Frakes did play the Star-Spangled Avenger for years alongside one of his friends who played Spider-Man. He even appeared in one event with a kind of Stan Lee cameo. "I did it for a couple of years," Frakes tells GalaxyCon. "I was in New York and a friend of mine, Charlie Davis, and I were dating girls that stayed in the same house in New York which was the same house that used to be in the movie Backstage… It was like a sorority of actors if you will.
"And Charlie and I met there and he had been hired by someone to go out as Spider-Man to open up comic book stores. And Marvel on 575 Madison Avenue, the eighth floor, had built him a costume. And he did a couple of them and he said, 'They're looking for a guy to do Captain America. You should go meet the people over there.' So I went over there and, to make it long story short, he and I ended up going out on this weird tour."
Frakes recalls the interesting schedule he and his friend kept, visiting major cities and appearing at a variety of locations. "We'd go out on a Friday, much like a convention, and we'd go to Omaha or we'd go to Chicago and we'd have a schedule and somebody… would pick us up at the airport with a rented Taurus and we'd have a schedule," he says. "We'd got to a 7-11, then we'd do a comic book store, then we'd got to a supermarket. Every 20 minutes we'd have to be somewhere, and we'd have these spacesuits on, we'd pull up a block away, I'd get on the hood of the car — first of all, I'd take the garbage can lid that had the big 'A' on it out of the thing, I'd gripper on the two wings that Captain America has on his cowl — I'd hold the garbage can lid, I'd stand on the hood of the car, ride into the parking lot of the 7-11 on the Ford Taurus. It was a very glamorous time and we made 50 bucks a day."
They had a couple of stand out outings. Once they appeared during a Blood, Sweat, & Tears concert at the Metropolitan Opera House at the request of drummer Bobby Colomby. Another time they appeared on the White House Lawn alongside other costumed Marvel character with Stan Lee and First Lady Rosalynn Carter to support energy conservation. If Marvel Studios is looking for its next obscure Easter egg, maybe they should consider getting Frakes back into a Captain America costume.
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