Walter Marvin Koenig (born September 14, 1936 in Chicago, Illinois, USA) is an actor. He played the navigator Pavel Chekov on the USS Enterprise in the original Star Trek television series and in the several movies that featured the original cast. He is of Russian Jewish descent, but his family immigrated from Lithuania. He attended Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa.
After Chekov, his best-known role is the Psi Cop Alfred Bester on the television series Babylon 5. Koenig has been the "Special Guest Star" in twelve episodes and, at the end of the third season, the production company applied for an Emmy nomination on his behalf. He once again plays Bester on the spin-off series Crusade.
In addition to acting, he has written a handful of episodes for TV shows: Star Trek: The Animated Series, Land of the Lost, Family and The Powers of Matthew Star. Walter Koenig has taught classes in acting and directing at UCLA, The Sherwood Oaks Experiment Film College and the California School of Professional Psychology. Most recently he has been in instructor at the Actor's Alley Repetory Company in Los Angeles.
He was cast as Chekov due to his resemblance to Davy Jones, to attract the younger audience, especially females.
He had heart bypass surgery in 1993. His role as Bester came out of that incident since his hospitalization forced to bow out of a guest spot on Babylon 5. The series producer promised to make it up to him for the lost opportunity and got the Bester role later on.
In 2005 it was announced that Koeing would reprise his role as Chekov in an upcoming episode of Star Trek: New Voyages, an internet based Fan Series taking place in the 3rd year of the original 5 year mission after TOS had been canceled.