Stephanie Niznik, 'Everwood' and 'Star Trek' Actress, Dead at 52

Everwood and Star Trek: Insurrection star Stephanie Niznik has died at the age of 52. The actress died unexpectedly in Encino, California on June 23, as first reported by Variety. An official cause of death was not immediately revealed.

Niznik gained prominence for her role of Nina Feeney, neighbor of the Brown family and eventual love interest for Dr. Andy Brown (Treat Williams) on Everwood. She played the role of the shows four seasons. She recently returned for the show's 15th anniversary panel at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour in 2017.

Originally from Bangor, Maine, the outlet writes Niznik originally intended to work as a geneticist before graduating from Duke University with majors in theater and Russian. She pursued a masters at Cal Arts, then began acting with roles in shows like Vanishing Son and Murder She Wrote.

She also appeared on shows like Nash Bridges and Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman before landing a recurring role on Diagnosis Murder. Along with her work on Everwood, she also had recurring roles on Life is Wild and made guest appearances on Lost, NCIS and CSI: Miami.

Niznik guest starred on NCIS in 2009 playing Sharon Bellows in an episode that saw the team to work a case after finding an old skeleton, invoking a prisoner convicted of murder in two identical cases. The episode results in a prison hostage situation involving McGee (Sean Murray).

Niznik also had a standout appearance on ABC medical drama Grey's Anatomy, in the backdoor pilot special for spinoff series Private Practice. She played Carol in the fan-favorite Season 3 episode. After playing Trill Starfleet Ensign Kell Perim in the film Star Trek: Insurrection, Niznik returned to the franchise to play the Wraith in the Rogue Planet episode of the show, Star Trek: Enterprise.

Aside from her work as an actress, Variety also put a spotlight on her volunteering efforts including working with hunger, children and animal rescue organizations. Niznik also worked with Four Winds Heart-Centered Healing.

She is survived by her mother and stepfather, brother and sister-in-law, her niece and nephews, aunt and uncle and her beloved dogs Nucleus and Jake.

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Fans of the actress took to social media to send condolences to her family after news broke of her unexpected passing.

"I'm devestated (sic) and heart broken to hear the news that #StephanieNiznik passed away on June 23rd! She was one of my favourite characters in #Everwood. I adore her. My heart goes to her family," one fan wrote Friday.

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