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Denise Crosby Star Trek_edited.jpg

Famous Crosby's
Bing Crosby, Denise Crosby & Others

Sometimes family surnames cross over between maternal & paternal lineages. In my case, my maternal grandmother's family name was "Crosby", but my maternal Crosby family has proven quite elusive beyond my 2x great-grandfather. My grandma always told me that the Crosby's were Irish, and most likely their lineage is/was Irish, but my 2x great-grandfather was actually born in the USA in Upstate New York. Beyond that though, I know nothing about his lineage despite searching now for 2 decades.

On my paternal lineage I discovered another more famous Crosby family to whom I am related, and that is to Bing Crosby who was a singer and actor and is one of Hollywood's great icons. 

Bing was a distant relative - he was my 16th cousin, 3x removed and our shared ancestor was my 18th great-grandparents, Baron Thomas Stanley and Baroness Joan Goushill. I have never met any of these more famous Crosby's, but I grew up knowing who Bing Crosby was, and my grandmother was definitely a fan of both his music and his movies. Somewhere in my trove of collectibles I have an old record cleaner (hand held, of course) with Bing's signature and photo on it - this was one of the items that I inherited from my grandmother when she passed in 2002.

Normally I write biographies on these pages, but Bing's storied career, which spanned 50+ years, could not possibly be compressed into one simple page. There are numerous biographies written about this talented entertainer and vary from glowing to highly critical depending upon the author. 

In researching Bing Crosby and his immediate family, it does appear that there are a couple of recurring patterns in the family: problems with alcohol & depression, and multiple marriages. This is not such an uncommon theme in any family, and certainly not in this author's family. The only difference is that these particular people lived a great deal of their lives in the public eye, so scrutiny, criticism and the spotlight was always following them around; privacy certainly didn't seem to apply to this particular branch of my family.

Aside from Bing and his family, there was another Crosby cousin that I was surprised to discover, and that was Denise Crosby, who I have known for years as a talented actor, starting with her role as Lt. Tasha Yar on Star Trek The Next Generation. I had always suspected that she was related to Bing Crosby, but I never really took the time to research and confirm this idea, but it turns out that I was correct. 

Denise is the daughter of Bing's son, Dennis Crosby. Dennis was not married to Denise's mother, Marilyn Scott, but a sensational and very public paternity trial proved that Dennis was Denise's father. Even after this fact was proven, the research I have done indicates that Denise, who was Bing Crosby's granddaughter, never met her famous grandfather. I don't like to pass judgement, but I cannot reconcile Bing's public persona as a "nice guy/father figure" with him never meeting and being involved in one of his grandchildren's lives.

As mentioned, I knew of Denise Crosby in passing, and the role that she briefly held on TNG. I had always wondered why her character was killed off on TNG, and then reprised in a couple of latter episodes; I thought that Tasha Yar was an interesting character who added a strong female member to the cast. However, as I researched Denise's decision to leave the cast, it made a lot more sense; she wanted the character that she portrayed to have more depth, but the character was being pushed into the background as the series progressed (if you are a TNG fan, you can see this for yourself as you rewatch the TNG episodes).

Denise has performed in many other roles on both TV and film, and she has produced and co-produced a couple of Star Trek documentaries. In fact, if you look at Denise's resume, you will see that she has been very active over the years and has played a wide range of characters during her long Hollywood career.

There are, of course, a lot more Crosby family members, and each one has their own story to tell and to do so could easily fill an entire Crosby Family website, something which this author is not currently prepared to do. If you want to learn more about this famous family, you can do your own internet search quite easily - just be prepared to spend hours and hours reading about each of these interesting Crosby family members!

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