Maren Jensen Then And Now: Battlestar Galactica's Lieutenant Athena

By | March 14, 2020

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Maren Jensen and Lorne Greene on 'Battlestar Galactica,' 1978. (Photo by Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)

As Lieutenant Athena on Battlestar Galactica, Maren Jensen was part of the elite class of take-charge science-fiction heroines of the late '70s. The success of Star Wars (1977) had inspired studios to invest in science-fiction films and TV shows. Jensen's Battlestar Galactica, starring Richard Hatch, Lorne Greene and Dirk Benedict, premiered in 1978 and was NBC's first entry into the space race. (It was followed by Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, which was also an NBC show, and actually recycled some props and costumes from Battlestar.) Although Jensen was a highlight of the short-lived Battlestar Galactica, her career as an actress did not continue long after the show ended.

Maren Jensen Began As A Model

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On the cover of Cosmo. Source: (pinterest)

Maren Kawehilani Jensen was born in 1956 in Arcadia, California. Her father was a physician and her mother was a secretary at the Los Angeles Zoo. After graduating from Herbert Hoover High School, Jensen attended UCLA on a scholarship. While there, she studied theater arts and law. As a theater arts major, she did appear in a few college productions, but she did nothing professional. However, Jensen, whose ancestry is Hawaiian and Danish started a successful modeling career, and appeared on the covers of Mademoiselle and Vogue. A mutual friend introduced her to an agent, Barbara Gale, who landed her appearances in two network commercials. After that, she had a guest role on The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries in 1977. In 1978, she was signed for the role of Athena on the television show Battlestar Galactica, which only ran until 1979.