Thankfully, many of the original cast of Star Trek are still with us. Sadly, other favourites neither lived long, nor prospered. This is their story.
Gene Roddenberry – producer & writer – October 1991, Santa Monica, California, aged 70. The Great Bird’s reputation has taken a battering in recent years. But the fact remains The Wagon Train to the Stars was his idea. And it was his persistence which overcame the initial ratings failure and ensured the show grew into a world-wide phenomenon. Heart failure.
James Doohan – Montgomery “Scotty” Scott – Redmond, Washington, aged 85. During the D-Day landings was hit six times by friendly fire. His right middle finger was amputated. Famously didn’t get on with William Shatner, saying “I like Captain Kirk, but I can’t say I’m very fond of Bill.” Credited with inventing the Klingon language. Pneumonia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Majel Barrett – Number One & Nurse Chapell – 18 December 2008, Bel Air, Los Angeles, California, aged 76. Only performer to appear in all of the Star Trek series. Married Gene Roddenberry two months after original series was cancelled. Left her pet dogs a $4 million dollar trust. Leukemia.
Gene L. Coon – producer & writer – 8 July 1973, Los Angeles, California, aged 49. What a writer. Created Khan Noonien Singh in ‘Space Seed‘, the Klingons, Zefram Cochrane, The Prime Directive. Hugely underrated. Diagnosed with cancer only the week before he died. Lung cancer.
Mark Lenard – Sarek – 22 November 1996, New York City, New York, aged 72. Spock’s father also played Urko, the bad, bad gorilla in the TV version of Planet of the Apes. Multiple myeloma.
Jeffrey Hunter – Captain Christopher Pike – 27 May 1969, Los Angeles, California, aged 42. The original captain of the Enterprise died the week before the final episode of TOS was aired. Cerebral hemorrhage.
Roger C. Carmel – Harcourt Fenton ‘Harry’ Mudd – 11 November 1986, Hollywood, California, aged 54. Wild rumours swirl around Roger’s death, from suicide to a crack overdose with a young male prostitute. Heart disease.
Ted Cassidy – Ruk – 16 January 1979, Los Angeles, California, aged 46. Better known as Lurch in the Addams Family. Complications after heart surgery.
Meg Wyllie – the Talosian Keeper – 1 January, 2002, Glendale, California, aged 84. Star Trek’s first memorable villain was played by a woman, but voiced by a man, Malachi Throne, who was originally offered the part of McCoy, but turned it down. Heart failure.
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