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Those lost in 2005

  • 30-12-2005 12:09am
    Closed Accounts Posts: 1,792 ✭✭✭ J.R.HARTLEY

    At star trek .com they have a list of star trek people lost in 2005, quite moving to see so many passing.
    In Memoriam: Those We Lost in 2005

    Let us take a moment to remember those in the family we lost this year, those who helped make Star Trek the formidable influence in our lives and our culture that it is.

    James Doohan
    July 20
    The death of James Doohan was felt the world over. The widespread global coverage of his obituary leaves no doubt how impactful and beloved this Canadian actor who portrayed a Scottish engineer was. We are lucky we had an opportunity to see Jimmy one last time, at his farewell convention in Hollywood only 11 months before his death, and let him know how we felt about him (related story).

    In fact, this story is not even over yet. Doohan is set to be memorialized with a spaceflight that will take a portion of his cremated remains into orbit. Space Services Inc. is currently looking at a launch window of February or March of 2006, with a public memorial service the day prior (watch this page for updates). If you can't attend the launch in person, you can still participate by composing a message of tribute for Doohan which will be attached to the payload — see this page.

    It's interesting to note that the dates of Doohan's birth and death seem poetic for a man famed for portraying a space-faring engineer. His birthday, March 3, coincides with that of legendary inventor Alexander Graham Bell. His date of death, July 20, coincides with the anniversary of mankind's first step on the Moon.

    Doohan was 85 when he succumbed to pneumonia with complications from Alzheimer's disease. He is the second Original Series cast member to pass away, after DeForest Kelley in 1999.

    Michael Piller
    November 1
    Few people have had as much of a creative influence on the Star Trek franchise as Michael Piller. As executive producer and head writer from the third season on, he helped steer Star Trek: The Next Generation to some of the highest ratings and critical success ever for a syndicated drama. He also co-created Deep Space Nine and Voyager, and wrote "Star Trek: Insurrection." He left Star Trek to form his own production company, Piller², and created The Dead Zone and Wildfire, each with former DS9 cast members.

    Piller has been universally lauded not only as immensely talented in his own right, but wise enough to understand and take to heart the creative direction of Gene Roddenberry. He is also praised by his colleagues for nurturing young talent, through his open-door script submission policy, his mentorship of new writers such as Ronald D. Moore, and his contributions to collegiate screenwriting programs.

    Piller lost his long battle with cancer at the age of 57.

    Robert Wise
    September 14
    He was a Hollywood legend, who edited "Citizen Kane" and went on to direct some of the most beloved motion pictures in history — "West Side Story" and "The Sound of Music" to name a couple. He was also no stranger to science fiction, with "The Day the Earth Stood Still" and "The Andromeda Strain" among his prestigious credits. Robert Wise brought his classical film sensibilities to the Star Trek universe when he was picked in 1979 by Gene Roddenberry to helm the first venture onto the big screen for James T. Kirk & company, "Star Trek: The Motion Picture." It was a tumultuous experience for Wise, and he had to deliver the film admittedly unfinished — but he rectified that two decades later when he worked with visual effects producers to release the substantially altered "Director's Edition" of the film. He was able to say at that point that he was truly proud of the film.

    Wise died of heart failure at the ripe old age of 91.

    Herbert J. Wright
    August 24
    He came to be known as the "Father of the Ferengi" because he wrote the TNG episode that introduced that race, "The Last Outpost," as well as its followup, "The Battle." But Herb Wright's influence on TNG was even more intrinsic because he worked with Gene Roddenberry to develop the show and the characters in its nascent stages. He was a producer in the first season, and after spending some time on Paramount's TV series War of the Worlds, came back to TNG in its fifth season.

    Tragically, Wright succumbed to illness just as he was gearing up to produce another Roddenberry property, Questor. Wright originally met the Great Bird at Universal Studios in 1973 after Roddenberry made "The Questor Tapes," the TV movie intended as a pilot for a new series about an android on contemporary Earth. However, Roddenberry walked away due to creative differences with the studio, and the series died. But Wright always held out the dream that Questor would come to be, and a few years ago he gained the rights to produce it. Wright's partners still intend to pursue the project and fulfill Wright's dream and Roddenberry's vision.

    Wright died of bone cancer and pneumonia at the age of 58.

    Brock Peters
    August 23
    He gained fame as the man falsely accused of rape in the 1962 classic "To Kill a Mockingbird," but Star Trek fans remember Brock Peters for two roles: as Admiral Cartwright in "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home" and "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country" and as Joseph Sisko, Benjamin Sisko's New Orleans-based father who ran his own creole restaurant. Peters died of pancreatic cancer at age 78.

    Frank Gorshin
    May 17
    He was best known as "The Riddler" in the '60s version of Batman, but Frank Gorshin was also famous as a comedian and impressionist. For the original Star Trek, he lent his formidable talents to the part of the ridiculously racist "Bele" in "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield," cited by many as their favorite Trek episode. He embraced that aspect of his fame, because he was often seen in the autograph rooms at Trek conventions up until the end. Gorshin died at 71 of lung cancer, emphysema and pneumonia.

    John Fiedler
    June 25
    To children of all ages, John Fiedler's voice is instantly recognizable as that of Piglet in Disney's "Winnie the Pooh" features and shorts. But he was also a popular character actor whose credits include "The Wolf in the Fold," when he played the weasly "Hengist" who was possessed with the evil entity "Redjac." As a young actor in New York, Fiedler once roomed with Doohan — and they each passed away less than a month apart. Fiedler was 80 when he died of cancer.

    Vincent Schiavelli
    December 26
    His was one of those faces you've seen a thousand times, but you probably never knew his name. Vincent Schiavelli has played a plethora of odd and eccentric roles because of his odd and eccentric face. In Star Trek: The Next Generation, he was the automated peddler of weapons on planet Minos in "The Arsenal of Freedom." He died of lung cancer at age 57.

    Loulie Jean Norman
    August 2
    You probably don't know her face or her name, but you know her voice intimately. Loulie Jean Norman was the soaring soprano in the theme music of the original Star Trek composed by Alexander Courage. Norman worked in the entertainment industry for more than 50 years, and was considered the most flawless studio soprano in the business. She was 92.

    William Boyett
    December 29, 2004 (reported in January)
    Veteran Hollywood actor William Boyett was in TNG as Lt. Dan Bell in "The Big Goodbye" and a Policeman in "Time's Arrow, Part II." He died of pneumonia and kidney failure at age 77.

    Robert Fortier
    January 1
    One of James Doohan's most famous quotes — "It's green!" — was spoken to Robert Fortier, in his role as "Tomar," one of the Kelvans who hijacked the Enterprise toward the Andromeda Galaxy in "By Any Other Name." Fortier was 79.

    Herta Ware
    August 15
    A noted Broadway, film and TV actress, Herta Ware played Jean-Luc Picard's mother, "Yvette Gessard Picard," in a hallucination in "Where No One Has Gone Before." She died of natural causes at age 88.

    Hamilton Camp
    October 2
    Versatile musician/comedian/actor Hamilton Camp played two roles in Star Trek: the Ferengi "Leck" in Deep Space Nine's "Ferengi Love Songs" and "The Magnificent Ferengi"; and the Malon "Vrelk" in Voyager's "Extreme Risk." He died of a heart attack at age 70.

    Charles Rocket
    October 7
    Saturday Night Live veteran Charles Rocket played "Jippeq," the commander of the Varro generational ship in Voyager's "The Disease." His death at age 56 was ruled a suicide.

    Marc Lawrence
    November 27
    A character actor often cast as a gangster, Marc Lawrence played the holographic mob boss "Carl Zeemo" in DS9's "Badda-Bing Badda-Bang." Ten years prior, he was "Volnoth" in TNG's "The Vengeance Factor." He died of natural causes at 95.

    Norman Prescott
    July 2
    Norman Prescott was co-founder of Filmation Studios, which produced Star Trek: The Animated Adventures in 1973-74. He and partner Lou Scheimer also produced The Archies, Batman and other popular animated fare. Prescott died of natural causes at age 78.