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Star Trek's Scotty is Dead at 85

 
 
Reply Wed 20 Jul, 2005 01:07 pm
From Reuters (and every other news service):

'Star Trek' Star James Doohan Dies By BOB THOMAS, Associated Press Writer


LOS ANGELES - James Doohan, the burly chief engineer of the Starship Enterprise in the original "Star Trek" TV series and movies who responded to the command "Beam me up, Scotty," died Wednesday. He was 85.

Doohan died at 5:30 a.m. at his Redmond, Wash., home with his wife of 28 years, Wende, at his side, Los Angeles agent and longtime friend Steve Stevens said. The cause of death was pneumonia and Alzheimer's disease, he said.

He had said farewell to public life in August 2004, a few months after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.

The Canadian-born Doohan was enjoying a busy career as a character actor when he auditioned for a role as an engineer in a new space adventure on NBC in 1966. A master of dialects from his early years in radio, he tried seven different accents.

"The producers asked me which one I preferred," Doohan recalled 30 years later. "I believed the Scot voice was the most commanding. So I told them, 'If this character is going to be an engineer, you'd better make him a Scotsman.'"

The series, which starred William Shatner as Capt. James T. Kirk and Leonard Nimoy as the enigmatic Mr. Spock, attracted an enthusiastic following of science fiction fans, especially among teenagers and children, but not enough ratings power. NBC canceled it after three seasons.

When the series ended in 1969, Doohan found himself typecast as Montgomery Scott, the canny engineer with a burr in his voice. In 1973, he complained to his dentist, who advised him: "Jimmy, you're going to be Scotty long after you're dead. If I were you, I'd go with the flow."

"I took his advice," said Doohan, "and since then everything's been just lovely."

"Star Trek" continued in syndication both in the United States and abroad, and its following grew larger and more dedicated. In his later years, Doohan attended 40 "Trekkie" gatherings around the country and lectured at colleges.

The huge success of George Lucas' "Star Wars" in 1977 prompted Paramount Pictures, which had produced "Star Trek" for television, to plan a movie based on the series. The studio brought back the TV cast and hired director Robert Wise. "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" was successful enough to spawn five sequels.

The powerfully built Doohan, a veteran of D-Day in Normandy, spoke frankly in 1998 about his employer and his TV commander.

"I started out in the series at basic minimum_ plus 10 percent for my agent. That was added a little bit in the second year. When we finally got to our third year, Paramount told us we'd get second-year pay! That's how much they loved us."

He accused Shatner of hogging the camera, adding: "I like Captain Kirk, but I sure don't like Bill. He's so insecure that all he can think about is himself."

James Montgomery Doohan was born March 3, 1920, in Vancouver, British Columbia, youngest of four children of William Doohan, a pharmacist, veterinarian and dentist, and his wife Sarah. As he wrote in his autobiography, "Beam Me Up, Scotty," his father was a drunk who made life miserable for his wife and children.

At 19, James escaped the turmoil at home by joining the Canadian army, becoming a lieutenant in artillery. He was among the Canadian forces that landed on Juno Beach on D-Day. "The sea was rough," he recalled. "We were more afraid of drowning than the Germans."

The Canadians crossed a minefield laid for tanks; the soldiers weren't heavy enough to detonate the bombs. At 11:30 that night, he was machine-gunned, taking six hits: one that took off his middle right finger (he managed to hide the missing finger on screen), four in his leg and one in the chest. Fortunately the chest bullet was stopped by his silver cigarette case.

After the war Doohan on a whim enrolled in a drama class in Toronto. He showed promise and won a two-year scholarship to New York's famed Neighborhood Playhouse, where fellow students included Leslie Nielsen, Tony Randall and Richard Boone.

His commanding presence and booming voice brought him work as a character actor in films and television, both in Canada and the United States.

Oddly, his only other TV series besides "Star Trek" was another space adventure, "Space Command," in 1953.

Doohan's first marriage to Judy Doohan produced four children. He had two children by his second marriage to Anita Yagel. Both marriages ended in divorce. In 1974 he married Wende Braunberger, and their children were Eric, Thomas and Sarah, who was born in 2000, when Doohan was 80.

In a 1998 interview, Doohan was asked if he ever got tired of hearing the line "Beam me up, Scotty."

"I'm not tired of it at all," he replied. "Good gracious, it's been said to me for just about 31 years. It's been said to me at 70 miles an hour across four lanes on the freeway. I hear it from just about everybody. It's been fun."
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Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 1,186 • Replies: 16
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Chai
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Jul, 2005 01:15 pm
Well, I guess the engines couldn't take it anymore.

Rest In Peace
0 Replies
 
Letty
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Jul, 2005 01:19 pm
Ah, Brandon. I saw that on the news, but you have made Scotty even more real than he was in the Trekkie movies. The one simple reason that I liked Galaxy Quest was because of its gentle satire.

Adios, Scotty! Beamed up for the last time.
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Jul, 2005 01:24 pm
Letty wrote:
Ah, Brandon. I saw that on the news, but you have made Scotty even more real than he was in the Trekkie movies. The one simple reason that I liked Galaxy Quest was because of its gentle satire.

Adios, Scotty! Beamed up for the last time.

"Galaxy Quest" seemed a tribute to "Star Trek."

As for James Doohan (whom I got within a hundred feet of at a 70s "Trek" convention), thanks for the wonderful dreams of the future. Rest in peace.
0 Replies
 
Sturgis
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Jul, 2005 01:25 pm
Clearly he wasn't getting enough dilithium crystals.
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Jul, 2005 03:43 pm
Ya canna change the laws of physics, nor, apparently, the laws of mortality. Rest in peace gentle gadgeteer.
0 Replies
 
Lash
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Jul, 2005 05:02 pm
Sturgis, dammit!!

I was poised to make that comment, and YOU FOILED ME!!!!

Oh well.

Good show, Sturgis. Forgive me, but it must be my adieu to the old Scot, as well.

Capt. I really had to have... more dilithium crystals....

RIP, Scotty. No one could go berserk in an engine room like you.
0 Replies
 
goodfielder
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Jul, 2005 09:57 pm
Many years ago when I was on patrol in our capital city I saw from the car that someone had written on a lamp post in fairly small letters using a permanent marker the words "Beam me up Scotty!". It was at the corner of the main thoroughfare and the slightly sleazy entertainment strip. I remember cracking up when I saw it (much to the amusement of some members of the public who didn't see it). I must go back and see if it's still there. And I might bring a permanent marker with me, just in case it's faded away.
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Jul, 2005 10:25 pm
At one of the "Trek" conventions I attended in NY in the early 70s, he explained how his last name, which people were pronouncing in various ways, should be pronounced:

"It's like what are ya doin', how are ya doin', who are ya doin?"
0 Replies
 
Grand Duke
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Jul, 2005 10:54 pm
Just to confirm my naiveity, I always thought he really was Scottish. In my defence, I was never fooled by that wily Chekov though...
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Jul, 2005 11:03 pm
Grand Duke wrote:
Just to confirm my naiveity, I always thought he really was Scottish. In my defence, I was never fooled by that wily Chekov though...

Right. Walter Koenig is from Brooklyn, if I remember correctly. He signed an autograph for me eons ago.
0 Replies
 
Algis Kemezys
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Jul, 2005 06:14 am
Scotty brought the Scottish back into the fold.
0 Replies
 
Kathar
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Jul, 2005 06:24 pm
His ashes are to be sent into space, just as Gene Rodenberry's were. A fitting tribute to the firey figure.

Third star to the right, and straight on 'till morning.
0 Replies
 
Letty
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Jul, 2005 06:52 pm
Great observance, Kathar. My favorite line from a Trek movie by Scotty:

"There be whales here."
0 Replies
 
gustavratzenhofer
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Jul, 2005 07:01 pm
The cast from Star Trek can not die fast enough as far as I'm concerned.

Perhaps the worst show ever aired. (with the possible exception of "Honey, I'm Home!"
0 Replies
 
Letty
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Jul, 2005 07:11 pm
I didn't like The Shinning either, Gus.

Goodnight all.
0 Replies
 
Mr Stillwater
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Jul, 2005 04:53 am
gustavratzenhofer wrote:
The cast from Star Trek can not die fast enough as far as I'm concerned.

Perhaps the worst show ever aired. (with the possible exception of "Honey, I'm Home!"


You are going down Goatboy!!


Or should I say 'Kustav the Unforgiven'....
0 Replies
 
 

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