Sunday, July 24, 2005

I couldn't decide whether to do "He's beamed up for the final time" or "He's Dead, Jim"... pathetic, I know... Sigh.

From USA Today...

James Doohan, 'Scotty,' dies
By Cesar G. Soriano, USA TODAY
Thu Jul 21, 7:37 AM ET

Shortly after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, Star Trek star James "Scotty" Doohan made one final public appearance to say goodbye to his legion of Trekkies.

"Nichelle, it's the most wonderful day of my life," he told former castmate Nichelle Nichols (Uhura) when he received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Aug. 30.

Now it's his fans' turn to say farewell. The beloved actor, best known as chief engineer Montgomery Scott of the starship Enterprise on the original Star Trek TV series and subsequent films, died Wednesday at his home in Redmond, Wash. He was 85.

His wife of 28 years, Wende, was at his side when Doohan died of pneumonia, said longtime agent and friend, Steve Stevens. Doohan will be cremated and his ashes launched into space, Stevens said, which was the actor's wish.

A public memorial service is pending.

His colleagues paid their tributes Wednesday.

"A long and storied career is over," colleague and fellow Canadian William Shatner (Capt. James T. Kirk) said in a statement. The two actors had a long-running feud before patching things up.

At a Los Angeles meeting of television critics, former Star Trek: The Next Generation star
Brent Spiner called Doohan "a lovely guy. I'm very sad to hear he's passed." Doohan and Spiner appeared together in an episode of TNG. Longtime Star Trek producer Brannon Braga said Doohan "was a very charming man and a wonderful actor."

Born March 3, 1920, in Vancouver, Doohan left home at 19 to escape an alcoholic father and joined the Canadian military, according to his autobiography, Beam Me Up, Scotty.

On June 6, 1944, Doohan led his artillerymen onto the beaches of Normandy on D-Day. He was shot several times: One bullet took off his finger, and another to the chest was deflected by a silver cigarette case. He later became an observation pilot.

After the war, Doohan began acting. He landed a two-year scholarship at New York's Neighborhood Playhouse where his classmates included Leslie Nielsen, Tony Randall and Jackie Gleason.

His racked up credits on radio, film, theater and TV, including the 1953 sci-fi series Space Command. But he remains best known as Scotty, the cantankerous, Scottish-accented engineer on Star Trek, which aired from 1966 to 1969 on NBC.

As the ship's "miracle worker," Scotty routinely saved the Enterprise in the final moments, all the while complaining of being unable to change the laws of physics or make the ship go any faster.

In real life, Doohan was just as colorful. His first two marriages ended in divorce. He had seven children; the youngest was born when Doohan was 80. Doohan often said he never tired of fans yelling "Beam me up, Scotty" - even though the famous catchphrase was never actually delivered on the television series.

I remember his performance in the "Relics" episode of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and he was a much better actor than people usually give him credit for.

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