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Old 07-20-2005, 05:46 PM
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He's dead, Jim! He's dead!

Star Trek's Scotty died.



Quote:
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Actor James Doohan, best known as the feisty, Scottish-accented chief engineer on television's original "Star Trek" series -- a role immortalized by the catchphrase "Beam me up, Scotty" -- died on Wednesday at age 85, his manager said.

Doohan died at his home in the Seattle suburb of Redmond, Washington, of complications from pneumonia and Alzheimer's disease, about a year after he was diagnosed with the degenerative neurological illness, manager Steve Stevens said in an interview.

The actor's wife of 28 years, Wende, was at his side. Doohan's last public appearance was in October, when the performer, confined to a wheelchair, was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The Canadian-born actor also had suffered from the chronic lung disease pulmonary fibrosis, which doctors believed was linked to Doohan's exposure to hazardous chemicals during his military service in World War II.

Doohan was wounded as an infantryman during the D-Day invasion of Normandy and returned to action as a fighter pilot.

A native of Vancouver, Doohan was a prolific voice actor on Canadian radio before making his move into television in the 1950s, starting with a Canadian series called "Space Command."

He made guest appearances on numerous TV shows, from "Gunsmoke" to "Bewitched," and cited his favorite film role as that of a French trapper in the 1971 picture "Man in the Wilderness," which starred Richard Harris and John Huston.

He is best remembered for playing Lt. Commander Montgomery "Scotty" Scott, the can-do chief engineer aboard the starship USS Enterprise on the original "Star Trek" series, which ran from 1966 to 1969 on NBC. He reprised the role for several big-screen "Star Trek" features.

One of Scotty's chief functions on the show was to operate the transporter device used to "beam" crew members aboard the Enterprise from distant planets -- often in response to the order: "Beam me up, Scotty."

ADOPTED BROGUE

Scotty also took command of the Enterprise when both Captain Kirk ( William Shatner) and first officer Spock ( Leonard Nimoy) were absent, and he often managed to coax a bit more power from the ship's engines at crucial moments.

The often-excitable Scottish brogue affected by Doohan for his role became as much a fixture of the show as Spock's logical stoicism or Dr. "Bones" McCoy's irascibly folksy manner.

Doohan kept his character alive through dozens of annual appearances at "Star Trek" conventions, and friends said he thrived on the adulation of fans, known as "Trekkies."

Co-stars recounted that Scotty's signature traits -- avuncular, emotional, determined, loyal -- were all hallmarks of Doohan's off-camera personality.

"He was very much like that. He really drew from himself when he performed the role," said Walter Koenig, who played Ensign Chekov on the show.

"Scotty was a drinker and an eater, and so was Jimmy," said George Takei, who co-starred as Lt. Sulu. "He was my best drinking buddy. He embraced the joy of life."

According to Stevens, Doohan auditioned for the part in several European accents before the show's creator, Gene Roddenberry, asked him what nationality he thought best suited the part.

"He said, 'It's got to be a Scotsman,' and so he did it and it ended up being a Scotsman," Stevens once recounted. He said Doohan learned to do a convincing brogue from a Scottish-born soldier he bunked with during the war.

Doohan was the second actor from the central cast of the original "Star Trek" to die -- DeForest Kelley, who played McCoy, died in 1999.

Stevens said funeral services would be for family members only, but Doohan's wife plans to send the actor's ashes into space via the private launch service that carried Roddenberry's remains into orbit after his 1991 death.
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