The director of numerous episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series, including “The City on the Edge of Forever,” died this week. According to his Desert Sun obituary, Joseph Pevney died peacefully in his home in Palm Desert, California, surrounded by his wife and family members. He was 96 years old.
Impact on Trek
In addition to “The City on the Edge of Forever,” Pevney has the distinction of directing a number of classic fan favorite TOS episodes, including “Amok Time” and “The Trouble with Tribbles.” With a total of fourteen episodes, he is tied with the late Marc Daniels for the most number of original Star Trek episodes directed. In addition to the episodes listed above, Pevney also directed “Arena,” “The Return of the Archons,” “The Devil in the Dark,” “A Taste of Armageddon,” “Catspaw,” “Friday’s Child,” “Wolf in the Fold,” “The Apple,” “The Deadly Years,” “Journey to Babel,” and “The Immunity Syndrome.”
In their book “Star Trek The Real Story,” TOS Producers Bob Justman and Herb Solow wrote of Pevney:
Joseph Pevney was an ex-actor turned director. Some former actors become good directors; some become hack directors. Pevney was the former, but more than just “good.”
Life and career
He was born in New York City and began his showbiz career as a boy soprano on the vaudeville circuit in 1924. He then turned to acting, and during the 1930s and 1940s, he acted in several Broadway productions. He then broke into film, acting in such film-noir classics as Body and Soul and Thieves’ Highway. He soon turned his attention to directing, first for motion pictures and later for television. His feature film directorial credits include such classics as the 1956 war drama Away All Boats, the 1957 romantic comedy Tammy and the Bachelor, and the Oscar-nominated drama Man of a Thousand Faces.
Star Trek was hardly the only show on which he left a mark. He directed many other popular television programs, including Wagon Train, Bewitched, The Munsters, The Fugitive, Mission: Impossible, The Virginian, Bonanza, Emergency!, Fantasy Island, The Rockford Files, and Trapper John, M.D.… just to name a few! In a directing career spanning some 35 years, Pevney helmed over 35 films and hundreds of television episodes.
A powerful scene directed by Joseph Pevney