Grace Lee Whitney passes away

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TrekMovie is saddened to report that actress Grace Lee Whitney, who portrayed Janice Rand in the original Star Trek series and in many of the movies and spinoffs, died of natural causes on May 1 in Coarsegold, California.  She was 85.

Before Star Trek she appeared in films, like the classic Some Like It Hot, and guest starred on many  television series in the 1950’s and 1960’s, including The Untouchables, 77 Sunset Strip, The Outer Limits, and Bewitched.

Grace portrayed Yeoman Janice Rand in 8 episodes of the The Original Series before being written out of the show.  In the following years she became an alcoholic and was literally out on the streets before finally beating the disease and getting her life and career back on track.  She often credited Leonard Nimoy, who also struggled with alcoholism, with helping her seek treatment.

She returned to the Star Trek universe in 1979 with the release of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, when she once again portrayed Janice Rand, who was now the Enterprise’s Transporter Chief.  She played Rand again in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, and the Voyager episode “Flashback”.  She also appeared in the fan productions  “World Enough and Time” and “Of Gods and Men”.

Whitney was also a regular on the convention circuit, where she loved meeting the fans and, according to her son Jonathan, tried to help those who were also dealing with addiction.  Her family also stated that, as much as she liked being identified with Star Trek and Rand, she would prefer to be remembered as a “successful survivor of addiction”.

William Shatner noted Grace’s passing, and how he always remembers her:

TrekMovie would also like to extend condolences to Grace’s family and friends.  She will be missed.

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Thank you for the memories!! Rest.

Very sad to hear of this news.

Grace, thanks for forming part of my best childhood memories. Rest in peace.

Farewell to a beautiful lady who made an indelible contribution to Star Trek with only a few episodes. I would have liked to see her character continue during the original series. Whatever the true reason for her release, whatever demons may have haunted her in later years, she is now at peace.
Thank you for your gift, Grace Lee Whitney.

Sad news, her passing.
And yet another reminder of how many many more days there are behind than ahead in the lives of the TOS cast and crew. Most people who make to their eighties will not live to see their nineties. A statistical fact.

Rest In Peace Ms. Whitney. You are fondly remembered.

Everybody goes but she was the most beautiful Star Trek character ever; Didn’t know her as a real person but she was beautiful to begin with so thats what i mean as to her in character, rest beloved character, you will be remembered a the best yeoman any captain can have.

Rest in Peace Grace…

She was always lovely and contributed a great deal to Trek. A strong lady in a mini. That’s one helluva Starfleet officer.

RIP.

Rest in Peace my thoughts are with her family

Condolences to her family.

I’m glad that she got through the tough time in her life and came out stronger on the other side. I never found RAND all that interesting, but WHITNEY sounds like an interesting person.

Thanks for the great memories.

Now our heavenly stars finally have true Grace.

Godspeed, Ms. Whitney!

Too many deaths :-(

Nice to see another former cast member being remembered for what she accomplished outside Hollywood. Class act, and condolences to her family.

@10 (Optimistic Doodle): As long as you remember those that have passed away, they will always be with us. Ms. Whitney may have been a minor actor in the Star Trek family, but she is, and always will be, one of the most memorable. Can’t say that about most people in the business of acting…

My condolences. I am sorry for the loss that her son and we fans are feeling.

She was a beautiful talent.

As someone once wisely said, (paraphrasing) she’s not dead. Not as long as we remember her.

Sad news. She brought element to the first season!

Heartbroken.

Rest in Peace Grace, and our sympathy goes out to your family.

Thankfully, we had the pleasure to meet her at the Las Vegas Con and get a photo op with her. When I got her autograph, I asked her if she remembered anything that Kirk/Shatner wrote on that PADD she would hand him, she then laughed and said that he would always write” I LOVE YOU”. She sat down beside me one time at the CON on a bench in the (long) hallway and started talking to me like we were old friends.

I read her book and it was a terrible thing that happened to her to get written out of TOS like she was due the assult on her by a studio exec whom she never names. She did hit rock bottom in life, however she managed to over come it all to survive and help others, God bless her for that. Us fans love her and miss her and will never forget her.

I’m thankful I get a chance to see her at a convention. Very nice, charming lady. Such a loss.

You will be missed. One of my first childhood crushes.

RIP Yeoman.

Emperor Mike of the Terran Empire

Rip Grace. Gone. But never forgotten

RIP Grace. She went through a lot in her life and came out smiling, strong and happy when the odds were against her.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Longest-Trek-Tour-Galaxy/dp/1884956033

One to beam up Scotty.

Thanks, ‘dswynne’.

My sincere condolences to her friends and family.

I have enormous respect for her defeating her demons — that is truly an accomplishment.

Might I point out that she was in one of my favorite Outer Limits episodes, “Controlled Experiment” with Barry Morse and Carrol O’Conner.

Grace Lee Whitney as Yeoman Rand was a gutsy, brave woman, not to mention sexy! She has gone on a new comic exploration along with Spock, Bones, Scotty and others. I respect “RIP“ and understand the meaning but just personally, I always hope that they are exploring strange and amazing new worlds out in this endless, vast universe which we do not yet even imagine that we understand. Au revoir, Grace.

It’s sad how she was treated as Desilu and being written of the show. Clearly Gene made up for it by putting her in Phase II which Became Star Trek:The Motion Picture.

She deserved better, but she was a survivor and did survive.

People forget she had a great body of Work before Star Trek – heck, she even did an episode TV/Radio of Groucho Marx “You Bet Your Life”! From her work before Star Trek, you can see she’s a strong actress and was underused in her time on ‘Trek.

One does wonder what would have happened if Jeff Hunter stayed…

Stunned and heartbroken.

I really hope her character lives on in our beloved Star trek, I want to see Rand (yea played by a special actress that can commit to ST), in Star Trek Beyond and I sure hope they don’t forget Nimoy, Grace Lee and Harvey in the end or better yet start credits.

I’ also want the Irish Lt in STB, you all know who I mean…
as for remembering Grace I’m setting down right now to see a few episodes of the 1st. season, advice all to do the same.

18. Lt. Bailey

Grace did reprise her role in STTMP & STIII. She looked great in STTMP, BTW.

She will always be (for me) Trek’s original pin-up girl!

She’s off to hang out with Leonard and the others, on the big Enterprise in the sky.

NCC 1701. No bloody A, B, C, or D.

I’ve met most of the TOS actors at conventions over the years. Of those, Grace and George Takei stood out as the warmest and friendliest. It’s been over 20 years but I still remember my brief encounter with her very fondly. A special lady.

R.I.P. Ms. Whitney.

You may not have been the most prominent of the TOS cast, but you are certainly (and will continue to be) fondly remembered.

Condolences to your friends and family as well.

Fans of Ms. Whitney and the Janice Rand character might wish to check out the graphic novel adaptation of Harlan Ellison’s original script for “The City on the Edge of Forever.” Ellison’s Rand is so much more than a glorified secretary with a basket-weave hairdo and miniskirt: efficient, technically competent, and as gutsy a kick-ass fighter as any male on the Enterprise crew. Based on her strong performances in “Miri,” “The Enemy Within,” and “Charlie X” (as well as her appearance in the delightful Outer Limits episode “Controlled Experiment”), I have no doubt she would have made the most of the opportunity.

Its a measure of the lady that despite appearing so few times on Trek she is so fondly thought of.
Condolences to her family and friends.

Sadness. :(

Only 4 of the original crew left… this is breaking my heart.

She will be missed. I will always remember her beautiful smile.

Beam her up, dad.

RIP Grace,

So depressing. Its tough that we are losing so many people associated with Star Trek.

RIP. Would have never guessed she was 85.

Seriously, this needs to stop. No more Trek deaths. This needs to stop.

RIP, Grace.

@39 Chris Doohan
Chris, your comment brought a tear to my eye!

#39 Chris –

My exact thoughts. RIP, Grace Whitney.

“No beach to walk on.”

More tears for another fallen comrade.

Safe travels, Yeoman Rand- you will be sorely missed.

Another sad day.

This truly makes me sad.
My condolonces to to her family and friends.

I saw her at last year’s Creation Convention in Las Vegas (I think that’s where I saw her), and I didn’t know anything was wrong. She seemed the same as ever – energetic and involved with the fans.

Rest in peace, Ms. Whitney.

Making it to 85 is pretty darn good. She won’t be forgoten.

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