CelebWatch: Stardate 01.22.09

This year’s Academy Award nominees were announced this morning, and we’ll let you know the Trek veterans who made the cut. Also, we have William Shatner opening a red carpet (and opening up on Ricardo Montalban), Brent Spiner and Jonathan Frakes reuniting for television, LeVar Burton singing and giving love advice, and more. Read on!

Trek vets up for Oscars
The nominations for the 81st Academy Awards were announced this morning, and several Star Trek alumni made the cut. The big one is actor Frank Langella (Minister Jaro Essa on DS9), who is up for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for his portrayal of Richard Nixon in Frost/Nixon. In addition, Nathan Crowley, one of the set designers on DS9’s pilot episode, is nominated in the Art Direction category as Production Designer on The Dark Knight. Star Trek Nemesis sound mixers Chris Jenkins (who also worked on Final Frontier and Generations) and Frank Montano are both up in the Best Sound category for their work on Wanted. Veteran Trek effects supervisor Craig Barron and Star Trek 2009 special effects coordinator are both up in the Visual Effects category for their work on The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; also nominated in this category is Generations effects artist Ben Snow for Iron Man. Undiscovered Country makeup effects designer Greg Cannom and Nemesis mechanical designer Mike Elizalde are up for the Best Make-up Oscar for Benjamin Button and Hellboy II, respectively. Ben Burtt, the sound designer for 2009’s Star Trek, has been nominated for two Oscars for his work on Disney/Pixar’s WALL·E, one for Best Sound and another for Best Sound Editing. Lastly, Wrath of Khan computer graphics artist Ed Catmull has been awarded the Gordon E. Sawyer Award, given to an individual whose technological contributions have brought credit to the motion pictures industry.

In total, the Academy has nominated nine individual Trek vets this year, which is the same number nominated for last year’s Oscars. This year, though, an additional Trek vet has been given one of the Academy’s special technical awards. Also of note is that this is the first time in nearly 25 years that a Trek alum has been nominated as Best Actor in a Leading Role category; the last time this happened was in 1985 when F. Murray Abraham (Ru’Afo in Star Trek: Insurrection) won for Amadeus. TrekMovie.com congratulates all of this year’s Oscar nominees.

Langella from power-hungry Jaro to Nixon…not a stretch?

Shatner opening the red carpet, tweeting on Montalban
William Shatner (he who is and shall forever be James T. Kirk… just not in the new movie) will open the red carpet at the Los Angeles Shrine Exposition Center for the 15th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday, Jan. 25, as reported by News Blaze. Shatner is also a nominee at this year’s Screen Actors Guild Awards in the “Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series” category for his portrayal of Denny Crane in the now-defunct Boston Legal. The 2009 SAG Awards ceremony will be simulcast live nationally on TNT and TBS on Sunday, Jan. 25, 2009 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. In the meantime, Shatner is getting hip and updating his Twitter. This week has has addressed the death of his Star Trek II co-star Ricardo Montalban (Khan) through a “tweet”:

Ricardo Montalban was a wonderful man I saw him on Broadway I was entertained by his movies. I loved working with him on the film we made.

In other belated Bill updates, The Shatner Project has just uploaded Bill’s New Year’s greeting, recorded on a boat off Hawaii.

Spiner and Shimerman have ‘Leverage’ with Frakes
Earlier this week, Brent Spiner (Data) announced via Twitter that he will appears in an episode on the TNT series Leverage directed by his friend and TNG co-star Jonathan Frakes (Will Riker). As if that wasn’t enough of a reason to watch, SFUniverse announced that the episode will also feature DS9’s Armin Shimerman (Quark). The site also posted a behind-the-scenes image of the three former Trek regulars on the set of the episode (check it out below). The episode, entitled “The Juror #6 Job,” is set to air February 3rd at 10pm EST on TNT.

Quark, Riker, and Data — together at last!

Burton sings ‘Rainbow’
LeVar Burton (Geordi La Forge) made a surprise visit to the Los Angeles DiggNation taping on January 14th, where he sang a few lines from the theme song to Reading Rainbow. But you don’t have to take my word for it; check it out for yourself here. Burton also sang Rainbow and gave love advice on Loveline, along with Family Guy creator, Trekkie, and Enterprise cameo-maker Seth MacFarlane; you can hear the fun unfold here. Note that it’s not entirely safe for the work environment. Again, you don’t have to take my word for it; click and find out for yourself.

Beltran, Montgomery return to the tube
Star Trek: Voyager‘s Robert Beltran (Chakotay) and Star Trek: Enterprise‘s Anthony Montgomery (Travis Mayweather) each made appearances on TV this week. Beltran played a Native American businessman and casino-owner (with white hair!) on the HBO series Big Love. Montgomery made a house call (pun intended) on this week’s House, playing a social worker who inspects the home of adoptive mother Dr. Lisa Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein). Montgomery’s role was a one-off, but Beltran will be a recurring character on Big Love, look for on this weekend’s episode of Big Love, airing Sunday on HBO.

Beltran is back

G’Day, Bana!
Aussie actor Eric Bana, who plays villain Nero in this year’s Star Trek, was among the honorees at this year’s G’Day USA Australia Week Black Tie Gala, as reported by the official Australia Week site. The event, which “honours [sic] high profile individuals for significant contributions in their industries and for excellence in promoting Australia within the United States,” took place January 18th at the Renaissance Hotel on Hollywood & Highland. Congrats to Mr. Bana.

Bana presenting and on the red carpet at Aussie Event in LA


  • Patrick Stewart (Jean-Luc Picard) participated in a PSA for the Royal Shakespeare Company advocating early exposure to Shakespeare, which you can check out by heading to RSC.org.
  • Kate Mulgrew (Kathryn Janeway) will participate in the Drama League’s annual all-star gala, A Musical Celebration of Broadway at New York’s Rainbow Room on February 2nd. Playbill)
  • Scott Bakula (Jonathan Archer) is among the actors who signed a statement advocating SAG Executive Director Doug Allen. (LA Times)
  • A new interview with actor Malcolm McDowell (Dr. Tolian Soran) is available at MalcolmMcDowell.us.
  • Star Trek (2009) director and producer J.J. Abrams and best pal Greg Grunberg (of Heroes fame) were spotted taking in a Lakers game on Monday ; check out the photo below, from WireImage.

Greg and JJ BFFs with great seats at Laker game

Trek Birthdays:
TrekMovie.com wishes a happy birthday to those Trek luminaries turning an extra digit this week, including:

  • Lou Antonio (75), Lokai in TOS’ “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield”
  • Cyia Batten (34), the first Tora Ziyal on DS9 among other characters
  • Lanei Chapman (36), Ens. Sariel Rager in various TNG episodes
  • Susan Howard (65), Mara in TOS’ “Day of the Dove”
  • Tracy Middendorf (39), the second Tora Ziyal on DS9
  • Gregory Sierra (68), Entek in DS9’s “Second Skin”
  • Leigh Taylor-Young (64), Yanas Tigan in DS9’s “Prodigal Daughter”
  • Susanna Thompson (51), the Borg Queen on VOY among other characters
  • Ruth Williamson (55), primary Sphere Builder on Enterprise
  • James Cromwell (69), Zefram Cochrane among other characters

Cromwell at pre-inaugural party last week – looking good for 69


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ewwww shat in shorts

Ha! I *thought* that was Mayweather on House!

Excellent article. Thanks, Charles!!


I really wish we could get some direct-to DVD Trek.

Just looking at Jonathan Frakes, Brent and Beltran in these recent photos makes it clear that they are all getting old.

Despite the hoo-ha over the new film, I think many of us would slaver over something good on the small screen. Let it be Sci-Fi Network or a DVD, but it would be great to get the TNG/DS9/VOY group of actors somehow together again in something CBS can sell. If the writing’s good, it’s easy money.

another great round up Chuck

in the last few weeks, now that he is mr. social networking, i have totally changed my view of LeVar Burton.

Awesome collection of news tidbits, Charles.

But seriously, in the “G’Day, Bana!” section, you sic-ed “honours”? It is recognizing Australians after all!

first thing i thought when i saw shatner in shorts was… my god…. did he… have to do that?

I too would love to see something new from the actors. I’d also love for them to put those movies onto blu ray dang it!

*LOL* Totally agree with #6.

Let’s not hate on UK English. Leave the [sic] for the typos.

It’s funny, the other week I saw James Cromwell in an old episode of Three’s Company. He didn’t look terribly different, just with brown hair and a little more of it. He was playing a detective, if i remember correctly.

I’m glad Shatner has fond memories of “working with” Montalban on TWOK. Though, in a sense, he really didn’t, given that (in one of the great oddities of Trek and SF film history) the story’s protagonist and villain have no actual scenes together.

OMG! Shatner in shorts! Nightmares!

i believe chuck was having a funny with the Commonwealth types. He was just being…colourful.

I’m pumped about Brent Spiner being on Leverage.

I haven’t missed an episode since it started back in December, and I love Brent Spiner, and Frakes is directing, and Shimerman is in as well …

Should be pretty fun. It’s a good show for those guys to do bids for, and the more Trek actors I see on it the better.

That’s an interesting point, but I assume that “working together” is being used here with a much broader scope. After all, they were on set together, they had dialogues together while facing each other via screen, etc. They most certainly had to discuss their individual scenes, had to agree on their performances, their acting in order to make their antagonistic presentation coherent. In this regard, it’s perfectly possible to work together with someone and even enjoy it without having actual scenes together with him.

I’ve seen far worse things at this site…:D

Congrats on the SAG nomination, Bill!

#4 bringing these actors back together would be to expensive..have you seen their salaries? I’m sure as much as they love trek, they will want a huge paycheck as well which won’t necessarily be recouped by sales from a dvd only release.

Hmmm…The Shat in shorts….Well, it ain’t like looking into the Medusan ambassador’s transport box, but it’s close…

11&16 – Oh, very nice. How about the don’t say it at all policy?

Nice comments from Mr. Shatner about Mr. Montalban.

wonder what oscars Trek will get nominated for (and maybe win) in 2010? – Fx, make up, score, sound etc…plus maybe a best supporting nom for Nimoy??… hey its not impossible…If Trek is a great film and is well liked and does well at the BO it’ll be up for some technical oscars (like previous trek films were – although ironically i dont think TWOK got any nominations…Montolban should really have been nominated for suppporting actor …plus it shouldve of had FX and score nominations and wins – it had the 1st use of CGI in a film with the genesis demonstration…plus its the film that launched Horner)…..

It depends if people like the film or not i guess…i notice that it really depends on if the film in general is universally liked that they get nomed and maybe win – even in the technical awards…stuff that hollywood didnt care too much for like the star wars prequels and matrix sequels (and even Indy 4 this year) didnt even get nominated in the technical oscars..which was strange…where as Dark Knight has 8 noms and i think the 1st Matrix won about 4

anyway i wonder if Nimoy will get an Best Supporting actor nom?…its possible as Ian McKellan did for LOTRs 1 and Ledger has been and looks like he will win for Dark Knight – so SF/Fantasy has creeped into the main oscars in years past (Star Wars in 1977 got nominated for best pic/director and best supporting actor for guinness…Weaver got a best actress nom for Aliens…plus Raiders and ET got a best pic/director nom’s etc)

he might as hes obviously gonna be good in it…plus hollywood might choose to sort of ‘reward’ nimoy for his years of hollywood service (not just as spock but as a director, producer etc) with a nomination/win as they are hardly gonna award him a lifetime achivement oscar (like Kirk Douglas, Clint eastwood etc) and hes obviously gonna go back to retirement after this…

they gave shatner a few Golden Globes and emmys for Boston Legal didnt they…(yeah he was good as Denny Crane – but im sure it was also to ‘reward’ shatner for all his years in hollywood and for being the iconic capt kirk…theres probably quite a few trekkie academy members..)

Can people please stop saying:

“shat in shorts”.

Your accidents are your own problems.

20 – i didnt know about SW prequels getting nominations (i heard somewhere that they didnt get any and thought it was strange) and Norbit!!! OMG that must have been so funny when they had to read out the nominations…guess it really dosnt matter about if the overall film is liked or not then

maybe your right about Nimoy – maybe it would be a bit too ‘out there’ to be sitting watching the oscars 2010 and have Ann Hathway or whoever read out ‘for best supporting actor……Ralph Fiennes for such and such…Dainel Day Lewis for so and so…Kevin Spacey for lah de dah….and Leonard Nimoy for Mr Spock in ‘Star Trek’… ‘

*sigh* Even in a fuzzy backstage picture, that patented Frakes smile still gives me the vapours (sic) after all these years.

#19 … LOL! Good one. :-)

I agree with number 1 Shat in Shorts Yuck.

# 19 very funny

It’s amazing how many people put on weight thru the years, myself included.


It’s amazing to me that the likes of Brent Spiner and Robert Beltran look AS OLD as the Shatner and Takai who were a whole generation (tee hee) before them.

: )

Okay, Frakes, Spiner, etc. look older, but come on guys. They do not look as old as Bill & Leonard. Let’s be reasonable.

And Armin Shimmerman looks like he always has. Ha.

Cromwell looks OK for 69…to bad “his” show didn’t stick around (Own Worst Enemy). Don’t get me wrong, it DID get tired real quickly….

That pic of Beltran looks like Vince Neil of Motley Crue

Is it me, or does Beltran look a little like Alfred Molina (Doct. Octopus from SM2)

Thank God for this site.
I would miss out on half of the stuff about Trek if it weren’t for this.

no need to thank god, just chuck


It was my understanding that “Fantasy Island” was still in production and interfered with the shooting schedule for TWOK. So production on Montalbon’s scenes were a month or two prior to Shatner’s work on set. So, they really didn’t get any time together. . . I may be wrong. . . . ?

Shatner could have simply misworded what he was trying to get across. He and Montalban did work together on TOS. They, in fact, had some memorable scenes together in “Space Seed”.

And despite not working together directly on TWOK, they still interacted. Otherwise, we would not have seen them next to each other in the group cast/crew photo.

LOL! No wonder I liked that episode of House — and that social worker.

(Thought his voice sounded VERY familiar… x3)