Trek alumni January passings and remembering DeForest Kelley

January wasn’t a great month for Trek alumni, we’ve had a number of people associated with Trek, especially the original Trek series, pass on recently. We also want to remember DeForest Kelley who was born in January, some rare very old photos of a young DeForest Kelly recently turned up online.


Remembering DeForest Kelly

“De” as we was often called by friends, was born on January 20th, 1920. Some very early pictures of Kelley popped up online recently. They date as far back as 1947 when he was in the film “Fear in the Night” with Ann Doran.


Jackson DeForest Kelley was born in Atlanta, the son of a Baptist minister. Given his eventual fame for his role in Star Trek, it seems appropriate that he was named in honor of electronics engineering pioneer Lee De Forest…

During World War II, Kelley served in the United States Army Air Forces. Early in his enlistment, he served as a control tower operator, and later, as a PR writer. In 1945, he was transferred to the First Motion Picture Unit in Culver City, California. The unit was responsible for producing training and recruitment films for the military. Kelley began his work with the unit as a technical assistant, but ended up in acting roles, alongside Ronald Reagan and George Reeves. It was while Kelley was working on a training film for the Navy that he met a scout from Paramount Pictures, who signed Kelley to a seven-year contract when his military enlistment ended.

Picture Source (click for more):

Text Source (click for more): Remembering DeForest Kelley – KryptonRadio

Sarah Marshall passes

Sarah Marshall died at 80 years old on January 18, 2014.


Marshall can be seen all over 1960’s TV, from classics like The Twilight Zone to Get Smart. To Trekkers she’s known as Dr. Janet Wallace from the TOS episode “The Deadly Years”. Her character’s last name seems to have been the inspiration behind the fake last name Carol Markus (AKA Carol Wallace) uses to initially get onboard the Enterprise in Star Trek Into Darkness.

Source: THR

Hal Sutherland passes


Hal Sutherland is a name an entire generation of Saturday morning cartoon watchers may recognize as the co-founder of Filmation.

Filmation of course gave us Star Trek: The Animated Series. In addition to TAS, Filmation produced many popular 1970’s cartoons including: The Adventures of Batman, The Batman/Superman Hour, Aquaman, Archie, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure, and The New Adventures of Flash Gordon.


Trek franchise prop master Joe Longo passes


Joe Longo worked on the Trek franchise from 1982 to 1999. He worked on Wrath of Khan, The Search for Spock, and then moved over to TNG and then DS9. Joe was considered a heck of a guy and is remembered fondly by those in the production department that worked with him for so many years.

Michael and Denise Okuda:
Joe Longo was unflappable.  Even when a director threw him a curve ball, he’d tackle the change-of-plans with his trademarked droll sense of humor.  The rest of us might be running around like crazy, but Joe would remain calm until the problem was solved.  We loved the fact that he trusted all of us to make him look good, which in turn helped the show look that much better.

Source: TrekCore’s tribute to Joe Longo

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We are so grateful for their lives.
Now, let them go and explore beyond the rim!

Sad news – but it’s Hal Sutherland, not Southerland.
I have been popping in and out of the site here just to catch up on some of the gossip from time to time. I thought I would post this update on 2 new CBS Star Trek series that are supposedly coming to television. Seems legit, you be the judge.

Looks like we need to eliminate January in the 23rd century. Maybe that’s why they turned to stardates. Rest in peace, cherished alumni.

Also I would like to add: R.I.P. to all the Star Trek actors & behind the scenes veterans we’ve lost over the years. As a faithful viewer of Star Trek from the very beginning to the present I thank you all. Your time and effort is greatly appreciated & will live on through generations to come. (/\)

In hind site, maybe the source in my #3 post is not as legit as I thought, however it is wishful thinking & something to ponder. I now see the date of the article was November 2013 and I am sure I am not the first to post this somewhere on this site. I will apologize in advance for jumping the gun as it was something new to me. (/\)

…November 22 to be exact which would coincidently be the anniversary of a conspiracy theory we are all too familiar with. whether the article is fact or fiction I must say it went well with my cup of coffee this morning. ok, enough said… :) (/\)

That’s gotta be one of the best images of the U.S.S Enterprise ever.

Like I said before it isnt just that Carol used the name Wallace in STID. The Dr Janet Wallace character was originally going to be included in TWOK before being replaced by the newly created Carol Marcus. They were even planning to hire Marshall to play Wallace in TWOK, this was back when the Genesis device was entirely a WMD.

Point being, the connections between Janet Wallace and Carol Marcus are stronger than the connections between V’ger and the Borg, and I know lots and lots of Trek fans who think V’ger was Borg.

#9 Really? Who pulled the whole V’ger-is-Borg thing out of his ass? I thought it was just Nomad on steroids. Maybe they think that V’ger was made by Swedes. They do make some cool stuff–just look at Volvo and ABBA.

@10. Dude aside from fans saying V’ger is Borg Mr. William Shattner in his Kirk-centric novels flat out says that V’ger was Borg. It was the one right after Ashes of Eden where a Borg/Romulan alliance ressurected James Kirk in order to destroy Jean-Luc Picard.

@10. If Shat says V’ger is Borg, then I can draw only one conclusion from this:

V’ger is definitely NOT Borg.

Consider the source.

@MJ. All I was saying was the idea of V’ger being Borg has been around for quite a while. Besides didn’t Shatner actualy have Garfield and Judith Reeves-Stevenson ghost write the Kirk novels for him?

Matt, thanks for this beautiful article. What a mixture of sadness and pride do we fans experience when reading about the passing of our on-screen favorites. They leave behind a wonderful legacy of meaningful entertainment for the ages, yes, but they are surely, sorely missed.

The avatar you chose was beautiful as well.

It was Roddenberry who first brought up the idea of a possible Borg/V’ger connection. Shatner just ran with the idea.

Explain to me then:

1. Why is the V’ger technology, if supposedly built by the Borg, seemingly so much more powerful that Borg technology? V’ger could swallow hundreds of Borg cubes easily.

2. Given what we know about the Borg, I really can’t see them as getting all “trouchy-feely” like, “hey little Voyager, we are going to help you locate your creator…Kumbaya, little guy!”

Emphasis on POSSIBLE connection. Roddenberry said this during an interview. He was probably only spitballing some story ideas. My guess anyway.

I think it’s too bad that with all the discussions of artificial intelligence after TMP, V’ger was never mentioned again in any of the movies or series. Kind of a big deal.


Not only that, TMP mentions that assistance that Voyager received I believe was from another galaxy, and was a “machine intelligence,” not a “cybernetic” or “hybrid” intelligence like the Borg.

Even a passing reference would’ve been nice. Maybe from Data or Seven of Nine…

USS Voyager. V’ger.
Yep, easy to make a reference there!

@3. That was a satire site. No Trek on TV into the foreseeable future.

Personally, it wouldn’t bother me to see some Trek that something other then the ‘captain and six sidekicks’ format, but then, that’s just me.


@20 Yeah, I have to agree. In fact, in the “Enterprise Season 3 Blu-Ray Relase” thread, there is a bit of discussion about it. My contribution was naturally restrained and very measured.

Honestly, I’m willing to believe that the planet of living machines that Voyager 6 came across, is the Borg homeworld. And the living machines were an earlier form of the Borg.

I don’t see a problem with the connection.

A beautiful, loving, poignant article about the people who built Star Trek. An article about appreciating their contributions and their lives. And people soil it up with nasty retorts about a Borg/V’ger connection. It makes me feel sad, but in a different way then the passing of these fine people makes me feel sad. One is sadness for the end of lives well lived. The other one isn’t.
I really miss DeForest Kelley. He was, by all accounts, a lovely human being.

“And people soil it up with nasty retorts about a Borg/V’ger connection.”

“Soil it up?” Huh?

By your response, you are cheapening this whole dialogue.

Sheesh, it’s not like a little discussion on and interesting idea in Trek’s past is trolling or inappropriate. You are the one making this into something negative. This was a positive and interesting discussion until you came along with this weird chip on your shoulder?

They are really not dead. As long as we remember them.

8, boxker, I agree! The Enterprise is a beautiful lady and we love her!

Matt, would it be possible to include this image permanently somewhere in the TrekMovie site banner?

I, too, am thankful for all the great talents who’ve contributed to Star Trek over the years.

They’re not dead, as long as we remember them.

25 Oops, Emperor Mike, I echoes your line. But then it was McCoy’s in the first place. Fitting, actually, to quote it near dear departed De Kelley’s b’day.

23 Gary Seven, De Kelley and Jimmy Doohan were both lovely people. I remember Doohan interacting so kindly with fans at one convention I attended.After the standing up on stage business, Jimmy was holding forth in a small ballroom or suite, drink in his hand, among the fans. I remember he called all the ladies “darlin’ ” ;-)

Wish I’d had the opportunity to meet Mr Kelley face-to-face, but he’d cut way back on convention appearances by the time I got to attend them frequently. He was onstage for a delightful 25th Anniversary event held in L.A. at the Shriner’s Auditorium in 1991 [I think I have the date right for the Trek Cast event]; he traded quips with his fellow cast members and was just wonderfully warm, affectionate and funny. The entire cast was there for that one.

I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Kelley back in 1984 at a convention in St. Louis. Very charming individual, although I was struck by how frail he appeared in “real life” even then.

As for the V’ger/Borg thing… my suggestion, a few years ago, was that the Borg descended from what V’ger became when it merged with Decker and Ilia – not that the “machine planet” was the Borg homeworld.

But, as noted, Star Trek never revisited the events of STTMP (despite the very real effect the events of that film had on Spock), so I guess we’ll never know.

Thank you to De Kelley for portraying a memorable and believable character, who symbolized for me compassion and empathy. “The Empath” was McCoy’s defining moment, imho, and I would watch a 2-hour version, in a heartbeat…

who was it at filmation that was colorblind n had the tribbles colored purple that wasnt at hals direction was it…have to admit the filmation series were all done more originally than most animation of the day….

borg vger…i dont think so…vger was unique n a great complex villain….by the ending of stmp with the literal merging of man n machine..what an awesome sequel could be done i always wondered what happened to vger…myself i would think that q would be more appropriate as a followup…once created it would possibly have some human flaws like wanting to judge humanity…almost godlike powers etc..if they came into existance they would go back in time n return so they could be more god like all knowing etc…

Amazing how a discussion about the passing of human beings has turned into a VGER-BORG rant!… WHO CARES!….. and SHAT doesn’t know SHAT about TREK… ST5 says it all!
Mr. Deforest Kelley is still missed. I saw him 30+ years ago at a con in Atlanta..he was a nice man that didn’t complain about not being made “captain” or charging ridiculous prices for his autograph!
he was genuine.

You forgot James Avery, also know as Uncle Phil on the Fresh Prince of Bel Air.

He was General K’Vagh on two episodes during season four of Star Trek: Enterprise dealing with the Klingon Augments.

As 73-yo woman who was around during the early days of Trek, I was naturally more involved with the original folks who did show without all the computer tech that showed up in later series and movies. Thus, the acting was the best of all of them. I never liked Jean-Luc Picard (has nothing to do with his real-life avatar), and of the series following TOS, only DS9 appealed to me. Of the movies, I liked all of them (with ST5 at the bottom, but even it had some marvelous things, and I mostly remember Vort A Vor). As for the newest franchise, I dislike the Kirk character, and the Spock character, but agree that Karl Urban is a great McCoy. It takes a great talent to do a great follow-up to De Kelley. As for most follow-ups from TMP, that movie was so disliked by so many I’m sure the writers didn’t want to revisit it. I wept when Gene died, wept when De died, wept when Jimmy died, and weep when the rest of them pass on. But I will see them in future lives, hopefully in space for real. As for the behind-the-scenes folks, naturally the ones from TOS I have truly appreciated, and of the newer ones, the Okudas are faves of mine. Long may they live, and continue to prosper

I thank them all for their contributions.
They will al be missed.
My condolonces to their famiy and friends .

FWIW Meyer was quoting Simon Wiesenthal who said, “He’s really not dead, as long as we remember him.” and the original quote is still apropos in regards to Kelley and the fondness we all have for him in our hearts.