Today legendary actor Christopher Plummer passed away at age 91. According to reports, the Oscar, Tony, and Emmy winner died peacefully today at his home in Connecticut. In addition to his many roles over seven decades, Trek fans remember Plummer as Klingon General Chang in the 1991 film Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.
A Hollywood legend, and a Star Trek fan too
This video from The Hollywood Reporter looks back and Plummer’s career from The Sound of Music to his work in the last decade.
Plummer’s relationship with William Shatner predates Star Trek VI. They go back decades, and their history includes Shatner being Plummer’s understudy on the stage at Stratford in Canada. In the following clip, Plummer tells a funny story about how he figured out Bill was going to be a star.
Even beyond his relationship with Shatner, Plummer was a fan of Star Trek before taking on the role of Chang. In the video below from Shatner’s Star Trek docu-series The Captains, Plummer talks about how he was a fan back in the ’60s.
An iconic Klingon
Christopher Plummer played the primary antagonist General Chang in the final TOS film, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. The actor preferred not to take on the typical Klingon hair, resulting in him having a unique look for Klingons. Fitting well with his roots as a Shakespearean actor, Chang was also fond of quoting the Bard, as can be seen in the climactic battle scene below.
Plummer reprised the role of Chang for the 2000 video game Star Trek: Klingon Academy, which also explained how he lost an eye. The video below shows the intro to the game.
Remembered by Shatner and Star Trek community
William Shatner has offered his thoughts on the passing on Twitter, in a thread, which reads in full
A gentleman whose name is Christopher Plummer died today. He was what I call a friend. What is the definition of a friend? Somebody you know intimately whose every breath and every thought that is so much like yours or can a friend be someone whose life is intertwined near and afar with great gaps of time between meetings? That was the kind of friend Chris Plummer was to me. I think the final picture of our friendship was in a documentary I was making in which I interviewed him at a theatre that we both played at the Stratford Ontario Festival. We spent the afternoon laughing and rejoicing in our mutual experiences. That afternoon defined my friendship with Chris. I am so sad to lose him. My best, Bill
A gentleman whose name is Christopher Plummer died today. He was what I call a friend. What is the definition of a friend? Somebody you know intimately whose every breath and every thought that is so much like yours or can a friend be someone whose life is… pic.twitter.com/VodBKXm5Uz
— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) February 5, 2021
Discovery and Strange New Worlds star Anson Mount shared some personal memories he had with Plummer.
Man, the hits just keep on coming. I had the extreme pleasure of working with Chris. Committed, imaginative, thorough in his preparation, and an absolute gentleman every step of the way. I’m very sad to learn if his passing. He will be missed mightily. https://t.co/0P4bUBjOow
— Anson Mount (@ansonmount) February 5, 2021
TNG star and director Jonathan Frakes offered a simple RIP with an image of Plummer’s iconic Trek role.
— Jonathan Frakes (@jonathansfrakes) February 5, 2021
Star Trek movies actor Simon Pegg shared a clip from the film Hector and the Search for Happiness, in which he co-starred with Plummer.
— Pegg News (@simonpegg) February 5, 2021
The official Star Trek writers Twitter account also posted condolences for Plummer.
We're saddened to hear of the passing of Christopher Plummer. A true legend, and one that left a mark on our franchise with an incredible villain in General Chang. RIP. pic.twitter.com/Pgo0i9q5Mw
— Discovery Writers (@StarTrekRoom) February 5, 2021
DS9’s Chase Masterson weighed in with her thoughts on Plummer’s work in The Sound of Music.
Because Sound of Music was so beautiful in endless ways, I think we forget what a powerful statement it was.
What an important role Captain Von Trapp was. A man who could’ve made the worst choices, but made the best ones.
Thank you, Christopher Plummer. Rest In Peace. pic.twitter.com/4g3h7G85k5
— Chase Masterson (@ChaseMasterson) February 5, 2021
Other Star Trek celebs including George Takei have been retweeting condolences and memories of the legendary actor.
The Sound of Music is a sad one today as Christopher Plummer has left us today. He was giant of stage and screen, winner of an Academy Award for “Beginners.” He died at age 91 with his wife of 53 years, Elaine Taylor, by his side. Rest in eternal music, Captain Von Trapp.
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) February 5, 2021
This movie holds us in it’s magnificent hands and unforgettably takes us away, into the lives of the Von Trapps. It is seared into my heart. Thank you and rest peacefully. #TheSoundOfMusic @JulieAndrews https://t.co/hiq17bH8Ls
— Denise Crosby (@TheDeniseCrosby) February 6, 2021
. #RIPChristopherPlummer This year !!!
— Gates McFadden (@gates_mcfadden) February 6, 2021
I will never forget meeting #ChristopherPlummer very briefly one chilly fall evening in T.O. A very young #JaimzWoolvett & I were filming a scene in the entrance of the @SuttonPlaceHtl We held the doors for him as he entered the hotel. We were awed.
— Nicole deBoer (@Nikki_deboer) February 5, 2021