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Thread: 'Star Trek' Star James Doohan Dies

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    CELEBRATION TIME RBA's Avatar
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    'Star Trek' Star James Doohan Dies

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    'Star Trek' Star James Doohan Dies


    By BOB THOMAS, Associated Press Writer 16 minutes ago



    James Doohan, the burly chief engineer of the Starship Enterprise in the original "Star Trek" TV series and movies who responded to the command "Beam me up, Scotty," died Wednesday. He was 85.

    Doohan died at 5:30 a.m. at his Redmond, Wash., home with his wife of 28 years, Wende, at his side, Los Angeles agent and longtime friend Steve Stevens said. The cause of death was pneumonia and Alzheimer's disease, he said.

    He had said farewell to public life in August 2004, a few months after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.

    The Canadian-born Doohan was enjoying a busy career as a character actor when he auditioned for a role as an engineer in a new space adventure on NBC in 1966. A master of dialects from his early years in radio, he tried seven different accents.

    "The producers asked me which one I preferred," Doohan recalled 30 years later. "I believed the Scot voice was the most commanding. So I told them, 'If this character is going to be an engineer, you'd better make him a Scotsman.'"

    The series, which starred William Shatner as Capt. James T. Kirk and Leonard Nimoy as the enigmatic Mr. Spock, attracted an enthusiastic following of science fiction fans, especially among teenagers and children, but not enough ratings power. NBC canceled it after three seasons.

    When the series ended in 1969, Doohan found himself typecast as Montgomery Scott, the canny engineer with a burr in his voice. In 1973, he complained to his dentist, who advised him: "Jimmy, you're going to be Scotty long after you're dead. If I were you, I'd go with the flow."

    "I took his advice," said Doohan, "and since then everything's been just lovely."

    "Star Trek" continued in syndication both in the United States and abroad, and its following grew larger and more dedicated. In his later years, Doohan attended 40 "Trekkie" gatherings around the country and lectured at colleges.

    The huge success of George Lucas' "Star Wars" in 1977 prompted Paramount Pictures, which had produced "Star Trek" for television, to plan a movie based on the series. The studio brought back the TV cast and hired director Robert Wise. "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" was successful enough to spawn five sequels.

    The powerfully built Doohan, a veteran of D-Day in Normandy, spoke frankly in 1998 about his employer and his TV commander.

    "I started out in the series at basic minimum_ plus 10 percent for my agent. That was added a little bit in the second year. When we finally got to our third year, Paramount told us we'd get second-year pay! That's how much they loved us."

    He accused Shatner of hogging the camera, adding: "I like Captain Kirk, but I sure don't like Bill. He's so insecure that all he can think about is himself."

    James Montgomery Doohan was born March 3, 1920, in Vancouver, British Columbia, youngest of four children of William Doohan, a pharmacist, veterinarian and dentist, and his wife Sarah. As he wrote in his autobiography, "Beam Me Up, Scotty," his father was a drunk who made life miserable for his wife and children.

    At 19, James escaped the turmoil at home by joining the Canadian army, becoming a lieutenant in artillery. He was among the Canadian forces that landed on Juno Beach on D-Day. "The sea was rough," he recalled. "We were more afraid of drowning than the Germans."

    The Canadians crossed a minefield laid for tanks; the soldiers weren't heavy enough to detonate the bombs. At 11:30 that night, he was machine-gunned, taking six hits: one that took off his middle right finger (he managed to hide the missing finger on screen), four in his leg and one in the chest. Fortunately the chest bullet was stopped by his silver cigarette case.

    After the war Doohan on a whim enrolled in a drama class in Toronto. He showed promise and won a two-year scholarship to New York's famed Neighborhood Playhouse, where fellow students included Leslie Nielsen, Tony Randall and Richard Boone.



    His commanding presence and booming voice brought him work as a character actor in films and television, both in Canada and the United States.

    Oddly, his only other TV series besides "Star Trek" was another space adventure, "Space Command," in 1953.

    Doohan's first marriage to Judy Doohan produced four children. He had two children by his second marriage to Anita Yagel. Both marriages ended in divorce. In 1974 he married Wende Braunberger, and their children were Eric, Thomas and Sarah, who was born in 2000, when Doohan was 80.

    In a 1998 interview, Doohan was asked if he ever got tired of hearing the line "Beam me up, Scotty." "I'm not tired of it at all," he replied. "Good gracious, it's been said to me for just about 31 years. It's been said to me at 70 miles an hour across four lanes on the freeway. I hear it from just about everybody. It's been fun."

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  3. #2
    He has the Evil Eye! flyer85's Avatar
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    Re: 'Star Trek' Star James Doohan Dies

    No more Scotty.

    Hopefully he got "beamed up:.
    What are you, people? On dope? - Mr Hand

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    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
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    Re: 'Star Trek' Star James Doohan Dies

    RIP Mr.Scott

    Go Gators!

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    Churlish Johnny Footstool's Avatar
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    Re: 'Star Trek' Star James Doohan Dies

    Someone somewhere is playing "Amazing Grace" on the bagpipes.
    "I prefer books and movies where the conflict isn't of the extreme cannibal apocalypse variety I guess." Redsfaithful

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    Waiting for a tour/album KittyDuran's Avatar
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    Re: 'Star Trek' Star James Doohan Dies

    He'll be no tribble at all... RIP
    2014 Reds record when I'm attending: 15-12
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    "We want to be the band to dance to when the bomb drops." - Simon Le Bon of Duran Duran

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    Joe Oliver love-child Blimpie's Avatar
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    Re: 'Star Trek' Star James Doohan Dies

    I know this usually sounds cliche, but James is DEFINITELY in a better place. The way that his family has been carting him around to these conventions and autograph shows in the last few years has been deplorable. From what I have seen and heard, he has been experiencing symptoms of full-blown dementia for quite a while. Yet, his wife and children saw fit to prop him up in front of tables where "fans" could pay to have his autograph and ask him a few poignant questions about a period of his life from which he had no recollection.
    "Booing on opening day is like telling grandma her house smells like old lady."--WOY

  8. #7
    Where's my chair? REDREAD's Avatar
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    Re: 'Star Trek' Star James Doohan Dies

    Man, what a bummer.. First Oliver Wendell Douglas, now Scotty.
    Thank you Walt and Bob for going for it in 2010-2014!

    Nov. 13, 2007: One of the greatest days in Reds history: John Allen gets the boot!

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    Baseball card addict MrCinatit's Avatar
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    Re: 'Star Trek' Star James Doohan Dies

    Farewell, James. You are loved by many.


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