Saturday, July 22, 2006

James Doohan, THANK YOU.

A great man has passed today. I suspend my blog to respect him, his family and his life.

'Star Trek' Star James Doohan Dies

By BOB THOMAS, Associated Press Writer July 20, 2005

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."

Montgomery "Scotty" Scott

Montgomery Scott
Final Rank: Captain
Serial Number: SE-197-54T
Year of birth: 2222
Education: Starfleet Academy, 2240-44
Marital status: Single

Biographical Data:

Scott, known as "Scotty" as well as "the miracle worker" to his long time comrades James T. Kirk and crew, was the chief engineer aboard the original U.S.S. Enterprise and its successor craft who resurfaced 75 years after his presumed loss en route to the Norpin Colony in 2369 - perhaps his biggest miracle of all. Bullish on his Scottish ancestry, he wears ceremonial kilts with his dress uniform, plays the bagpipes and is renowned for both his drinking and his alcoholic beverage collection from all parts of the galaxy.

Once calling himself "an old Aberdeen pub-crawler," Scott began active service in Starfleet in 2242, midway through the Academy, and served on a total of 11 ships - including a stint as engineering advisor on the asteroid freight run from planet Deneva. Kirk's original U.S.S. Enterprise was his first posting as chief engineer beginning in 2364, and his engineering feats more than once saved that starship. He returned to oversee the major refits of the ship in 2269-71, it's successor 1701-A in 2286, and the short-lived transwarp engines tested on the prototype U.S.S. Excelsior a year earlier.

Scotty had bought a boat in anticipation of his retirement three months after the Khitomer peace conference in 2293, but Kirk persuaded him instead to come back to active duty. On hand for the ceremonial christening of the U.S.S. Enterprise-B, he helped save the newly launched starship from destruction by the Nexus temporal ribbon and save El-Aurian refugees, witnessing Kirk's apparent death in the process.

He finally did retire the next year at the age of 72, after 52 years in Starfleet, but for years was presumed lost with his courier ship U.S.S. Jenolen en route to the Norpin Colony, his new home. Not until 2369 was it discovered he was the only survivor of the ship's crash on the exterior of a Dyson Sphere, kept alive only as a transporter beamingloop until, ironically, he was rescued by an away team from the U.S.S. Enterprise-D - so disoriented that he thought Kirk had come to rescue him.

After trading barbs and quips with Chief Engineer Geordi LaForge and helping to save that Enterprise, he received a permanently "loaned" shuttlecraft, the Goddard, from Captain Jean-Luc Picard and set off to roam the galaxy.

Although Scotty was never married, he became involved with fellow crew member Mira Romaine in 2269 until she was transferred to Memory Alpha soon afterward. In later years Uhura expressed an interest in romance, but they never got together seriously.

And by the way- the sentence, "beam me up Scotty", was never spoken on STAR TREK.

IMBD - James Doohan

Thank you Mr Doohan! THANK YOU!


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