Remembering DeForest KelleyBy Christian
June 11, 2000 - 10:32 AM
Exactly one year ago, on Friday the 11th of June, 1999, we were all shocked by some terrible news. On that date, DeForest Kelley, who starred in the Original Series as Leonard 'Bones' McCoy, passed away at the age of 79.
Kelley died in the Motion Picture and Television Fund Hospital, where he had been hospitalised several months earlier due to a severe illness. At his side was his wife of 55 years, Carolyn Kelley, while only a few days earlier he had still been visited by his friends William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy.
In memory of her husband, Carolyn Kelley asked fans to make a contribution to the North Shore Animal League, where a DeForest Kelley Memorial Fund had been established. In this way, he would still live on through a charity cause that was very close to his heart.
Kelley's death was mourned by all people who knew him. Paramount took out a full-page ad in the Hollywood Reporter, and 2833 people signed the online Letter of Condolence organised by Jim Griffith, moderator of the rec.arts.startrek.info newsgroup. In addition, the memorial meeting organised at Paramount Studios was attended by most of the many co-stars and friends Kelley had assembled over the years.
As one of the most gentle of the Original Series stars, who attended conventions as much as he could even at his old age, and never spoke out harshly about his fellow co-stars, De will always be remembered with great fondness by the fans.