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TrekToday - James Doohan Dies At 85

James Doohan Dies At 85

By Christian
July 20, 2005 - 5:14 PM

Star Trek legend James Doohan (Montgomery Scott) passed away early this morning, aged 85.

According to an Associated Press report, Doohan died at 5:30am in his home in Redmond, Washington. His wife of 28 years, Wende, was at his side. The cause of death was pneumonia and Alzheimer's Disease, according to his longtime friend and agent Steve Stevens.

The Original Series actor had been ailing for a number of years. Despite this, he always continued to make an effort to keep in touch with his fans, and only last year made his farewell to the convention circuit at a "Beam Me Up, Scotty" convention in Los Angeles (story). A few days after that, a ceremony was held during which Doohan was given a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame.

James Doohan was born on the 3rd of March, 1920, in Vancouver, British Columbia. He fought in the Canadian Army during World War II and participated in the invasion of Normandy on D-Day, during which he lost the middle finger of his right hand. After the war, he embarked on a career in radio, and later added roles in films, movies and plays to his resumé. He had a unique talent for using foreign accents, and frequently told the tale of trying out many different engineer voices during his first Star Trek audition, before telling Trek creator Gene Roddenberry that "all the world's best engineers have been Scottish."

Roddenberry agreed, and thus the character of chief engineer Montgomery Scott was born. Doohan first appeared on the fictional Starship Enterprise in the second TOS pilot, "Where No Man Has Gone Before," and stayed with the series for all of the original three seasons. He then returned for the animated Star Trek series, for which he provided the voice of the alien Lt. Arex, as well as of many other characters, including that of Robert April, the first captain of the Enterprise. He reprised his role as Scotty in seven Star Trek feature films, and became the third Original Series actor to appear on Star Trek: The Next Generation, in the sixth-season episode "Relics."

Before appearing on Star Trek, Doohan had guest roles on cult series such as The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits and The Man From U.N.C.L.E. But like many Original Series actors, Doohan found himself typecast after the series ended, and found it hard to get a lot of other acting roles. As Star Trek's popularity proved more durable than anyone had expected, Doohan became able to support himself by appearing at conventions and making personal appearances as "Scotty." In later years, he came to appreciate the fact that his role inspired thousands of students to pursue a career in Engineering, something for which the Milwaukee School of Engineering granted him an honorary degree in engineering.

Doohan had four children with his first wife Janet Young, two with his second wife, Anita Yagel, and three more with his last wife Wende Braunberger. His youngest daughter Sarah was born only five years ago.

For the original AP report, please follow this link.

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