Lawrence Montaigne, best-known to original series fans for his roles of Stonn in Amok Time and the Romulan Decius on Balance of Terror, is dead at the age of eighty-six.
Born 1931 in Brooklyn, but raised in Rome, the versatile Montaigne appeared on TV shows such as Batman, The Outer Limits, Burke’s Law, Hogan’s Heroes, Dr. Kildare, The Time Tunnel, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The F.B.I., Here Come the Brides, The Invaders, Dallas, and McCloud. He also portrayed Canadian P.O.W. Haynes in The Great Escape, and appeared in Tobruk, The Power, The Psycho Lover and Escape to Witch Mountain.
Montaigne might have replaced Nimoy on the original series after the first season, when Nimoy was considering joining Mission: Impossible.
“They did the contracts and the whole thing, but there was a stipulation in the contract that said if Leonard comes back, then the whole thing is over,” said Montaigne. “I was going on the assumption that I was going to play Spock when my agent called and said, ‘Leonard is coming back to do the show. He’s in and you’re out.'”
But “a week or two later, they called me to do this role of Stonn, who was a Vulcan,” said Montaigne. “It all boiled down to the fact that Leonard and I looked alike to a great extent. I guess that’s what they were looking for with Stonn.”
How did Montaigne feel later about missing out on the role of Spock? “I moved on,” he said. “This was the 1960s, and I was doing a whole bunch of shows and films and having the time of my life. So, when Spock didn’t happen, it really didn’t change my life in any way.”
His favorite role was actually that of Haynes in The Great Escape. “Every actor should have a Great Escape,” he said in his autobiography, A Vulcan Odyssey.
Montaigne is survived by a daughter, Jessica, and a granddaughter, Lilianna.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter