William Morgan Sheppard, best-known to Trek fans for his guest appearances on Star Trek, has died at the age of eighty-six.
The death was announced by his son Mark Sheppard (Supernatural) via Instagram. “We went to spend some time with my father today,” he said. “Though he couldn’t speak, we held hands, he laughed and was so happy to see us. We left and came home. A good day. He was rushed to hospital and passed at 6:30pm, my mother by his side. I am so grateful that he didn’t have to suffer any longer. Thank you for all your kind thoughts, love and prayers.”
Born in London in 1932, Sheppard graduated from the Royal Academy of Drama and Art in 1958. He appeared in plays, television, and movies and also did voice work over his long career.
His Star Trek appearances included Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, in which he played the commandant of Rura Penthe. In Star Trek: The Next Generation, he appeared as Data’s grandfather Ira Graves in The Schizoid Man. In Star Trek: Voyager, he appeared in Bliss as a Qatai, and in Star Trek (2009), he was the Vulcan Science Council minister.
Sheppard is best-known to your reporter as Confederate General Isaac Trimble in the film Gettysburg, where he had some of the funniest lines in the movie. He also appeared in the later-filmed prequel Gods and Generals.
Both Sheppard and his son appeared in a Doctor Who episode (The Impossible Astronaut), where he played the older version of Canton Everett Delaware III, and his son played the younger version. They did the same thing for NCIS‘s Broken Bird episode, where they played Polish-born former CIA interrogator Marcin Jerek.
Other shows in which Sheppard appeared include Max Headroom and two appearances on Babylon 5 (Soul Hunter, The Long Twilight Struggle). He was a runner-up for the role of Ambassador G’Kar but lost out to Andreas Katsulas.