Colleagues Offer Tributes to Piller, Memorial Information

By Michelle
November 5, 2005 - 5:58 PM

As his family announced plans for a memorial service and a professorship in his honour, tributes to Michael Piller poured in from co-workers and fans.

"There is an empty space in my heart today. The world without Michael Piller is a diminished one," said Jeri Taylor, Piller's co-creator of Star Trek: Voyager, in the first of several pages of reminiscences at "He was teacher, mentor, and guide to so many Star Trek writers that it can truly be said that he imprinted ST story telling in a way that will endure forever."

Piller's longtime fellow executive producer Rick Berman said that he and Piller had been friends ever since Gene Roddenberry and himself had met Piller. "Over the last year, he fought with everything he had to beat this terrible disease," wrote Berman. "My family and I will miss him very much."

"Michael was a brilliant writer and his soul lives on in the tough-minded, imaginative stories he gave us," noted Deep Space Nine's Armin Shimerman (Quark), who has also been involved in humanitarian issues with the Screen Actors Guild. "But we who knew Michael personally know that the world has lost a heart of gigantic proportions. He cared for humanity, and through his good works, addressed mankind's calamities, and inequities, and successes."

"Michael was nothing short of a visionary and a genius," added Kevin L. Carvell, who worked with Piller on The Dead Zone. "In today's world of mostly unimaginative television, he was always ready to try something new."

Wil Wheaton (Wesley Crusher) posted his own memories of Piller in his blog. "I didn't know Michael very well - a consequence of my age when we worked together, and one of the very few lingering regrets I have about Star Trek," Wheaton wrote. "I believe that he is more responsible than anyone else for Next Generation transforming itself into the amazing show it became in season far as I can tell, he was one of the very few genuinely good people who worked in the industry."

The memorial service for Michael Piller will be held Sunday, November 13th at 1:15 p.m. at Temple Israel of Hollywood, 7300 Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles. Donations in honour of Piller can be sent to his alma mater, the University of North Carolina:

The Michael Piller Distinguished Professorship at Carolina
Writing for the Screen and Stage Program
Arts and Sciences Foundation, Inc.
134 East Franklin Street
Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27514

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