Death and Dying, Star Trek StyleBy Michelle
September 17, 2007 - 10:33 PM
In addition to writer Denny Martin Flinn, Star Trek recently lost two other alumni: actor Percy Rodriguez and costumer Jerry Bono.
StarTrek.com posted obituaries for both men, who spanned the generations of Trek series. Rodriguez played Commodore Stone, who presided over Captain Kirk's trial in the original series episode "Court Martial", while Bono was a key costumer on The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine.
Rodriguez, who died of kidney failure at his his home in California on September 6th, was born in Canada and became first black actor to play a flag officer on the original series. He appeared in another Gene Roddenberry project, Genesis II, and as a guest star on numerous TV shows. He was also the narrator of Steven Spielberg's legendary Jaws trailers in 1975. A tribute to Rodriguez can be seen at Jaws documentary site The Shark is Still Working. He leaves behind several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Costumer Bono, who died on August 31st, grew up in Illinois and trained at the Pasadena Playhouse, then performed during his years of military service. Later he worked at a Hollywood clothing store, which led to his first job on a studio lot - a "Star Trek" holiday special, according to Variety. Bono joined The Next Generation during its fifth season and stayed to work on Deep Space Nine. His mother and two half-brothers survive him.
The Emmy Awards last night included Star Trek alumni in their "In Memoriam" feature, among them Jane Wyatt (Amanda) and Tige Andrews (Kras).
StarTrek.com has also announced that new tributes to James Doohan are being solicited for a second memorial spaceflight, this time to send cremated remains into space to remain there in semi-permanent orbit. The new tribute messages will be added to the CD included with the ashes in the payload for the 2008 mission. Tributes may be left here.
And ordinary mortals can have a Star Trek funeral as well. Real Tech News reported that Eternal Image - which also offers Major League Baseball and American Kennel Club licensed funeral caskets and urns - will soon provide Star Trek branded funeral products.
"These licensed-image Star Trek products offer true fans a unique expression of their commitment to the franchise," said CEO Clint Mytych. "For many years fans have asked for these types of products - or made their own - and we believe the Star Trek audience will embrace the idea."