Wednesday, July 20, 2005
James Doohan, the burly chief engineer of the Starship Enterprise in the original "Star Trek" TV series and motion pictures who responded to the apocryphal command "Beam me up, Scotty," died early Wednesday. He was 85.
Doohan died at 5:30 a.m. (1330 GMT) at his Redmond, Washington, home with his wife of 28 years, Wende, at his side, Los Angeles agent and longtime friend Steve Stevens said. The cause of death was pneumonia and Alzheimer's disease, he said.
The Canadian-born Doohan fought in World War II and was wounded during the D-Day invasion, according to the StarTrek.com Web site. He was enjoying a busy career as a character actor when he auditioned for a role as an engineer in a new space adventure on NBC in 1966. A master of dialects from his early years in radio, he tried seven different accents.
"The producers asked me which one I preferred," Doohan recalled 30 years later. "I believed the Scot voice was the most commanding. So I told them, 'If this character is going to be an engineer, you'd better make him a Scotsman.' "
Lt. Commander Montgomery Scott was one of the great characters of American television, and James Montgomery Doohan made him who he was. Raise a glass to both of them tonight.
UPDATE: Kevin at Wizbang! explains how the MSM, once again, blew the story.
A chidhood friend of mine used to laugh hysterically at the episode (I forget exactly which one) where the crew lost their minds and Scotty and Spock got into a fist fight.
During the fight, Scotty said to Spock (in a Scottish accent):
"Get your Vulcan hands off me."
I always thought that was an inside joke among the writers and actors given the censorship rules back then.