Arlene Martel dead: Star Trek actress dies, aged 78

The actress was best known for playing the prospective bridge of Mr Spock

Arlene Martel, best known for appearing in Star Trek, has died, aged 78.

Her son, Jod Kaftan, confirmed that she suffered fatal complications after a heart attack on Tuesday 12 August at St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica.

Martel played the prospective bride of Leonard Nimoy’s Mr. Spock in the only episode set on the character’s home planet of Vulcan.

“I was just so happy to be working and playing a part that was so challenging in terms of what I had done before,” Martel said in Tom Lisanti’s 2003 book Drive-in Dream Girls: A Galaxy of B-Movie Starlets of the Sixties. “I had no idea it would continue to this day. Fans purchase my Star Trek photos at conventions, where I sign autographs. I had no idea that T’Pring would be so memorable to people.”

Her other television credits included Twilight Zone, Bewitched and Hogan's Heroes, while in films she acted in Hong Kong, The Glass Cage and in Angels From Hell.

She also claimed to have had a relationship with James Dean. In 1957 documentary The James Dean Story, directed by Robert Altman, Martel said the two were romantically involved for a number of years.

“Once I told him I loved him, but he pretended he didn’t hear,” she said in the film. “Then he said, ‘You can’t love me. I don’t think anyone can yet.’”

She was married three times and is survived by her two and son, as well as two grandchildren.

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