James Doohan, Scotty in Star Trek, dies

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The Independent US

Star Trek, which starred William Shatner as Captain James T Kirk and Leonard Nimoy as Mr Spock, attracted a cult following. When the series ended in 1969, Doohan found himself typecast. He went on to star in seven feature-length Star Trek movies.

Doohan played Lieutenant Commander Montgomery "Scotty" Scott, the Enterprise's burly chief engineer, with a burr in his voice. Doohan also created the Klingon language that was introduced in the movies.

His original Klingon dialect was expanded and Klingon translations of the works of William Shakespeare and the Bible have been published.

In his later years, Doohan attended "Trekkie" gatherings around America and lectured at colleges, making his living from guest appearances. Doohan made his last public appearance in August 2004, soon after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.

He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and blew kisses to a standing-room-only crowd at the two-day "Beam Me Up, Scotty ... One More Time" convention at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel.

James Montgomery Doohan was born on 3 March, 1920, in Vancouver, British Columbia. At 19, he became a captain of artillery in the Royal Canadian Army and was injured at Juno Beach on D-Day, 6 June 1944, losing the middle finger of his right hand. "The sea was rough," he recalled in an interview. "We were more afraid of drowning than the Germans."

In 1946, Doohan won a two-year scholarship to the drama teacher Sanford Meisner's Neighbourhood Playhouse in New York, where he trained alongside actors including Leslie Nielsen, Tony Randall and Jackie Gleason. He went on to appear on 4,000 radio shows and 400 live television shows for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

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 for the character. "The producers asked me which one I preferred," Doohan recalled 30 years later. "I believed the Scottish 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'."

Scotty, named after Doohan's grandfather, was a mechanical wizard who could fix dilithium crystals with safety pins and bail Captain Kirk out of scrapes. He would shout in a Scottish brogue: "Captain, she can't take any more." He accused Shatner of hogging the camera, saying: "I like Captain Kirk, but I sure don't like Bill. He's so insecure that all he can think about is himself."

The youngest of four children, Doohan's first marriage to Judy produced four children. He had two children by his second marriage to Anita Yagel.

In 1974 he married Wende Braunberger, and had three children, Eric, Thomas and Sarah, who was born in 2000, when Doohan was 80. In a 1998 interview, Doohan was asked if he ever got tired of hearing the line: "Beam me up, Scotty", which is also the title of his autobiography. "I'm not tired of it at all," he replied. "Good gracious, it's been said to me for just about 31 years. It's been said to me at 70 miles an hour across four lanes on the freeway. I hear it from just about everybody. It's been fun." Leonard Nimoy, age 74, who won three Emmy nominations for his role as Mr Spock, paid tribute to his former colleague. "He was our miracle man," he said. "One of a kind. The real deal." William Shatner, who plans to become a fully fledged astronout having dished out the commands as Captain Kirk, said: "A long and storied career is over. My condolences go out to his family."

On board the Enterprise

WILLIAM SHATNER Captain James T Kirk

William Shatner, 74, won a Golden Globe in January for his role in the television drama Boston Legal and has been nominated for an Emmy for the series. He has starred in films including American Psycho II and Crash, and is currently filming Over the Hedge, to be released in 2006. His role is the voice of Ozzie the possum. Last year he recorded Has Been, a covers album that included what the NME called a "sensationally good" version of Pulp's "Common People".


In November 2004 George Takei received the Order of the Rising Sun from Emperor Akihito for his contribution to the Japanese-US relationship. Now aged 68, he lives in Los Angeles. In 2004, he starred in Patient 14 and Mulan II.


After Star Trek, Nimoy recorded various music albums, from Star Trek songs to The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins. He has directed several of the Star Trek films and the 1987 hit Three Men and a Baby. He has written two autobiographies (I Am Not Spock, followed by I Am Spock), and a book of poetry, Why Not You And I? The 74-year-old also provided the voice for one of the characters in the 2001 animated film Atlantis: The Lost Empire.


DeForest Kelley was born on 20 January 1920 and died on 11 June 1999. He appeared in Where Love Has Gone and a TV series 333 Montgomery after Star Trek in an attempt to avoid being typecast.


Nichelle Nichols, 73, has released an album called Dark Side of the Moon and a book with an appropriately sci-fi name, Saturna's Quest. Her recent films includeAre We There Yet?, Surge of Power and Roddenberry on Patrol.

Clare Huckvale