However, several members of the “Star Trek” family have passed on. These great losses were felt by both the actors in the “Star Trek” family and the fandom. Luckily, their legacies will never be forgotten.
These are all of the major “Star Trek” cast members who’ve died over the years.
DeForest Kelly, 1920-1999
DeForest Kelly was one of the founding members of the “Star Trek” family. He played Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy in “Star Trek: The Original Series.” After landing the role on TOS, Kelly devoted his career to Trek, appearing in all of the TOS movies. He also became a regular on the convention circuit, where he was beloved by fans for his kind demeanor and attentiveness.
Kelly died on June 11, 1999, after a long battle with stomach cancer.
James Doohan, 1920-2005
James Doohan was also one of the first members of the “Star Trek” family. He brought to life the Enterprise’s chief engineer Montgomery Scott, more commonly known as Scotty. Like Kelly, Doohan dedicated the rest of his life to “Star Trek” and its fandom.
Doohan passed away on July 20, 2005, from complications of pneumonia and Alzheimers. Doohan suffered from several chronic illnesses in the last years of his life, which were caused by chemical exposures he endured during his service in World War II. Before he became a Trek hero, Doohan was a real-life war hero.
Doohan is one of the few “Star Trek” cast members who went to space posthumously. His ashes were smuggled aboard the International Space Station.
Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, 1932-2008
Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, the wife of “Star Trek’s” creator Gene Roddenberry, was one of the most prolific Trek actors in the franchise’s history. She played three major roles in the Trekverse — Number One in the original pilot, Nurse/Dr. Christine Chapel in TOS, and Lwaxana Troi in “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.” She also voiced several characters for “Star Trek: The Animated Series,” and served as the voice of all the Starfleet computers in every classic Trek show.
Barrett-Roddenberry was known to fans as the First Lady of Trek, and she devoted her life to preserving her husband’s creation.
She died on December 18, 2008, from leukemia. Her ashes were sent into space with her husband’s ashes so they could spend eternity exploring the universe together.
Leonard Nimoy, 1931-2015
Leonard Nimoy is still one of the most iconic “Star Trek” cast members. He played Spock, the Vulcan first officer and only non-human aboard the Enterprise. Nimoy was instrumental in shaping TOS and the “Star Trek” legacy. He came up with the Live Long and Prosper hand gesture, worked with the TOS writers to shape Vulcan culture, directed two of the movies, and served as the bridge between the original Trek and the Trek that came after.
Nimoy died on February 27, 2015, from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD). Nimoy spent the last years of his life as an anti-smoking advocate, working with the CDC and other health organizations to educate the public about smoking-related diseases.
Grace Lee Whitney, 1930-2015
Grace Lee Whitney wasn’t a star on TOS, but she was a major recurring character who made a huge impression on fans. She played Yeoman Janice Rand in the first season. Whitney was written off the show at the end of the first season. She believed this happened because she was sexually assaulted by one of the producers on the show.
For several years, Whitney stayed away from her “Star Trek” family. During that time, she spiraled into addiction. When she got sober, she reconciled with Roddenberry and reunited with her Trek family. She came back for guest appearances in multiple “Star Trek” movies and one episode of “Star Trek: Voyager.”
Whitney died on May 1, 2015, of natural causes. Details about her exact cause of death have never been released.
Anton Yelchin, 1989-2016
Yelchin died tragically in a freak automobile accident on June 19, 2016. He was found in his own driveway, pinned between his Jeep and his mailbox. The Jeep was running and left in neutral, allowing it to roll and pin him.
Aron Eisenberg, 1969-2019
Aron Eisenberg joined the “Star Trek” family as a recurring cast member on “Deep Space Nine.” He played the Ferengi Nog, Jake Sisko’s best friend, Quark’s nephew, and later, the first Ferengi ever to join Starfleet. Eisenberg appeared in 47 episodes of DS9 and one episode of “Voyager.”
Eisenberg was born with only one kidney and struggled with health issues for his entire life. He had to start dialysis when he was just 14 years old and had his first kidney transplant when he was 17.
Eisenberg died on September 21, 2019. At the time, the cause of death was not released. In a tribute video to Eisenberg recorded by costar Cirroc Lofton, Eisenberg’s widow Malissa Longo revealed that he’d died of heart failure.
Rene Auberjonois, 1940–2019
Rene Auberjonois also joined the “Star Trek” family as a cast member on DS9. He played Odo, the shapeshifting chief of security on the space station. He became a regular on the convention circuit after the show ended. Auberjonois was a prolific actor both before and after “Star Trek.” He has over 225 credits on IMDB, and he was actively working right up until his death in 2019.
Auberjonois died on December 8, 2019. His son revealed that he’d died from metastatic lung cancer.
Though these amazing actors are no longer alive, their work in the Trekverse keeps them with us forever.
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