Veteran character actor and five-time “Star Trek” guest-star Gregory Itzin has died at the age of 74, according to Jon Cassar, a close friend of Itzin’s who worked with him as a director and executive producer of “24.” Cassar said in a tweet that Itzin died on July 8, 2022. A cause of death has not yet been announced.
The Internet Movie Database lists 186 film and television credits for Itzin, dating back to 1979, and he was also a prolific stage performer. Those credits include his best-known project, the series “24,” in which he played Vice President and, later, President Charles Logan, as well as “Mork & Mindy,” “Airplane,” “Hard to Hold,” “Max Headroom,” “The Fabulous Baker Boys,” “Quantum Leap,” “Murder One,” “The Practice,” “Hannah Montana,” “Law Abiding Citizen,” the Steven Spielberg biopic “Lincoln,” “The Resident,” and “NCIS.”
Itzin Guest-Starred 5 Times on ‘Deep Space Nine,’ ‘Voyager,’ & ‘Enterprise’
The official Emmys.com site notes that Itzin earned two Emmy Award nominations for his work in “24,” in 2006 and again in 2010. Also, according to BroadwayWorld.com, he received a Tony Award nomination in the Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play category for the 1993 Broadway play “The Kentucky Cycle.”
Itzin, according to the site Memory Alpha, ventured into the “Star Trek” universe five times, guest-starring as five different characters in “Deep Space Nine,” “Voyager,” and “Enterprise.” He played Ilon Tandro in the episode “Dax,” which aired in 1993, during the show’s first season, then returned in 1998 to portray the character Hain in the sixth-season episode “Who Mourns for Morn?” In November 2000, he guest-starred as Doctor Dysek in “Critical Care,” which aired as the fifth episode of the seventh and final season of “Voyager.” Two years later, in early 2002, he made the first of two appearances on “Enterprise.” Itzin played Captain Sopek in “Shadows of P’Jem” during the show’s first season. And he made his final “Trek” appearance in 2005, when he portrayed Admiral Black in “In a Mirror Darkly, Part II,” which aired late in that show’s fourth and last season.
During an interview in 2012 with the official site, StarTrek.com, Itzin looked back at his five guest shots. Of “Dax,” he said, “I remember, because it was my first episode, it being very exciting. I got to work with these great actors, some of whom became pretty good friends of mine.” Referring to “Who Mourns for Morn?,” he noted, “That was a very funny episode. Armin Shimerman and I had a great time. It was very tongue-in-cheek. That one, for me, was mostly a funny character in funny situations, which was a little different from most of the other episodes I did, which were serious undertakings.” Discussing “Critical Care,” he said, “I remember Bob Picardo playing the Doctor very tongue-in-cheek. He always played the character tongue-in-cheek. I remember the contrast between my seriousness and the way he played it. It was also very interesting to work with Larry Drake as the adversary in the thing. I did a play with him, too, actually.”
In a ‘Star Trek’ Rarity, Itzin Played 5 Different Characters That Looked Mostly the Same
Addressing “Shadows of P’Jem,” Itzin explained, “I got to play a very odd-looking Vulcan. I just looked weird, with the ears, the blunt cut, and the gray hair. I got to wield a big weapon and wave it at Jeff Combs.” He also seemed to take great pleasure in Admiral Black’s death in “In a Mirror Darkly, Part II,” noting, “Itzin: And I got blown away! I got evaporated. That’s an interesting process because you have to pretend like you’re going away, and then the special effects guys take care of the rest of it for you.”
It was pointed out to Itzin during that interview that while several actors had played multiple roles during the “TNG” to “Enterprise” era, most of those actors wore prosthetic makeups that made them look unique each time. Itzin, however, looked pretty much like himself.
“I did not have to deal too heavily with the prosthetics,” Itzin acknowledged. “They didn’t disguise me very much. It’s a double-edged sword; let me put it that way. You’re doing ‘Star Trek,’ and it’s the prosthetics show. So, I sort of wanted to be covered up, but – but – friends of mine who did the prosthetics heavily, like Armin, like Jeff Combs and Scott MacDonald, who did the lizard character and was covered all over, all said how incredibly uncomfortable it was. If you’re given to paranoia or insecurity by having that stuff on, it could be quite frightening. So I never had it on, and I just accepted the parts I was asked to play and went ahead and played them. I don’t know why they didn’t hide me.”
Itzin, according to IMDB, was married to his wife Judie since 1979 and had two children, a son, Wilke, and a daughter, Julia, as well as several grandchildren.