DeForest Kelley, ‘Dr. McCoy,’ remembered 20 years after his death |

DeForest Kelley, ‘Dr. McCoy,’ remembered 20 years after his death

Brian C. Rittmeyer
Paramount Pictures
DeForest Kelley as Dr. McCoy in the 1966 episode of the original Star Trek series, ‘This Side of Paradise.’
Paramount Pictures
From left, DeForest Kelley as Dr. Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy; Leonard Nimoy as Spock; and William Shatner as Capt. James T. Kirk on the bridge of the Enterprise, NCC-1701-A, in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991).
Paramount Pictures
DeForest Kelley (left) as Dr. McCoy and Leonard Nimoy as Spock in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989).

It’s been 20 years since we lost Dr. McCoy.

DeForest Kelley, best remembered as “Star Trek’s” Leonard “Bones” McCoy, died from stomach cancer on June 11, 1999, at the Motion Pictures and Television Fund Hospital in Los Angeles. He was 79.

Before “Star Trek,” Kelley was known for his roles in westerns.

Kelley portrayed the Starship Enterprise’s chief medical officer in the original series, voiced the character in “Star Trek: The Animated Series,” and again played the character in the franchise’s first six motion pictures.

Kelley also appeared in the first episode of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” in 1987, as 137-year-old Admiral McCoy, in a scene with Brent Spiner as Data marking a hand-off of sorts from one generation to another.

While describing himself as just an “old country doctor” with a fear of using the ship’s transporter, Kelley’s McCoy is also remembered for saying the many things he wasn’t.

And his delivery of, “He’s dead, Jim,” has passed into common usage, even among non-Trek fans, almost as much as “Beam me up, Scotty.”

Of the seven members of the main original “Star Trek” cast, four are still with us — William Shatner (Kirk); Nichelle Nicohols (Uhura); George Takei (Sulu); and Walter Koenig (Chekov).

Takei is scheduled to appear at the next Steel City Con, which is being held at the Monroeville Convention Center from Aug. 9 to 11; Takei will be there that Saturday and Sunday only.

James Doohan, who was Chief Engineer Montgomery “Scotty” Scott, died July 20, 2005 at the age of 85; Spock actor Leonard Nimoy died on Feb. 27, 2015 at the age of 83.

Kelley received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1991.

Brian C. Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Brian at 724-226-4701, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: AandE | Movies TV
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