LOS ANGELES, California (AP) — James Doohan, the burly chief engineer of the Starship Enterprise in the original “Star Trek” TV series and motion pictures who responded to the apocryphal command “Beam me up, Scotty,” died early Wednesday.
He was 85.
Doohan died at 5:30 a.m. (1330 GMT) at his Redmond, Washington, home with his wife of 28 years, Wende, at his side, Los Angeles agent and longtime friend Steve Stevens said. The cause of death was pneumonia and Alzheimer’s disease, he said.
I know I join Star Trek fans around the world in mourning the loss of a much loved character that has a special place in all our hearts.
My thoughts at this time are with his family.
I admit that I didn’t know much about James Doohan beyond his work as Scotty on Star Trek, from what I’ve been reading today, he was a kind, decent and well loved man, and interestingly a World War II veteran with the Canadian Army.
Below is a posting from Slashdot that resonates strongly with me
Here’s the lines from the TNG episode “Relics”:
Scotty: “Starfleet captains are like children. They want everything right now and they want it their way. But the secret is to give them only what they need, not what they want.”
LaForge: “Yeah, well, I told the captain I’d have this analysis done in an hour.”
Scotty: “How long will it really take?”
LaForge: “An hour.”
Scotty: “You didn’t tell him now long it would really take, did you?”
LaForge: “Of course I did.”
Scotty: “Laddie, you got a lot to learn if you want people to think of you as a miracle worker!”
And those words are one of the guiding principles in everything I do professionally. I always undersell and overexecute. RIP good man, RIP.
and another outlining a incident between James Doohan and a suicidal fan…
Damn right. Not only did he expertly play the character that hooked many a kid on the idea of science and engineering, but was also a decorated war veteran and a genuine class act.
He was always warm and receptive to his fans and a beloved fixture of the convention circuit.
This is an important point. Doohan really gave so much back to the community. In the fascinating (and sometimes hilarious) documentary Trekkies [trekdoc.com], Doohan relates the story of a suicidal Trek fan who confided in him.
Doohan took it upon himself to nurse this poor soul back to health. He told the fan that he wanted to see them at the next convention.
To his amazement, the fan was there and Doohan graciously met with them, allowing them to come backstage and the whole deal. Doohan tried it again and again the fan showed up at the next convention.
They kept this up for a long time (I forget — it might have been years) when suddenly the fan stopped coming. Doohan feared the worst had happened.
Years later Doohan was stunned when the fan showed up at a convention out of nowhere! The fan told Doohan that they had turned their life around, enrolled in school, and become … an electrical engineer.
If you haven’t seen this film you should definitely rent it. Watching Doohan come close to tears as he tells this story is worth the rental fee right there.
Below are some links to press coverage of James Doohans passing….