Original ‘Star Trek’ Cast Member Grace Lee Whitney Dead at 85

May 5, 2015 at 10:47 am |

Star Trek fans everywhere were sad to hear the news of Grace Lee Whitney’s passing this weekend. The actress, who originated the role of Yeoman Janice Rand on the original Star Trek, died at her home in California on Friday, May 1. She was 85 years old.

Serving as the personal assistant to William Shatner’s Captain James Kirk, Whitney’s run only lasted for eight of the first thirteen episodes of the show. She later revealed how her early termination led her down a dark path of drinking, drugs, and depression. After turning her life around, however, Whitney went on to reprise her role in numerous Star Trek films as well as act on Broadway and start a musical career.

Some of her notable film credits include Some Like It Hot, House of Wax, and Irma la Douce. Whitney published a memoir about her career and struggles with substance abuse in 1998.

After her death was announced this past weekend, fans and former co-stars took to social media to share their memories, condolences, and farewells. Her death comes just months after that of her friend and supporter’s, Leonard Nimoy.

Above all, Grace Lee Whitney will be remembered as a smiling face and one of the most empowering Star Trek stories.

Say farewell to yet another “Star Trek” icon. Rest in peace, Grace Lee Whitney (1930-2015).