Friday, January 16, 2009

Ricardo Gonzalo Pedro Montalbán y Merino
(November 25, 1920 – January 14, 2009)

Some don't realize that Montalbán first played Khan Noonien Singh in an episode of the original Star Trek series, an episode entitled "Space Seed." He reprised his role, of course, in the motion picture Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn, delivering an inspired performance that anchors what many consider the best of the Trek movies. The character in Wrath is patterned in many ways after Melville's Captain Ahab, whom he quotes or paraphrases throughout the movie. Captain Kirk, whom Kahn blames for the death of his wife, becomes his elusive White Whale.

Majel Barrett
(February 23, 1932 – December 18, 2008)

Barrett is by far the most ubiquitous actor in Trek history. The wife of late Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, she played "Number One," the Enterprise's first officer in the pilot episode "The Cage," which never aired in the series' original run. In the original series she played Nurse Christine Chapel, who had an unrequited crush on Mr. Spock. She has also supplied the voice for the ship's computer in, I believe, all of the series and films. Her best role, in my opinion, was the recurring character Lwaxana Troi, the sexy mother of ship's counselor Deanna Troi. Lwaxana was a favorite returner in Star Trek: The Next Generation and also made three appearances on Deep Space Nine.

Ricardo Montalbán and Majel Barrett, dead at 88 and 76 respectively. They shall be missed.

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