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July 20, 2005
Warp Speed, And Godspeed, Mr. Scott

Fans of Star Trek are mourning the loss of the colorful actor who brought the Enterprise's engineer, Montgomery "Scotty" Scott, to life on television and the silver screen. James Doohan passed away early this morning from pneumonia and Alzheimer's disease, at age 85:

Doohan died at 5:30 a.m. at his Redmond, Wash., 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.

He had said farewell to public life in August 2004, a few months after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.

I spent many wonderful moments watching Doohan portray the ever-resourceful Mr. Scott, whose love for the ship surpassed even that of the captain, James Kirk. My nickname comes from my earlier passion for the series, which has lessened considerably over the years, but the fondness remains. Doohan's Scottish burr and his characterization of the brawling, loyal, and passionate engineer recalled the best of war movies of the 1940s and 1950s while playing in an environment that rejected that kind of take on conflict. That was no mean feat, and Doohan managed to make it look effortless.

As a fan, we often heard about personal conflicts between some of the stars of the show. This AP obituary notes the worst of them, between Doohan and William Shatner, that time could not cure. It seems a shame. Shatner gave his side of the conflict in an appendix to his book Star Trek Memories, acknowledging that he had treated his co-stars thoughtlessly in the past and could not resolve the personal animosity Doohan held for him.

Like most of the cast, Doohan was doomed to labor the rest of his career under the heavy shadow of Trek obsession. He did not publicly complain about the handicap it placed on his opportunities, giving his fans his all whenever he made appearances at shows and in the movies and sequels. For that, of course, we will always be grateful.

The word is given, Mr. Scott. Warp speed. (h/t: CQ reader Peyton Randolph)

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at July 20, 2005 12:17 PM

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God speed, Mr. Scott.

Doohan died at 5:30 a.m. at his Redmond, Wash., home with his wife of 28 years, Wende, at his side, Los Angeles agent and longtime friend ... [Read More]

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Tracked on July 20, 2005 3:11 PM

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