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'Scotty' dies

19/07/2005. Contributed by Jessica Martin

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Actor James Doohan, aka Scotty from Star Trek, has sadly passed away aged 85, according to his agent. There's a teleport pad in heaven glowing somewhere.

James made his last public appearance at a Star Trek event - a very tearful affair, as he was all too aware that Alzheimer's disease was creeping up on him. His agent, Steve Stevens, said that James' wife, Wende Doohan, was by his side when he died.

The following are Jame's Wikipedia details.

James Montgomery Doohan (born March 3, 1920, died July 20, 2005) was a Canadian actor and linguist best known for his portrayal of Scotty in the television and movie series Star Trek.

Doohan was born in Vancouver, British Columbia; his family later moved to Sarnia, Ontario where he attended high school at "SCITS," Sarnia Collegiate Institute and Technical School and excelled in math and science.

During World War II, he participated in the invasion of Juno Beach on D-Day as a captain with the Royal Canadian Artillery. In the battle, he lost the middle finger of his right hand. Returning from the war, Doohan started his acting career with a CBC radio show appearance on January 12, 1946.

Doohan always had a gift for using foreign accents. When he auditioned for Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek, Doohan did several different accents. Roddenberry asked Doohan which one he liked the best. Doohan acknowledged that he believed "all the world's best engineers have been Scottish." So, Doohan was cast as the Chief Engineer of the USS Enterprise, Montgomery Scott. In later years he would revisit this casting process at Star Trek conventions, demonstrating a variety of possible engineer voices and characters. When Roddenberry produced Star Trek: The Animated Series in the early 1970s, Doohan's ability to perform different voices was utilized by having him perform most "guest star" male roles in the series, including Robert April, conjectured first captain of the Enterprise.

After the series ended, Doohan found himself typecast and had a hard time getting other acting roles. He was able to support himself off of personal appearances. When the Star Trek franchise was revived, Doohan could once again work as an actor.

A little-known fact about Doohan is that he was also a linguist, and devised the Vulcan and Klingon language dialogue heard in Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Over the next 20 years, other linguists expanded Klingon into a full language of its own.

Doohan collaborated on a series of three science fiction novels with S.M. Stirling:

The Rising (1996)
The Privateer (1999)
The Independent Command (2000)

Scotty's exploits as the redoubtable Chief Engineer aboard the Enterprise inspired many students to pursue a career in engineering. Because of this the Milwaukee School of Engineering granted Doohan an honorary degree in engineering.

Doohan suffered from Parkinson's disease, diabetes and lung fibrosis. In 2004, Doohan was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. He was immortalised with a star in Hollywood's Walk of Fame on August 31 of the same year.

Doohan had four children with Janet Young (married 1949;divorced 1964) and three children with his last wife Wende (married 1975). His youngest daughter Sarah was born in 2000 when Wende was aged 43.

Bye-bye James, you were one of the great ones. See you on the other side.

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