Jackson DeForest Kelley (January 20, 1920 – June 11, 1999), known to colleagues as "De", was an American actor, screenwriter, poet and singer known for his roles in Westerns and as Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy of the USS Enterprise in the television and film series Star Trek (1966–1991).
Kelley at a 1988 Star Trek convention
Jackson DeForest Kelley
January 20, 1920
Toccoa, Georgia, U.S.
|Died||June 11, 1999 (aged 79)|
|Home town||Atlanta, Georgia|
|Spouse(s)||Carolyn Dowling (married 1945)|
Kelley was named after the pioneering electronics engineer Lee de Forest. He later named his Star Trek character's father "David" after his own father. Kelley had an older brother, Ernest Casey Kelley. Kelley was immersed in his father's mission in Conyers and told his father that failure would mean "wreck and ruin". Before the end of his first year at Conyers, Kelley was regularly putting to use his musical talents and often sang solo in morning church services. Eventually, this led to an appearance on the radio station WSB AM in Atlanta. As a result of Kelley's radio work, he won an engagement with Lew Forbes and his orchestra at the Paramount Theater.
In 1934, the family left Conyers for Decatur, Georgia. He attended the Decatur Boys High School, where he played on the Decatur Bantams baseball team. Kelley also played football and other sports. Before his graduation in 1938, Kelley got a job as a drugstore car hop. He spent his weekends working in the local theaters.
During World War II, Kelley served as an enlisted man in the United States Army Air Forces from March 10, 1943 to January 28, 1946, assigned to the First Motion Picture Unit. After an extended stay in Long Beach, California, Kelley decided to pursue an acting career and relocate to southern California permanently, living for a time with his uncle Casey. He worked as an usher in a local theater in order to earn enough money for the move. Kelley's mother encouraged her son in his new career goal, but his father disliked the idea. While in California, Kelley was spotted by a Paramount Pictures scout while doing a United States Navy training film.
Kelley's acting career began with the feature film Fear in the Night in 1947. The low-budget movie was a hit, bringing him to the attention of a national audience and giving Kelley reason to believe he would soon become a star. His next role, in Variety Girl, established him as a leading actor and resulted in the founding of his first fan club. Kelley did not become a leading man, however, and he and his wife, Carolyn, decided to move to New York City. He found work on stage and on live television, but after three years in New York, the Kelleys returned to Hollywood.
In California, he received a role in an installment of You Are There, anchored by Walter Cronkite. He played ranch owner Bob Kitteridge in the 1949 episode "Legion of Old Timers" of the television series The Lone Ranger. This led to an appearance in Gunfight at the O.K. Corral as Morgan Earp (brother to Burt Lancaster's Wyatt Earp). This role led to three movie offers, including Warlock with Henry Fonda and Anthony Quinn.
In 1957, he had a small role as a Southern officer in Raintree County, a Civil War film directed by Edward Dmytryk, alongside Elizabeth Taylor, Montgomery Clift and Lee Marvin. He also appeared in leading roles as a U.S. Navy submarine captain in the World War II set television series, The Silent Service. He appeared in season 1, episode 5, "The Spearfish Delivers", as Commander Dempsey and in the first episode of season 2, "The Archerfish Spits Straight", as Lieutenant Commander Enright. His future Star Trek co-star Leonard Nimoy also appeared in two different episodes of the series at around the same time.
Kelley appeared three times in various portrayals of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. First was in 1955, as Ike Clanton in the television series You Are There. Two years later, in the 1957 film of that name, he played Morgan Earp. His third appearance was in a third-season Star Trek episode (broadcast originally on October 25, 1968), titled "Spectre of the Gun", this time portraying Tom McLaury.
Kelley also appeared in episodes of The Donna Reed Show, Perry Mason, Wanted: Dead or Alive, Boots and Saddles, Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater, Death Valley Days, Riverboat, The Fugitive, Lawman, Bat Masterson, Have Gun - Will Travel and Laredo. He appeared in the 1962 episode of Route 66, "1800 Days to Justice" and "The Clover Throne" as Willis. He had a small role in the movie The View from Pompey's Head.
For nine years, Kelley primarily played villains. He built up an extensive list of credits, alternating between television and motion pictures. However, he was afraid of typecasting, so he broke away from villains by starring in Where Love Has Gone and a television pilot called 333 Montgomery. The pilot was written by an ex-policeman named Gene Roddenberry, and a few years later Kelley would appear in another Roddenberry pilot, Police Story (1967), that was again not developed into a series.
Kelley also appeared in at least one radio drama, Suspense, where series producer William M. Robson introduced him as "a bright new luminary in the Hollywood firmament".
In 1956, nine years before being cast as Dr. McCoy, Kelley played a small supporting role as a medic in The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit in which he utters the diagnosis "This man's dead, Captain" and "That man is dead" to Gregory Peck. Kelley appeared as Lieutenant Commander James Dempsey in two episodes of the syndicated military drama The Silent Service, based on actual stories of the submarine service of the United States Navy. In 1962, he appeared in the Bonanza episode titled "The Decision", as a doctor sentenced to hang for the murder of a journalist. The judge in this episode was portrayed by John Hoyt, who later portrayed Dr. Phillip John Boyce, one of Leonard McCoy's predecessors, on the Star Trek pilot "The Cage". In 1963, he appeared in The Virginian episode "Man of Violence" as a "drinking" cavalry doctor with Leonard Nimoy as his patient. (Nimoy's character did not survive.) Perhaps not coincidentally, the episode was written by John D. F. Black, who went on to become a writer-producer on Star Trek. Just before Star Trek began filming, Kelley appeared as a doctor again, in the Laredo episode "The Sound of Terror".
After refusing Roddenberry's 1964 offer to play Spock, Kelley played Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy from 1966 to 1969 in Star Trek. He reprised the character in a voice-over role in Star Trek: The Animated Series (1973–74), and the first six Star Trek motion pictures (1979 to 1991). In one of the Star Trek comic books it was stated that Dr. McCoy's father had been a Baptist preacher, an idea that apparently originated from Kelley's background. In 1987, he also had a cameo in "Encounter at Farpoint", the first episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, as Admiral Leonard McCoy, Starfleet Surgeon General Emeritus. Several aspects of Kelley's background became part of McCoy's characterization, including his pronunciation of "nuclear" as "nucular".
Kelley became a good friend of Star Trek cast mates William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, from their first meeting in 1964. During Trek's first season, Kelley's name was listed in the end credits along with the rest of the cast. Only Shatner and Nimoy were listed in the opening credits. As Kelley's role grew in importance during the first season he received a pay raise to about $2,500 per episode and received third billing starting in the second season after Nimoy. Despite the show's recognition of Kelley as one of its stars he was frustrated by the greater attention that Shatner received as its lead actor and that Nimoy received because of "Spockamania" among fans.
Shy by his own admission, Kelley was the only cast member of the original Star Trek series program never to have written or published an autobiography; the authorized biography From Sawdust to Stardust (2005) was written posthumously by Terry Lee Rioux of Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas. Kelley regarded "The Empath" as his favourite Star Trek television episode.
After Star Trek, Kelley found himself a victim of the very typecasting he had so feared. In 1972, he was cast in the horror film Night of the Lepus. Kelley thereafter did a few television appearances and a couple of movies but essentially went into de facto retirement other than playing McCoy. By 1978 he was earning up to $50,000 ($192,000 today) annually from appearances at Star Trek conventions. Like other Star Trek actors, Kelley received little of the enormous profits that the franchise generated for Paramount, until Nimoy, as executive producer, helped arrange for Kelley to be paid $1 million for Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991) which would eventually be his final live-action film appearance. He also appeared in the very first Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, "Encounter at Farpoint", in which he portrayed a 137-year-old Dr. McCoy.
In a TLC interview done in the late 1990s, Kelley jokingly said one of his biggest fears was that the words etched on his gravestone would be "He's dead, Jim." Reflecting this, Kelley's obituary in Newsweek magazine began: "We're not even going to try to resist: He's dead, Jim." On the other hand, he stated that he was very proud to hear from so many Star Trek fans who had been inspired to become doctors as a result of his portrayal of Dr. McCoy. For his final film, Kelley provided the voice of Viking 1 in the 2nd/3rd installment in the children's series The Brave Little Toaster Goes to Mars.
Later in life, Kelley developed an interest in poetry, eventually publishing the first of two books in a series, The Big Bird's Dream and The Dream Goes On – a series he would never finish.
In 1991 he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and in 1999, shortly before he died, he was awarded a Golden Boot Award for his contribution to the genre of Western television and movies.
Kelley died of stomach cancer on June 11, 1999, at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles.
"Amok Time" is the second season premiere episode of the American science fiction television series Star Trek. Written by science fiction author Theodore Sturgeon, scored by Gerald Fried, and directed by Joseph Pevney, it first aired on September 15, 1967.
The episode features First Officer Spock returning to his homeworld for a brutal Vulcan wedding ritual. It is the only episode of The Original Series to depict scenes on the planet Vulcan.
It was the first episode to air (though not the first filmed) featuring Ensign Pavel Chekov (Walter Koenig) as the ship's navigator. It was also the first episode to list "DeForest Kelley as Dr. McCoy" in the opening credits, and the first episode broadcast in the series' new time slot of 8:30 pm on Friday night.Bob Orrison
Robert P. "Bob" Orrison (July 28, 1928 – October 11, 2014) was an American film and television stunt performer.
He was the stunt double for actor Audie Murphy for many films and did stunt work in John Wayne movies such as The Undefeated and Chisum. He also performed stunts in such films as The Wild Bunch, Smokey and the Bandit, Rambo III, Days of Thunder, Die Hard 2, and Speed. For television, he worked on the original Star Trek series doubling for Leonard Nimoy and DeForest Kelley on several occasions. He was the primary stunt driver of the General Lee car on The Dukes of Hazzard, and doubled for George Peppard in stunts performed for The A-Team.
On October 11, 2014, Orrison and his friend and fellow retired stuntman, Gary McLarty, were killed in a traffic collision in Rancho Cordova, California, where Orrison had lived since 2007. He was 86.Don McDougall (director)
Don McDougall (born September 28, 1917 – February 7, 1991) was an American television director and screenwriter.
McDougall directed numerous episodes of other television shows like Wanted: Dead or Alive, Rawhide, Bonanza, Mannix, Ironside,Star Trek: The Original Series, The Six Million Dollar Man, and CHiPs. He also directed for shows such as The Rifleman, Mission: Impossible. Dallas, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, The Dukes of Hazzard, and Wonder Woman. In 1974, he directed three episodes of Planet of the Apes which featured Mark Lenard and were photographed by Jerry Finnerman.
McDougall directed the three main stars of Star Trek in non-Star Trek productions. He directed Leonard Nimoy in a 1965 episode of The Virginian and directed William Shatner in two episodes of the NBC series Barbary Coast in 1975. It is DeForest Kelley, however, with whom he worked the most, having worked with the actor numerous times in the late 1950s. He directed Kelley in several episodes of the CBS western series Trackdown, as well as a 1957 episode of Alcoa Theatre, a 1958 episode of Bonanza, and a 1959 episode of Wanted: Dead or Alive. Other regular Trek actors he has directed include Diana Muldaur (in an episode of Mannix) and Michael Dorn (on CHiPs).Duke of Chicago
Duke of Chicago is a 1949 61-minute short film released in the United States by Republic Pictures and starring Tom Brown, Audrey Long and DeForest Kelley. Directed by George Blair, the film portrays a retired boxer, Jimmy Brody (Brown), who leaves his boxing career for his fiancée but is lured back into a one-off fight against a current champion due to financial difficulties.Based on the 1933 novel The Duke Comes Back by Lucian Cary, Duke of Chicago was one of several films made on the back of the critical and commercial success of boxing pictures Body and Soul and Champion. However, the film was largely panned by critics, described as "slow-paced and seemingly a lot longer than its fifty-nine minutes."Fear in the Night (1947 film)
Fear in the Night is a 1947 film noir crime film directed by Maxwell Shane starring Paul Kelly and DeForest Kelley (in his film debut). It is based on the Cornell Woolrich story "And So to Death" (retitled '"Nightmare" in 1943). Woolrich is credited under pen name William Irish. The film was remade by the same director in 1956 with the title Nightmare this time starring Edward G. Robinson playing the cop and Kevin McCarthy.Leonard McCoy
Dr. Leonard H. "Bones" McCoy is a character in the American science fiction franchise Star Trek. First portrayed by DeForest Kelley in the original Star Trek series, McCoy also appears in the animated Star Trek series, six Star Trek movies, the pilot episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and in numerous books, comics, and video games. Karl Urban assumed the role of the character in the 2009 Star Trek film and its sequels: Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) and Star Trek Beyond (2016).Malaya (film)
Malaya is a 1949 war film starring Spencer Tracy and James Stewart and set in colonial Malaya during World War II. It was directed by Richard Thorpe. The supporting cast includes Lionel Barrymore, Sydney Greenstreet, John Hodiak and DeForest Kelley.Night of the Lepus
Night of the Lepus (also known as Rabbits) is a 1972 American science fiction horror thriller film based on the science fiction novel The Year of the Angry Rabbit (1964) by Russell Braddon. It concerns an infestation of mutated rabbits.
Production was made in 1972 and released theatrically on July 26th in that year. The film was the first science fiction work for producer A. C. Lyles and for director William F. Claxton, both of whom came from Western film backgrounds. Character actors from Westerns the pair had worked on were brought in to star in the Night of the Lepus, including Stuart Whitman, Janet Leigh, Rory Calhoun, and DeForest Kelley.
Shot in Arizona, Night of the Lepus used domestic rabbits filmed against miniature models and actors dressed in rabbit costumes for the attack scenes.
Before its release, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) renamed the film from its original name of Rabbits and avoided including rabbits in most promotional materials to try to keep the featured mutant creatures a secret. However, the studio itself broke the secret by issuing rabbit's foot-themed promotional materials before the release. Widely panned by critics for its premise, bad directing, stilted acting, and laughable special effects, the film's biggest failure was considered to be the inability to make the rabbits seem scary. Night of the Lepus has gained cult status for its poor quality. It was never released on VHS but was released on Region 1 DVD in October 2005 and on Blu-Ray in June of 2018.Richard Poe
Richard Poe (born January 25, 1946) is an American actor. He has worked in movies, television and on Broadway.
Poe was born in Portola, California. He graduated from Pittsburg Senior High School in 1964 then from the University of San Francisco in 1967. He served in the US Army during the Vietnam War. Along with Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, Mark Lenard, Jonathan Frakes, Marina Sirtis, Armin Shimerman and John de Lancie he is one of only a few actors to play the same character on three different Star Trek series. He played Gul Evek in Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987), Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993) and Star Trek: Voyager (1995). He recently appeared in A Christmas Carol at Ford's Theatre, 2006, as Ebenezer Scrooge, and was in the San Diego cast of the new Broadway-bound musical, Cry-Baby. He provided narration for the audiobook version of the Cormac McCarthy’s novels Blood Meridian and The Crossing.The Brave Little Toaster Goes to Mars
The Brave Little Toaster Goes to Mars is the name of both a children's book by Thomas M. Disch and a film based on it. Both are sequels to the book, The Brave Little Toaster. The film was produced by Hyperion Animation and distributed by Walt Disney Home Video and released in 1998. It featured the last performances of actors DeForest Kelley, Thurl Ravenscroft and Carol Channing before their deaths in 1999, 2005 and 2019, respectively.
Although set after the events of The Brave Little Toaster to the Rescue, Goes to Mars was the first of the two sequels to the original film, as both were in production around the same time and the latter was the first to finish production.The Corbomite Maneuver
"The Corbomite Maneuver" is the tenth episode of the first season of the American science fiction television series, Star Trek. Written by Jerry Sohl and directed by Joseph Sargent, it first aired on November 10, 1966.
The storyline describes how the USS Enterprise encounters a massive and powerful alien starship and its unusual pilot.
The episode features a young Clint Howard, brother of actor-turned-director Ron Howard, who plays the alien at the end (with an overdubbed, ethereal voice provided by Walker Edmiston). This was the first regular episode produced after the two pilots and the first episode filmed in which DeForest Kelley played Dr. Leonard McCoy, Nichelle Nichols played Lt. Uhura and Grace Lee Whitney played Yeoman Rand (although viewers saw them for the first time in "The Man Trap").Variety Girl
Variety Girl is a 1947 American musical comedy film directed by George Marshall and starring Mary Hatcher, Olga San Juan, DeForest Kelley, Frank Ferguson, Glenn Tryon, Nella Walker, Torben Meyer, Jack Norton, and William Demarest. It was produced by Paramount Pictures. Numerous Paramount contract players and directors make cameos or perform songs, with particularly large amounts of screen time featuring Bob Hope and Bing Crosby.Where Love Has Gone (film)
Where Love Has Gone is a 1964 American Technicolor drama film in Techniscope made by Embassy Pictures, Joseph E. Levine Productions and Paramount Pictures. It was directed by Edward Dmytryk and produced by Joseph E. Levine from a screenplay by John Michael Hayes based on the novel of the same name by Harold Robbins. The music score was by Walter Scharf, the cinematography by Joseph MacDonald and the costume design by Edith Head.
The film stars Susan Hayward and Bette Davis with Mike Connors, Joey Heatherton, Jane Greer, DeForest Kelley, Anne Seymour and George Macready.Your Jeweler's Showcase
Your Jeweler's Showcase is a US television anthology drama series. At least 21 episodes aired on CBS from November 11, 1952 to August 30, 1953. From January 6, 1953 to May 26, 1953 it alternated weekly with Demi-Tasse Tales.
Among its guest stars were Edith Evans, Chuck Connors, Celeste Holm, Ruth Warrick, George Nader, DeForest Kelley and Keye Luke.