After the death of actor Leonard Nimoy, Mr. Spock from "Star Trek" in February, now it was the turn of the fans of cult science fiction series to say goodbye to Grace Lee Whitney, who died at age 85 from natural causes last Friday, 1st of May, in Coarsegold, California (USA). Whitney was part of the original cast of the series giving life to Yeoman Janice Rand, assistant of Captain Kirk (William Shatner), having participated in the 8 episodes of the 1st season, Star Trek: The Original Series. She then was invited to leave the show due to addiction problems.
In her autobiography from 1998 entitled "The Longest Trek: My Tour of the Galaxy" the actress says it was thanks to Leonard Nimoy that she could resume her career, when she was invited to adapt the series to theaters in "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" (1979). She also featured "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock" (1984), "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home" (1986) and "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country" (1991). Besides sci-fi movies, Grace Lee Whitney also acted in other movies: House of Wax (1953), Top Banana (1954), The Naked and the Dead (1958), and Pocketful of Miracles (1961). She also appeared in a television episode of "Diagnosis: Murder", which reunited her with some old Star Trek cast members.
Grace was married to Jack Dale and has two sons: Scott and Jonathan Dweck. In an interview with "USA Today", Jonathan said that his mother would like to be remembered most as a drinking survivor rather than for her fame as an actress. She had dedicated the last 35 years of her life to help people with addiction problems, some of them she met at Star Trek conventions.
William Shatner tweeted his own message at the death of the actress with the message:"Condolences to the family of Grace. She was a constant shining smile over the years every time our paths crossed."
Ben E. King also died last Friday of natural causes
By coincidence, the singer Ben E. King, owner of the hit "Stand By Me", also died last last Friday, 1st of May, of natural causes, as reported by the advisor to the musician. King was 76 and left his wife, Betty, and three children Terris, Ben Jr. and Angela. Several #Celebrities tweeted their condolences to the family. #Cinema