Star Trek's Scotty dies

20 July 2005 06:01

Doohan died at 5.30am local time at his Redmond, Washington, home with his wife of 28 years, Wende, at his side, Los Angeles agent and long-time friend Steve Stevens said.

The cause of death was pneumonia and Alzheimer's disease, he said.

The Canadian-born Doohan was enjoying a busy career as a character actor when he auditioned for a role as an engineer in a new space adventure on NBC in 1966. A master of dialects from his early years in radio, he tried seven different accents.

"The producers asked me which one I preferred," Doohan recalled 30 years later. "I believed the Scot voice was the most commanding. So I told them, 'If this character is going to be an engineer, you'd better make him a Scotsman.'"

The series, which starred William Shatner as Captain James T Kirk and Leonard Nimoy as the enigmatic Mr Spock, attracted an enthusiastic following of science-fiction fans, especially among teenagers and children, but not enough ratings power. NBC cancelled it after three seasons.

When the series ended in 1969, Doohan found himself typecast as Montgomery Scott, the canny engineer with a burr in his voice.

He appeared in Star Trek: The Motion Picture in 1979, one of six films to feature the original Enterprise cast, and made guest appearances in later Star Trek series.

Doohan was also a linguist and wrote the Vulcan and Klingon dialogue heard in Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

In August last year, Doohan received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In 1973, he complained about being typecast to his dentist, who advised him: "Jimmy, you're going to be Scotty long after you're dead. If I were you, I'd go with the flow."

"I took his advice," said Doohan later, "and since then everything's been just lovely."