Wednesday, July 20, 2005

The Final Transport

James Doohan, AKA Scotty of Star Trek fame, passed away today at the age of 85.

Doohan was famous for playing one character, but as this Fox story shows he was a pretty amazing person. A WWII veteran with the Canadian Army, he was shot six times on D-Day at Juno Beach while serving as forward observer for an artillery battery. Then he put up with all of William Shatner's scene stealing shennagins on the TV show and the subsequent movies.

What is most interesting, and is stated fully in the above linked article, is how comfortable he was being Scotty. So many actors become typecast then spend the rest of their careers angry over the fact that nobody will accept them in any other role. I always have a hard time feeling bad for these actors. Considering how many thousands of people slave away to become famous it is the ultimate smack in the face to these actors from the hordes who are embittered because you are too well known.

And let's face it, if you are a good enough actor you can break the typecast and do other work. Look at Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Clint Eastwood or Alan Alda. All are best know for certain roles, but fans accept them as other characters because they are talented enough to pull it off.

So these single dimension entertainers should, like Doohan, embrace their celebrity for what it is and make the most of it. Doohan was smart enough to attend Trekkie conventions, although I am sure that was almost as trying an experience as D-Day, did the movies and never complained about his lot in life. Well, at least to me.

So good bye Commander Montgomery Scott, to bad Star Fleet never promoted you.


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