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Star Trek's Scotty Dies at 85 762

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the don't-make-the-joke-just-don't-do-it dept.
darkworm writes "James Doohan, better known to Trekkies everywhere as Scotty, has died at the age of 85. James was suffering from both Parkinsons and Alzheimer's and died earlier today at his home"
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Star Trek's Scotty Dies at 85

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  • by winkydink (650484) * <sv.dude@gmail.com> on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @12:39PM (#13114390) Homepage Journal
    There's a mirror here [networkmirror.com] and a better obit from CNN here [cnn.com].
  • Rest in peace.
  • by toupsie (88295) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @12:39PM (#13114399) Homepage
    He's dead, Jim! -- Bones
  • Beem him on up... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by SnowDeath (157414)
    Beem him on up to the big NCC-1701 in the sky. You will be missed Mr. Doohan.
    • by mesach (191869) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @12:45PM (#13114490)
      Wait, If Scotty is gone who is going to beam me up?
      • by doublem (118724) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @04:48PM (#13116953) Homepage Journal
        Up until now, it was Saint Peter for EVERYBODY. The growing population has necessitated some personnel changes. With more people being born all the time, there are also more people dying off. The work load is far too great for Saint Peter alone, so God has authorized some additional "Heavenly Greeters."

        John Candy, for example, will be greeting Canadians. Initially, they weren't going to get their own greeter, but Candy was so persuasive that God decided to give him the job anyway.

        James will of course, be in charge of greeting all the Sci-Fi fans and assorted geeks. Naturally, this will cheese off the die hard Star Wars fans. There was some concern about what to do with George Lucas when he arrived, until someone pointed out that after the prequel trilogy, George won't be approaching the pearly gates anyway.

        I'm told James has already made a few changes. For example, die hard Trekkers will actually hear some transporter sound effects during the transition from a physical body to a divine existence. Die hard Trekkers who are virgins will actually hear "Beam me up Scotty" just before they get beamed up. Deforest will be doing the voice over for now. If Shatner makes it to heaven his voice will be used instead.

        Saint Peter and James are reportedly getting along well, as they both have a fondness for good Scotch and Whiskey. James was quite relieved when he found out Saint Peter had set up a distillery in Heaven, and it was literally staffed by some of the best alcohol artisans on all time.

        Of course the Prohibitionists were PISSEED when they found out about it, and even tried to shut it down. Of course, it's kind of hard to shut down the heavenly distillery and wine makers when God has a glass or two with dinner.

        Anyway, there's no word yet on the other long term changes. For now, dead geeks will be greeted by James' warm and friendly demeanor. James is quoted as saying "When I was told I'd be Scotty long after I was dead, I didn't realize it was going to be quite so literal. I decided to go with the flow and enjoy it long ago, and now I get to welcome new souls into Heaven. I can't think of a better job than that.
    • by meringuoid (568297) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @12:48PM (#13114534)
      You will be missed Mr. Doohan.

      More so than any of the Trek characters, methinks. How many of us here were first inspired into tech geekdom by Chief Enginner Scott?

      • by idontgno (624372) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @01:19PM (#13114894) Journal
        I still deal with management on project schedules according to the "Scotty's Rule". Quoting the biography of Montgomery Scott [memory-alpha.org] at Memory Alpha [memory-alpha.org]:
        [H]is knowledge and ability to save the ship in a jam would eventually lead to his reputation aboard the Enterprise of that of a 'miracle worker'. This was brought about by his reputation for being able to effect starship repairs in much shorter time periods than were generally accepted as being required. Scott later admitted that he often padded his stated times needed for repairs by a factor of four, in order to appear that much faster.

        In other words, make a good-faith estimate, then double it, because that's the pad to get it done "faster" than you project. Then double it again, because your good-faith estimate is always optimistic.

        RIP, Captain Scott, and clear subspace.

        • Re:Beem him on up... (Score:5, Informative)

          by afidel (530433) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @02:28PM (#13115605)
          Here's the lines from the TNG episode "Relics":

          Scotty: "Starfleet captains are like children. They want everything right now and they want it their way. But the secret is to give them only what they need, not what they want."
          LaForge: "Yeah, well, I told the captain I'd have this analysis done in an hour."
          Scotty: "How long will it really take?"
          LaForge: "An hour."
          Scotty: "You didn't tell him now long it would really take, did you?"
          LaForge: "Of course I did."
          Scotty: "Laddie, you got a lot to learn if you want people to think of you as a miracle worker!"

          And those words are one of the guiding principles in everything I do professionally. I always undersell and overexecute. RIP good man, RIP.
      • Re:Beem him on up... (Score:3, Interesting)

        by dr_dank (472072)
        Damn right. Not only did he expertly play the character that hooked many a kid on the idea of science and engineering, but was also a decorated war veteran and a genuine class act. He was always warm and receptive to his fans and a beloved fixture of the convention circuit.

        He will be truely missed.
        • by GuyMannDude (574364) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @01:50PM (#13115200) Journal

          Damn right. Not only did he expertly play the character that hooked many a kid on the idea of science and engineering, but was also a decorated war veteran and a genuine class act. He was always warm and receptive to his fans and a beloved fixture of the convention circuit.

          This is an important point. Doohan really gave so much back to the community. In the fascinating (and sometimes hilarious) documentary Trekkies [trekdoc.com], Doohan relates the story of a suicidal Trek fan who confided in him. Doohan took it upon himself to nurse this poor soul back to health. He told the fan that he wanted to see them at the next convention. To his amazement, the fan was there and Doohan graciously met with them, allowing them to come backstage and the whole deal. Doohan tried it again and again the fan showed up at the next convention. They kept this up for a long time (I forget -- it might have been years) when suddenly the fan stopped coming. Doohan feared the worst had happened.

          Years later Doohan was stunned when the fan showed up at a convention out of nowhere! The fan told Doohan that they had turned their life around, enrolled in school, and become ... an electrical engineer.

          If you haven't seen this film you should definitely rent it. Watching Doohan come close to tears as he tells this story is worth the rental fee right there.

          GMD

          • by object88 (568048) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @02:30PM (#13115613)
            Doohan really gave so much back to the community.

            Doohan's contributions were great, but he wasn't the only one. I can't summarize George Takei's vast undertakings, but his involvement with the Japanese-American National Museum and Independent Task Force on Television Measurement are notable.

            George Takei attended James Doohan's last convention and the reception of his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and his retelling [georgetakei.com] is an moving account.
    • by jejones (115979) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @01:50PM (#13115195) Journal
      Beem him on up to the big NCC-1701 in the sky.

      And no bloody A, B, C, or D, either.
  • by The Dobber (576407) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @12:40PM (#13114405)

    Nuff said
  • Can't (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ericdano (113424) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @12:40PM (#13114406) Homepage
    "She can't take anymore of this!"

    Rest In Peace Scotty. You will always be remembered.

    • Re:Can't (Score:3, Interesting)

      by fm6 (162816)
      The first version of that line was "I canna change the laws of physics!" Cool when I first heard it. Sad how quickly it became a cliche.

      Something has to be said about the famous accent. I don't know that many Scots, but I'm told that nobody from Scotland actually talks that way. It's a sort of Hollywood convention.

      Speaking of Scots, has anybody else noticed that Kirk and McCoy are both Scottish names? So two of the three main characters were Scottish, plus the most prominent supporting character. Make

  • by pointbeing (701902) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @12:40PM (#13114407)
    Travel well, James.
  • Fond memories from TOS right through the series of film. He will be sadly missed. R.
  • Cue the jokes... (Score:5, Informative)

    by daveschroeder (516195) * on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @12:40PM (#13114416)
    "Beam me up, Scotty!"

    "He's dead, Jim."

    Ok, now that that's out of the way, I'm sure the rest of the slashdot article comments will be thoughtful, insightful commentary on Doohan's passing.

    Such as:

    He lost a finger during the D-Day invasion as a captain in the Royal Canadian Artillery.

    He was also a linguist, and devised the Vulcan and Klingon lanuages for the original Star Trek motion picture.

    He had his youngest daughter in 2000, when he was 80 (!), with his wife Wende, whom he'd been married to since 1975. Way to go, James.

    More [wikipedia.org]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @12:40PM (#13114419)
    "Is the word given, sir?"

    "Aye, laddie-- warp speed."

    RIP, Scotty.
  • by lecithin (745575) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @12:40PM (#13114420)
    "Just before they went into warp, I beamed the whole kit and kaboodle into their engine room, where they'll be no tribble at all."

  • He will be missed
  • A sad day (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nos. (179609) <andrew@nospaM.thekerrs.ca> on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @12:41PM (#13114428) Homepage
    Scotty had to be one of the most beloved Star Trek characters of all time and Mr. Doohan really made the character. I only hope that someone somewhere will play Amazing Grace on the pipes for him as he did for Spock at the end of Star Trek II.
  • by Cranst0n (617823)
    He can annoy Bones some more. RIP Mr. Doohan.
  • Yahoo! News Link [yahoo.com]

    Thanks for:
    Being Scotty, and being cheerful about it.
    Your efforts at Normandy in World War II, which almost cost you your life, and did cost you a finger.

    You will be missed!

  • sad... (Score:5, Funny)

    by idiotdevel (654397) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @12:42PM (#13114446)
    may the force be with you!

    wait...
  • RIP (Score:5, Insightful)

    by IcyNeko (891749) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @12:42PM (#13114448) Journal
    ... Of all the characters in Star Trek.... He.. was the most... human.
  • he couldnae change the laws of physics after all...

    A damn good innings for someone that was machine-gunned on D-Day.

  • by Tackhead (54550) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @12:42PM (#13114454)
    Nothing for me to see here. Please beam me up.

    (Thanks for teaching me how to keep my reputation as a miracle worker. I'll be enjoyin' a wee dram in your honor tonight, James.)

  • Should have put yourself into the transporter buffer and waited for a future starship to find you, like you did last time!
  • Sending his ashes out on a solar sail to the far end of the solar system and beyond "to go where no man has gone before". :)
  • by buckhead_buddy (186384) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @12:43PM (#13114475)
    Just as Agnes Moorehead didn't want to be remembered only as "the witch", I think it's kind of insulting to James Doohan just to encapsulate remberences of him solely as his most well-known character. Can anyone out there comment on his other roles? (e.g. Star Commander of Jason?) his military service? or his long, long life?

    We all know he had a fun, fake Scottish accent and was unparalleled in delivering technobabble in just the right doses for a good episode of Trek, but I'd love to hear the stories of this man that aren't penned by Rodenberry or copyrighted by Viacom.

    Anyone have any?
    • I can never think of Agnes Moorehead as her bewitched character, I just think of the way her voice almost imperceptibly chokes when she says "it's been packed for weeks".

      James Doohan did a lot of stuff apart from Trek - check out his IMDB entry. In the Man from U.N.C.L.E. twice, the Fugitive (also twice - they always seemed to reuse actors in those days), Bonanza, Twilight Zone, Outer Limits (very good in that as I recall). I remember seeing him in "The Bold and the Beautiful" and doing a double-take.

      Oh,
    • by LurkerXXX (667952) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @01:21PM (#13114916)
      This [nndb.com] is one of the best writeups I've seen on him.
    • by Ubergrendle (531719) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @01:54PM (#13115240) Journal
      James Doohan was troubled by his typecasting in the years following ST:TOS cancellation, until his dentist told him: 'you're going to be scotty the rest of your life whether you like it or not'. After that Doohan says he just went with it and became a much happier person, and admitted that life had treated him very well.

      Another tidbit...as like most good soldiers (David Niven comes to mind) he underplayed his WWII experience very much, when talking about it in public usually talked about how scared he was etc. He was at the Juno Beach landings on D-Day and took 6 bullets (including the loss of one of his fingers).

      I never met him, but people I know who did claim he was probably the most charming, down-to-earth media personality they ever met. Old-school gentleman, with a great sense of humour and humilty. This can be contrasted slightly with Canada's OTHER contribution to Star Trek, William (Farking) Shanter...
  • by stuffduff (681819) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @12:45PM (#13114503) Journal
    I remember Scotty explaining to LaForge one day that his secret was to always exaggerate the time it takes to do something by a factor of eight. Usually this made him look like a hero, but he always had that built in time for dealing with the unforeseen problem. It was one of the more important lessons I learned from Star Trek.

    But the real value that James Doohan brought to his role, and that I value from his life was his enthusiasm. The positiveness he brought to his role came from the heart. He embodied and lived the "Can Do" attitude. Hopefully it was every bit as infectious as the rest of Star Trek and we will all remember that we too 'can do!'

    • by daeley (126313) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @12:51PM (#13114577) Homepage
      Spock: "Ahh, Mr. Scott, I understand you're having difficulty with the warp drive. How much time do you require for repair?"

      Scotty: "There's nothing wrong with the bloody thing!"

      Spock: "Mr. Scott, if we return to Spacedock, the assassins will surely find a way to dispose of their incriminating footwear, and we will never see the Captain, or Dr. McCoy, alive again."

      Scotty: "Could take weeks, sir."

      Spock: "Thank you, Mr. Scott."

      (From Star Trek VI)
    • by SamSeaborn (724276) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @01:13PM (#13114831)
      I remember Scotty explaining to LaForge one day that his secret was to always exaggerate the time it takes to do something by a factor of eight. Usually this made him look like a hero, but he always had that built in time for dealing with the unforeseen problem.

      I always hated that scene. Scotty *was* a miracle worker -- he really DID accomplish engineering miracles when the ship was in mortal danger -- and always did it in less time than it would take any other engineer.

      In ST:III he made a joke that he exaggerates estimates to Kirk, "Certainly, sir. How else can I keep my reputation as a miracle worker?"

      But it was a *joke*! In that ST:TNG episode they had Scotty decalre that he regularly exaggerated and lied about estimates only to make himself look better. This forever tarnishing Scotty brilliance, and I hated (HATED!) that scene.

      Sigh ... I really, really hate that scene.

      Sam

    • by schon (31600)
      I remember Scotty explaining to LaForge one day that his secret was to always exaggerate the time it takes to do something by a factor of eight.

      Not quite - the actual conversation went as follows:

      Scott: "Do you mind a little advice? Starfleet captains are like children. They want everything right now, and they want it their way. But the secret is to give only what they need, not what they want!"
      LaForge: "Yeah, well I told the captain I'd have this analysis done in an hour."
      Scott: "How long would it reall
  • by tomlouie (264519) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @12:48PM (#13114539) Homepage
    I loved the scene in the documentary Trekkies where Doohan talks befriending a suicidal fan.

    I found this link which gave more info about that part of the documentary.

    http://www.treknation.com/interviews/roger_nygard. shtml [treknation.com]

    Q: Trekkies like to hear anecdotes. Tell us of some funny incident during the production of the movie.

    A: Right in the middle of the most emotional moment of our interview with James Doohan the camera ran out of film, interrupting Mr. Doohan in the middle of his story about a suicide note he had received from a fan. He couldn't wait until the camera was reloaded because he was already late to be on stage. The convention security people said there would not be time for a second interview so it seemed like we would never find out what happened to the suicidal woman. We were determined to find out so we waited four hours until after Mr. Doohan spoke on stage and then signed several hundred autographs and then Denise asked him if he could kindly come back to finish his story. Despite being exhausted from the day's convention events, he graciously agreed, and he told us the rest of the story, which became the most touching moment in the film. I can't believe we almost didn't get that story.
    • by KingSkippus (799657) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @02:00PM (#13115302) Homepage Journal

      This wasn't just for the cameras. I was at a convention in Atlanta, Georgia back in my hard-core Trekkie days (I've mellowed out a bit...). Being a broke teenager, I could only afford a one-day pass, and they didn't schedule any autograph sessions for that day. During his Q&A session, I asked him if my buddy and I could have autographs since we wouldn't be able to see him during the other two days.

      He said of course we could, he didn't realize that they were selling one-day passes and thought everyone there would be there for two more days. Right there in the Q&A, he said that anyone who wouldn't have another chance to see him on one of the other two days could meet him in the hallway after the Q&A and get autographs.

      After the Q&A, he stayed late and a handful of people met him out in the hall while he signed autographs. I was very impressed that the whole room didn't go right then (kudos to the Trekkies!), but more than that, I was impressed that Jimmy Doohan went clearly above and beyond what he was obligated to do just for the sake of being a nice guy. Out in the hallway, he was extremely personable and it was obvious that he wasn't just going through the motions of getting a bunch of Trekkies (myself included) out of his hair, an impression I got from some of the other actors.

      Nowadays, I'm not so much a Star Trek fan, but one of my most prized possessions is still my autographed copy of Mr. Scott's Guide to the Enterprise. Not because of the autograph, because I have lots of 'em from various people, but because of the memory of what a nice guy Jimmy Doohan was and how special it was that he took some time out of his schedule and his life just to be a nice guy to me, an anonymous guy he didn't know and would very likely never see again.

      And yes, of all of the Star Trek actors I've read about beyond their non-Trek lives, Jimmy Doohan is BY FAR the most interesting, courageous and noble one. Christ, the man was shot by Nazis six times with a machine gun in World War II while storming a beach! In my book, that makes him a bigger hero than even the fictional Captain Kirk.

  • by dankney (631226) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @12:50PM (#13114566) Homepage
    It's fitting that he passed away on the anniversary of the Apollo landings.
  • by Leroy_Brown242 (683141) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @12:51PM (#13114584) Homepage Journal
    I'm observing a minute of scottish accent
  • by Zerbey (15536) * on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @12:52PM (#13114602) Homepage Journal
    A great actor who will be missed by all. So sad that such an extrodinary human suffered the indignity of dying through Alzheimers.

    I recommend all Slashdotters honour his memory by donating to the Alzheimer's Association [alz.org] so we can find a cure for this disease.
  • by ESR (3702) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @12:56PM (#13114635) Homepage
    I had breakfast with Jimmy Doohan once. This was years before I was a famous geek, so I doubt he remembered it long. But I remember him -- a very warm, human, unassuming person. He had the quiet self-confidence of a man who's seen it all, done most of it, lived an upright life, and has nothing left to prove to anybody. The contrast with the brittle personalities and huge fragile egos of some other Trek stars I've met was very noticeable.

    I'll miss you, Jimmy.
    • by brilinux (255400) <(ten.lrra) (ta) (kxq4gk)> on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @01:33PM (#13115033) Homepage Journal
      Those are the kind of people, though, who I think do make the best actors - it is when you have seen it all and done a lot that you can better act in something which we may never see or experience - being an engineer on a star cruiser. But it is rare to find actors today *cough*Shatner*cough* who are upright and unassuming. Even though he has not been able to act in a while, he, and other actors like him, will be sorely missed.
    • by Koatdus (8206)
      I met him briefly once at an off-airport ticket counter in Bellevue WA. I was waiting for my tickets to print, looked over and saw Scotty standing next to me! I shook his hand and told him that I enjoyed his Scotty character.

      There were several "hard core" trekies there. Very geeky, fawning on him, commenting about this or that episode, trying to make tribble jokes, and generally making a nusince of themselves. All the while he just wanted to buy his tickets.

      I remember that he was humble, polite and very
  • I Beam (Score:4, Funny)

    by Himring (646324) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @01:08PM (#13114770) Homepage Journal
    "I know this ship like the back of me hand...."

    [bangs head on I-beam and falls down]

  • What is it... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Kjella (173770) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @01:08PM (#13114775) Homepage
    ...with Canadians imitating Scotsmen in sci-fi. Dr. Beckett on SG Atlantis is also doing the same. Just seemed like a strange coincidence. It has some charm though, would be boring if everyone spoke plain American-English.

    Kjella
    • Re:What is it... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Ubergrendle (531719) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @02:06PM (#13115362) Journal
      We have a province called "Nova Scotia" -- New Scotland. A large number of immigrants to Canada in the 18th century were Scots and it permeates many aspects of Canadian culture. Look at our early Prime Ministers... "MacDonald", "MacKenzie", etc.

      Sir Sanford Flemming -- world famous Scottish engineer, Scottish descent. Probably the inspiration for Scotty given Doohan's Canadian origins.

      Mike Meyers is known to do a scottish accent or two...

  • by emtboy9 (99534) <jeff@jefflane . o rg> on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @01:15PM (#13114848) Homepage
    I met him once, ages ago, at a ST convention that he was attending as guest of honor. Mr. Doohan was simply the nicest celebrity I have ever met in any venue. He was always my favorite charater in the Star Trek Universe, and will always be dear in my heart.

    Hope they play Amazing Grace for him on the pipes... it would be fitting.
  • by xTK-421x (531992) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @01:33PM (#13115035) Homepage
    One of the things I don't see posted often is that Doohan inspired others to become engineers:
    'He has literally been an inspiration to generations of new engineers. A few years ago Doohan was awarded an honorary doctorate in engineering from the Milwaukee School of Engineering. The reason was, more than half the students applying to the school responded to the question "Why do you want to be an engineer?" with the answer, "Scotty."'
    (taken from StarTrek.com [startrek.com])
  • by darkonc (47285) <stephen_samuel@nosPam.bcgreen.com> on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @01:34PM (#13115040) Homepage Journal
    Back in the 80's during the Non-Con science fiction and fantasy convention in Edmonton, somebody learned that Doohan was in town doing a promo at a local car dealership. They invited him over, and he agreed -- with the stipulation that no autographs would be allowed (he claimed contractual obligations).

    He arrived as the con chair (who was a big 'Scotty' fan) was speaking to the closing ceremonies. They snuck him in unseen and he walked up to her and gave her a big bear hug from behind.

    Swinging around to slap him, a growl of disapproval changed to a squeal of glee almost mid-swing.

    They later made her a button that read "Feel Me Up Scotty!".

  • Beam Him Up (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @01:56PM (#13115258) Homepage Journal
    In memoriam James Doohan. The longest surviving "Red Shirt" on the USS Enterprise, his "Scotty" set the standard for generations of geeks and engineers. Working with the latest future technologies, often experimental, under a demanding boss for whom FTL travel, teleporters, galactic communications and more firepower than all of 20th Century Earth combined weren't enough to cakewalk through missions on any given week, Scotty's role model has influenced millions of 20th Century predecessors. His ingenuity, fortitude, and sense of humor while telling the boss that his demands are insane, but doable, even under excruciating time pressure floating around a newly discovered dimension, are an inspiration to us all. Mr. Doohan, in your new journey, go as boldly as you led us in all your merely astral journeys on our televisions, and in our imaginations.
  • wwii hero too (Score:4, Informative)

    by circletimessquare (444983) <circletimessquare&gmail,com> on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @04:15PM (#13116695) Homepage Journal
    in addition to the glowing comments about his celebrity, film, and television work, james doohan is a genuine war hero:

    http://edition.cnn.com/2005/SHOWBIZ/TV/07/20/obit. doohan.ap/index.html [cnn.com]

    At 19, James escaped the turmoil at home by joining the Canadian army, becoming a lieutenant in artillery. He was among the Canadian forces that landed on Juno Beach on D-Day. "The sea was rough," he recalled. "We were more afraid of drowning than the Germans."

    The Canadians crossed a minefield laid for tanks; the soldiers weren't heavy enough to detonate the bombs. At 11:30 that night, he was machine-gunned, taking six hits: one that took off his middle right finger (he managed to hide the missing finger on screen), four in his leg and one in the chest. The chest bullet was stopped by his silver cigarette case.
  • by still cynical (17020) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @07:32PM (#13118867) Homepage
    I mentioned this a few months or so ago in the "Hollywood Walk of Fame" thread, but it bears repeating:

    Quite a few years back, I attended a convention with a couple of friends, all of us in college at the time. I have no other Star Trek convention experience to compare it to, but I found him to be a great speaker, funny, intelligent, and not in the least condescending as a celebrity all too often can be in public. He was also very straightforward, as a Shatner comment or two demonstrated.

    After the speech and the Q&A session, he went outside to sit at a table and sign autographs. The line was HUGE. I can't remember why, but my friends and I ended up at the very end of the line. I don't go in for autographs, so maybe I held them up. Anyway, I wait with them, passing quite a bit of time, as Doohan signs autographs, makes small talk, answers questions, hears the same lines and jokes over and over again, etc. Finally, the last people in line (us) make it to the table. I would have expected any celebrity making an appearance to be happy it was over with, sign something for us and break for the door. Hell, _I_ would have. Mr. Doohan instead greets us VERY warmly, makes a big deal about how much of a pain it must have been to stand in line all that time. Maybe I'm jaded, but I honestly never really expected a tv and movie star to sincerely appreciate his fans. He then tells my friend with the camera to not be silly standing there taking pictures, has us come around the table with him and has someone else take our cameras and take pictures of us with him.

    Far too rare of a man. If I remember correctly, his star on the Walk of Fame wasn't bought by himself or his agent as a matter of self-promotion, but by his friends and colleagues of many years who wanted him to get the recognition he deserved. I can't judge anyone's acting talent (ok, maybe SOME people), but acting is what you do, not what you are. And James Doohan was a great human being.

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