James "Scotty" Doohan beamed up for the last time



James Doohan, the burly chief engineer of the Starship Enterprise in the original "Star Trek" TV series and movies who responded to the command "Beam me up, Scotty," died Wednesday. He was 85.

Doohan died at 5:30 a.m. at his Redmond, Wash., home with his wife of 28 years, Wende, at his side, Los Angeles agent and longtime friend Steve Stevens said. The cause of death was pneumonia and Alzheimer's disease, he said.

Doohan had said farewell to public life in August 2004, a few months after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.

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 Capt. 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 canceled 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. In 1973, he complained 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, "and since then everything's been just lovely."

"Star Trek" continued in syndicated TV both in the United States and abroad, and its following grew larger and more dedicated. In his later years, Doohan attended 40 "Trekkie" gatherings around the country and lectured at colleges.

The huge success of George Lucas's "Star Wars" in 1977 prompted Paramount Pictures, which had produced "Star Trek" for TV, to plan a movie based on the series. The studio brought back the TV cast and hired a topflight director, Robert Wise. "Star Trek — The Motion Picture" was successful enough to spawn five sequels.

The powerfully built Doohan, a veteran of D-Day in Normandy, spoke frankly in 1998 about his employer, Paramount, and his TV commander:

"I started out in the series at basic minimum_ plus 10 percent for my agent. That was added a little bit in the second year. When we finally got to our third year, Paramount told us we'd get second-year pay! That's how much they loved us."

He accused Shatner of hogging the camera, adding: "I like Captain Kirk, but I sure don't like Bill. He's so insecure that all he can think about is himself."

James Montgomery Doohan was born March 3, 1920, in Vancouver, B.C., youngest of four children of William Doohan, a pharmacist, veterinarian and dentist, and his wife Sarah. As he wrote in his autobiography, "Beam Me Up, Scotty," his father was a drunk who made life miserable for his wife and children.

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 the screen), four in his leg and one in the chest. Fortunately the chest bullet was stopped by his silver cigarette case.

After the war Doohan on a whim enrolled in a drama class in Toronto. He showed promise and won a two-year scholarship to New York's famed Neighborhood Playhouse, where fellow students included Leslie Nielsen, Tony Randall and Richard Boone.

His commanding presence and booming voice brought him work as a character actor in films and television, both in Canada and the U.S. Oddly, his only other TV series besides "Star Trek" was another space adventure, "Space Command," in 1953.

Doohan's first marriage to Judy Doohan produced four children. He had two children by his second marriage to Anita Yagel. Both marriages ended in divorce. In 1974 he married Wende Braunberger, and their children were Eric, Thomas and Sarah, who was born in 2000, when Doohan was 80.

In a 1998 interview, Doohan was asked if he ever got tired of hearing the line "Beam me up, Scotty."

"I'm not tired of it at all," he replied. "Good gracious, it's been said to me for just about 31 years. It's been said to me at 70 miles an hour across four lanes on the freeway. I hear it from just about everybody. It's been fun."

Funeral arrangements were incomplete.
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Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
The order is given, dear Scotty. Full speed, bless you and thank you.
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Wes Bucey

Prophet of Profit
Bummer! Transitions are tough, even when you only know the character an actor played.

The character, Scotty, was definitely the only one with whom I would have been pleased to share a drink (more likely split a bottle) with out of the entire Star Trek crew. I'll tip my glass to him this afternoon for the fond memories his character's name evokes.


Trusted Information Resource
He leaves a tremendous legacy, both as Scotty and as a Veteran.

We owe the Veteran a debt, and the Engineer earned our affection. He will be truly missed.


Randy Stewart

Scotty was the one that taught me to pad a little on my timing to the boss. He would tell Kirk that it would take him 3 hours when he knew it would only be 2 hours. That way if something happened he had some room to work with and if it didn't he would come out smelling like a rose!

Aye, he did like his scotch.


Good-Bye Scotty. I guess it was your turn to get beamed up. I too, shall toast your memory this very evening. I hope to not offend your spirit as it will be with Kentucky bourbon, I am not too fond of Scotch. God Speed, Mr. Scott!

Don Palmer

"Any man who could perform such a feat, I wo'd na dare disappoint. She'll launch on time. And she'll be ready." -- Scotty, Star Trek: The Motion Picture

"It's borderline on the simulator, we need to do more tests." -- Scotty, Star Trek: The Motion Picture

"Just a minute, Exec, we're picking up the pieces down here." -- Scotty, Star Trek: The Motion Picture

"The engine imbalance is what caused the worm-hole in the first place. It'll happen again if we don't fix it." -- Scotty, Star Trek: The Motion Picture

"We can't take another attack." -- Scotty, Star Trek: The Motion Picture

"Scotty, what's left?" -- Kirk, "Just the batteries. I can give you inpulse power in a couple minutes." -- Scotty, "We don't have a couple minutes." -- Kirk, Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan

"Do we have phasers?" -- Kirk, "A few shots!" -- Scotty, "Not enough against their shields." -- Spock, Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan

"He stayed at his post (choking back tears), when the trainees ran." -- Scotty, Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan

"The energizer is bypassed like a christmas tree, so don't give me any bumps." -- Scotty, "No promises. On your way." -- Kirk, Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan

"No. You'll flood the whole compartment." -- McCoy, "He'll die." -- Kirk, "He's dead already." -- Scotty, Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan

"How long to re-fit?" -- Kirk, "Eight weeks. But you don't have eight weeks, so I'll do it for you in two." -- Scotty, "Do you always multiply your repair estimates by a factor of four?" -- Kirk, "How else to maintain my reputation as a miracle worker?" -- Scotty, "Your reputation is safe with me." -- Kirk, Star Trek III: The Search For Spock

"She's supposed to have transwarp." -- Sulu, "Aye. And if my grandmother had wheels, she'd be a wagon." -- Scotty, Star Trek III: The Search For Spock

"A chimpazee and two trainees could run her." -- Scotty, "Thank you. I'll try not to take that personally." -- Kirk, Star Trek III: The Search For Spock

"I'd be happy if you'd give the word, Admiral." -- Scotty, "Gentlemen, may the wind be at our backs. Stations please." -- Kirk, Star Trek III: The Search For Spock

"And...now." -- Kirk, "Huh?" -- Scotty, "The doors, Mr. Scott." -- Kirk, "Aye. I'm workin' on 'em." -- Scotty, Star Trek III: The Search For Spock

"Scotty, we'll need everything you've got." -- Kirk, "Aye. Warp drive standing by." -- Scotty, Star Trek III: The Search For Spock

"Scotty, you're as good as your word." -- kirk, "Aye sir, the more they overtech the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain." -- Scotty, Star Trek III: The Search For Spock

"The automation system is overloaded." -- Scotty

"I find it hard to believe I've traveled millions of miles..." -- Scotty, "...thousands..." -- McCoy, "...thousands of miles for an invited tour..." -- Scotty, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

"May my...a...assistant join us?" -- Scotty, "Certainly." -- G'vnr Nichols,

"Don't bury yourself in the part!" -- McCoy, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

"I notice you're still working with polymers." -- Scotty, "Still? What else would I be using?" -- G'vnr Nichols, "Aye, what else indeed." -- Scotty, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

"Computer... Computer... (McCoy hands Scotty the mouse) Aye. Hello computer." -- Scotty, "Just use the keyboard." -- G'vnr Nichols, "Keyboard. How quaint." -- Scotty, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

"Transparent Aluminum?" -- G'vnr Nichols, "That's the ticket laddie." -- Scotty, "Oh, it'd take years to figure out the dynamics of this matrix." -- G'vnr Nichols, "But you'd be rich beyond the dreams of Averase." -- McCoy,

"So. Is it worth something ta ya...or should I just...punch up clear." -- Scotty, "No!" -- G'vnr Nichols, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

"Admiral...there be whales here!" -- Scotty, "Well done, Scotty. When can we get under way." -- Kirk, "Full power...now sir." -- Scotty, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

"A ship is a ship." -- Kirk, "Whatever you say...thy will be done." -- Scotty, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

"How many times da I have to tell ya...the right tool for the right job!" -- Scotty, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

"Stand back?!" -- Kirk/Spock/Mccoy, (Boom!), "What are ya standin' there for. Da ya not know a jailbreak when ya see one." -- Scotty, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

"I know this ship like the back of my hand (bonk)." -- Scotty, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

"All I can say is...they don't make them like they used ta." -- Scotty, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

"Finding retirement a wee bit lonely, aren't we?" -- Scotty to Kirk, Star Trek VII: Generations

YankInOz - 2009

About 12 years ago one weekend, I was a bit bored and as a lark I went to a Star Trek convention that was going on in San Jose, Ca.

The guest speaker for the day was James Doohan. He was a great speaker and had everyone in stiches with his wit. He certainly wasn't shy about his dislike of William Shatner!

Later that day, I found him holding court at the hotel bar with a few dozen fans about. He was great to listen to and he had a million stories. Needless to say he never had to pay for a drink as we all (fans) argued who was next to buy him a drink.

He was one in a billion.
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