Bill Blackburn's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
William Blackburn, also known as Bill or Billy, was an uncredited background performer on Star Trek: The Original Series for all of the show's three seasons. In that time, he played a wide variety of roles, usually as a navigator or a helmsman, all believed to be a character named Hadley. In total, he appeared in 61 episodes of the series. In addition, archive footage containing his appearance in the original series episode "The Trouble with Tribbles" was used in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Trials and Tribble-ations".
Originally recruited as DeForest Kelley's stand-in, Blackburn popped up in many small roles. He was the White Rabbit in "Shore Leave", an Organian villager in "Errand of Mercy", the robot constructed by Henoch in "Return to Tomorrow", one of Harry Mudd's androids in "I, Mudd", a native of Gamma Trianguli VI in "The Apple", and a NASA technician in "Assignment: Earth". He also was the subject of various make-up tests and provided voice overs on the show – including the White Rabbit – although his own character of Hadley never spoke on-screen.
A former professional ice skater, Blackburn was an uncredited extra on films such as Spartacus and Snow White and the Three Stooges prior to his work on Star Trek. He acquired his job on Trek through assistant director Leonard Shapiro, whom he had worked with on the television series My Favorite Martian, where he was a stand-in for Ray Walston (later a guest actor on Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Voyager). Blackburn reportedly saved Shapiro's job on Martian so, to return the favor, Shapiro got him an assignment on Star Trek. As Blackburn recalled, he was told to sit at the conn and to not speak.
During his time on the set of Star Trek, Blackburn shot some 8mm and Super-8 home movies of the various behind-the-scenes goings-on of various cast and crew members. He filmed over an hour of footage, which he has kept for the most part in a safe-deposit box since the series ended in 1969.
After Star Trek, Blackburn became a costumer. In this new occupation, he worked on such productions at MGM's 1976 film Bound for Glory (starring Ronny Cox) and the 1978 NBC mini-series The Awakened Land (featuring Bert Remsen). He shared an Emmy Award nomination as a costumer on the 1980 TV movie The Diary of Anne Frank (featuring Clive Revill) and worked with Star Trek star William Shatner as a costume supervisor on Shatner's series T.J. Hooker (co-starring James Darren and Richard Herd). According to Blackburn, Shatner greeted Blackburn on the set (referring to him as "Billy"), but could not understand why he was in costuming and not acting.
Blackburn went on to serve as key costumer for the television series Night Court (starring John Larroquette). In 1990, he co-wrote, directed, and appeared in a film called Challenge the Wind, about a conflicted young boy who yearns to be a track star.
Blackburn prefers not to capitalize on his Star Trek connection. However, he was recently interviewed on a segment of the British television program After They Were Stars, which also featured highlights from his silent Super-8 home movies that he had taken on the set. In July 2007, he made his first convention appearance, at Comic-Con International in San Diego. There, it was announced that he had contracted with CBS and Paramount to release several minutes of his home movie footage on the upcoming HD-DVD release of the original seres' remastered first-season episodes that fall. The feature, "Billy Blackburn's Treasure Chest: Rare Home Movies and Special Memories" was continued with the release of season 2.
- Was an uncredited extra in most episodes of the original "Star Trek". Frequently played Lt Hadley, seen on the bridge, or walking around the halls of the Enterprise, but he could and did turn up in any other available extra role, sometimes in costumes which fully obscured his face. He also did minor stunts on the show. All his parts were non-speaking.
Related sites for this celeb