85 (passed away Jul. 20th, 2005)
Mar. 3rd, 1920
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
James Doohan's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
James Montgomery Doohan (3 March 1920 – 20 July 2005; age 85) portrayed Montgomery "Scotty" Scott on Star Trek: The Original Series and the first seven Star Trek movies. He also appeared in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Relics" and in the archive footage used in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Trials and Tribble-ations". His work as Scotty ranged over a twenty-nine year period, with his first being in "Where No Man Has Gone Before" and his last appearance being in Star Trek Generations.
Doohan was born in Vancouver, British Columbia. Shortly after the outbreak of the Second World War, nineteen-year-old Doohan enlisted as a gunner in the Royal Canadian Artillery. After rising through the ranks to Sergeant, he won a place at Officer Training School, becoming a Lieutenant in the Thirteenth Field Regiment. On June 6, 1944, Doohan, by then promoted to Command Post Officer (Captain), was among the Canadian forces sent to take Juno Beach in Normandy as part of the D-Day invasion. He was in command of 120 men. That night, Doohan was machine-gunned when returning to his command post, sustaining wounds in the leg, right hand and chest – a cigarette case caught a bullet that would otherwise have killed him – and lost the middle finger of his right hand (because of this injury, outside of rare occasions, Doohan would conceal that portion of his right hand in film shots.) "I was twenty-four," Doohan wrote in his book Beam Me Up, Scotty, "And if the Germans had been marginally better shots, I wouldn't have seen twenty-five."
After convalescing in England, Doohan became a qualified pilot at 43 Operational Training Unit, Andover, England, winning Air Observation Post pilot's wings in early 1945. He was posted to 666 (AOP) RCAF Squadron, where he flew the AUSTER Mark V aircraft, a dangerous, low-level flight tasking for artillery officers who photographed enemy positions, and directed artillery fire from the air. Although 666 (AOP) RCAF Squadron was not sent into battle, the unit was stationed at Apeldoorn, Holland, through the summer of 1945 to conduct "air taxi" duties, as documented in the 1945 publication (and 2006 republication), Battle History 666 (Calgary: Abel Book Company, 2006), and in the 2002 publication entitled Canada's Flying Gunners, by Col. Dave Fromow. After the war, he started work in radio, but quickly branched out into TV, movies, and plays. A skilled voice actor, Doohan contributed many voices to both the original series and the animated series, including (among others) Lt. Arex.
Doohan was also a linguist and created the Klingon language, Klingonese, which was later expanded by Marc Okrand. He also helped to create the Vulcan language.
Since the end of the Star Trek TV series, he kept busy speaking at colleges and Star Trek conventions. Sadly, in July 2004, Doohan announced that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in addition to his existing Parkinson's disease and diabetes, and would be withdrawing from public life. His final public appearance took place on August 31, 2004, at the ceremony for his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Doohan lost his battle with Alzheimer's disease, complicated by pneumonia, at 5:30 a.m. on 20 July 2005 - a fitting irony, as July 20 was the anniversary of the Apollo 11 landings, arguably the greatest engineering achievement in human history. He was 85 years old. He died at his Redmond, Washington, home with his third wife Wende by his side. He asked his family to have him cremated and his remains shot into space. After nearly two years of delays, this wish was finally granted: his ashes were launched into space on 28 April 2007 from New Mexico.
He left behind a total of seven children from his three marriages; his most recent, Sarah, was born in 2000 when he was 80 years old.
Doohan was among those to receive tribute in the 2006 Memoriam reel at the 79th Annual Academy Awards. The reel used a scene from Star Trek: The Motion Picture in which Kirk tells Scotty, "Thank you, Mr. Scott", to which Scott replies, "Aye, sir".
- Received the honour of a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on August 31, 2004.
- During his early stage work, he demonstrated a remarkable gift for foreign accents. He tried several during his audition for _"Star Trek" (1966)_ (qv) and 'Gene Roddenberry' (qv) was immediately taken by his Scottish brogue. Roddenberry cast him as the (previously-unnamed) ship's engineer character and they improvised the name Montgomery Scott ('Scott' for the accent and 'Montgomery' for Doohan's middle name).
- Won a two-year scholarship to New York's famed Neighborhood Playhouse, where his classmates included fellow Canadian 'Leslie Nielsen' (qv), 'Tony Randall (I)' (qv) and 'Richard Boone (I)' (qv).
- Was scouted for acting roles in Hollywood by fellow Canadian actor 'William Shatner' (qv). When asked by 'Gene Roddenberry' (qv) what accent to give the engineer, he chose Scottish, for Scotland's numerous engineering accomplishments and his own ancestry.
- Episodes of _"Star Trek" (1966)_ (qv) in which one can see that his middle finger is missing: "The Trouble with Tribbles"; "Cats Paw"; "Day of the Dove" (when Doohan grabs a claymore) and "The Lights of Zetar" (towards the end, when Scotty grabs Lt. Mira Romaine). Also in _Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984)_ (qv), when Scotty is handing McCoy the parts from the Trans-Warp Drive, as well as in _Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989)_ (qv) when Scotty is holding a plastic bag dinner given to him by Uhura.
- He used to live across the street from 'Ralph Thorson' (qv) and his family, the main subjects and the writer of the movies _The Hunter (1980)_ (qv) as well as the television series _"The Huntress" (2000)_ (qv).
- At 8:58 a.m. Mountain Time on 28 April 2007 (and after several delays), some of his ashes were sent about 70 miles above the earth on a private SpaceLoft XL rocket by Houston's Space Services, Inc., a company specializing in such memorials. The rocket was lost for three weeks after the flight but now has been found and all remains are still intact. Also among the participants of this flight were the ashes of US astronaut 'Gordon Cooper (I)' (qv) and _"Star Trek" (1966)_ (qv)writer/director/producer 'John Meredyth Lucas' (qv), as well as 199 others. Space Services, Inc. had previously sent up the ashes of "Star Trek" creator 'Gene Roddenberry' (qv) and LSD guru 'Timothy Leary' (qv) in 1997.
- Suffered from Alzheimer's disease and was ravaged by Parkinson's disease, diabetes, lung fibrosis and pneumonia.