Unsung actors: Eddie Paskey of ‘Star Trek’

star trek eddie paskey

Besides the featured cast of the original “Star Trek” series, even beyond such recurring performers as Grace Lee Whitney as Janice Rand, there’s a familiar face in the background of most episodes of the series.

If you’ve watched many episodes, you’ve noticed actor Eddie Paskey, usually in a red shirt, a bad sign for “Star Trek” crew members.

star trek paskey w doohan

Yet Paskey appeared in 57 episodes of the original “Star Trek” series. He often played crewman and security officer Mr. Leslie, and the “Star Trek” wiki Memory Alpha says he appeared more often than Sulu or Chekov.

Paskey even died in one episode – true to his “red shirt” status – although he was alive and well in the next.

Paskey, now 73, left the series in its third season due to bad headaches from a medical condition complicated by the bright lights of the set. He operated his family’s auto-detailing shop and makes occasional “Star Trek”-related convention appearances.

Although Paskey is a familiar face from his many background appearances on the show, I didn’t know until I looked him up online that he had another pivotal role in the series: He was the driver of the truck that struck and killed Edith Keeler (Joan Collins) in the series’ greatest episode, “City on the Edge of Forever.”

And he was the hand double on the show for James (Scotty) Doohan, who was missing a finger.

If that’s not enough to guarantee a lifetime of appearances on “Star Trek” convention stages, I don’t know what would be.

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