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DeForest Kelley, STAR TREK's "Bones" McCoy, dies

Actor DeForest Kelley, STAR TREK's Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy died Friday,June 10 after an extended illness. Kelley, born January 20, 1920, inAtlanta, Georgia, US, played supporting roles in a number of movies,including THE MAN IN THE GRAY FLANNEL SUIT (1956); GUNFIGHT AT THE O.K.CORRAL (1957), RAINTREE COUNTY (1957), and APACHE UPRISING (1966). STARTREK creator and producer Gene Roddenberry had wanted Kelley to play thedoctor in STAR TREK from the get-go, having worked with him previously onRoddenberry's cop series, THE LIEUTENANT. However, two STAR TREK pilotswere shot before Kelley was finally hired to play the role that brought himout of relative obscurity and into the popular culture limelight when theNBC series was finally greenlit. He also played in six of the films, thelast being STAR TREK VI: THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY in 1991. Kelley's Dr.McCoy was one of a colorful crew of 23rd-century space travelers thathelped make the original STAR TREK television series one of the mostpopular TV series, although the original program aired for only threeseasons from 1966-69 on NBC. The STAR TREK phenomenon lived on in a 1973-74Saturday morning animated series by Filmation (with voices provided by theoriginal cast members, including Kelley), feature films, and in a series ofTV and movie spin-offs, including STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION. Theconflict between McCoy's down-to-Earth character and thehalf-human/half-Vulcan Spock's cold logic produced many of the memorable,humorous moments in the television series and movies. McCoy would oftenexclaim a variant of, "Dammit, Jim I'm a doctor, not a ...," when called onby his best friend and Captain, James Kirk, to cope with the other-worldlyillnesses and calamities that beset the USS Enterprise, but he would alwayscome through for his captain. In real life, Kelley was known for his greatsense of humor and his skill growing roses. He is survived by his wife ofnearly 55 years, Carolyn.