An actor who played two memorable villains from the original Star Trek series has died. William Campbell passed away on April 28th at the Motion Picture & Television Country Home and Hospital in Woodland Hills, California. He was 84 years old.
Originally from Newark, New Jersey, Campbell appeared in several movies from the 1950s through the 1970s, including Love Me Tender (with Elvis Presley), Dementia 13, Operation Pacific, Battle Circus, The High and the Mighty, and Pretty Maids All in a Row.
The latter was written by Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry. Campbell had worked with Roddenberry on two memorable episodes of Star Trek in the latter part of the 1960s. He played Trelane, an all-powerful being who had taken the form of a Liberace-like fop, “The Squire of Gothos.” He reprised the role for the Star Trek: Judgment Rites video game many years later.
Campbell’s other Trek role was playing an arrogant Klingon named Koloth for the memorable “The Trouble with Tribbles” episode. He reprised that role many years later in a Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode called “Blood Oath.” He was one of the few actors to play the same role in both the original series and one of the spin-offs. Classic footage of Koloth was also incorporated in the Deep Space Nine episode “Trials and Tribble-ations.”
In addition to Trek, Campbell appeared on numerous TV shows like Adam-12, The Streets of San Francisco, Perry Mason, The Wild Wild West, Gunsmoke, Quincy M.E., and The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries. He also took part in the reunion movie The Return of the Six Million Dollar Man and Bionic Woman. A part in a 1996 episode of Kung Fu: The Legend Continues was his last on-screen role.
Campbell is survived by his wife of nearly 50 years, Tereza. Donations in his memory can be made to the Motion Picture & Television Country Home and Hospital.
What do you think? How will you remember Campbell’s work?