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Star Trek - Original Series The one that started it all...

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Old June 10 2013, 03:04 AM   #16
Lance
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Re: Grace Lee Whitney - The Year After Leaving TOS

Grace Lee is a wonderful person and it's a great shame her contribution to Trek was cut short, as I think she'd definitely have had more to give the series.
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Old June 10 2013, 10:07 AM   #17
Therin of Andor
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Re: Grace Lee Whitney - The Year After Leaving TOS


Grace Lee Whitney by Therin of Andor, on Flickr

I took this pic of a glowing Grace Lee Whitney as she departed Australia following her first science fiction convention Down Under (1982). We had just collected her from the domestic air terminal and delivered her to the international terminal. ST II had just opened - she had been saddened not to have been included - but it was at this convention, sitting with a bunch of gregarious, supportive Aussies, that she resolved to go teetotal, although we didn't know it then. Her personal life has been on the improve ever since.

It was with great delight that I read a "Starlog" interview, years later, in which Grace mentioned Aussie fans as the turning point in her life.
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Old June 10 2013, 05:27 PM   #18
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Re: Grace Lee Whitney - The Year After Leaving TOS

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post

Grace Lee Whitney by Therin of Andor, on Flickr

I took this pic of a glowing Grace Lee Whitney as she departed Australia following her first science fiction convention Down Under (1982). We had just collected her from the domestic air terminal and delivered her to the international terminal. ST II had just opened - she had been saddened not to have been included - but it was at this convention, sitting with a bunch of gregarious, supportive Aussies, that she resolved to go teetotal, although we didn't know it then. Her personal life has been on the improve ever since.

It was with great delight that I read a "Starlog" interview, years later, in which Grace mentioned Aussie fans as the turning point in her life.
Incredible. You were a part of Trek history and that of Grace herself. Was she as down to earth as I've heard?
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Old June 11 2013, 08:01 AM   #19
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Re: Grace Lee Whitney - The Year After Leaving TOS

I'm Rand's number one fan! I think it was a great shame that they didn't want to keep the character around for a few episodes per season (although we can't know if it would have affected Grace's decline due to alcoholism) but the majority of episodes featuring yeomen were in season one in any event. I think it's a wonderful story to hear that she was inspired to quit drinking by Star Trek fans.

I've included Rand as one of the main supporting cast in my cheesy Star Trek motion comic. I think she makes a great everyman, asking dumb questions to help the audience but more than that, Grace gave her a personality that could sparkle when the character was given some meaty scenes.

I'm more annoyed that the reboot hasn't felt able to include the character, since she is probably the one woman who doesn't need an excuse to be tagging along with the captain.
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Old June 11 2013, 09:17 AM   #20
Therin of Andor
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Re: Grace Lee Whitney - The Year After Leaving TOS

AtoZ wrote: View Post
Incredible. You were a part of Trek history and that of Grace herself. Was she as down to earth as I've heard?
When they introduced her on the Saturday morning, she was exuberant, wore a mini-skirt and white cowgirl boots, and was almost shouting from the podium. Her accent was even exaggerated - and a few fans were very underwhelmed that she was "so American". Whatever that means.

When she came out to do her one-hour session in the mid morning, she was still very upbeat, but more down-to-earth. She was warm, friendly, funny and wise. A real hit. And again the next day.

And you know, she ate with the fans at every meal. She attended the fan art show (and chatted to other attendees about the exhibits). She wandered through the hucksters' room. She was amazing. And she'd traveled economy class for no official appearance fee.

And when I ran into her in the US in 1984 and again in 1991 she even remembered me!


Grace at Conquest by Therin of Andor, on Flickr

Grace Lee Whitney is carried off by an alien (fan Scott Sullivan) at the first ConQuest convention in Brisbane, 1982. Photo by Australasian Post's Clair Jolliffe. (Sorry about the vertical lines from the 80s-era photo album.)

Boy did I regret not packing my Andorian gear for that photo shoot. (I was in TMP uniform, with lots of other humans, but our group shot wasn't used. This pic was an impromptu lift after the group shot.)
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Old June 11 2013, 07:06 PM   #21
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Re: Grace Lee Whitney - The Year After Leaving TOS

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
AtoZ wrote: View Post
Incredible. You were a part of Trek history and that of Grace herself. Was she as down to earth as I've heard?
When they introduced her on the Saturday morning, she was exuberant, wore a mini-skirt and white cowgirl boots, and was almost shouting from the podium. Her accent was even exaggerated - and a few fans were very underwhelmed that she was "so American". Whatever that means.

When she came out to do her one-hour session in the mid morning, she was still very upbeat, but more down-to-earth. She was warm, friendly, funny and wise. A real hit. And again the next day.

And you know, she ate with the fans at every meal. She attended the fan art show (and chatted to other attendees about the exhibits). She wandered through the hucksters' room. She was amazing. And she'd traveled economy class for no official appearance fee.

And when I ran into her in the US in 1984 and again in 1991 she even remembered me!


Grace at Conquest by Therin of Andor, on Flickr

Grace Lee Whitney is carried off by an alien (fan Scott Sullivan) at the first ConQuest convention in Brisbane, 1982. Photo by Australasian Post's Clair Jolliffe. (Sorry about the vertical lines from the 80s-era photo album.)

Boy did I regret not packing my Andorian gear for that photo shoot. (I was in TMP uniform, with lots of other humans, but our group shot wasn't used. This pic was an impromptu lift after the group shot.)
Thank you for taking the time to provide us with this rare 1st hand insight and for the glimpse back to an event that holds happy memories.

I have a friend who has for years worked closely with the comic cons and Star Trek conventions up here in Toronto. He also does all sorts of book signing events and sports memorabilia. He is an encyclopedia of insight into many we've watched on TOS/TNG/ENT and a host of other old iconic shows. He is able to gel well and quickly with many of the performers, having gained their trust given his role of security/chaperone, but unfortunately he does not recall having ever dealt with GLW.

Your recollections of Grace are indeed grand. Its good to know that her kind spirit and humility resonate clearly with those she comes into contact with, and I find it refreshing that those (like yourself) that have met her find her to be down to earth, without all of the baggage one would expect from somebody who has touched a degree of fame and notoriety (not to mention all of her personal struggles).
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Old June 13 2013, 12:02 AM   #22
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Re: Grace Lee Whitney - The Year After Leaving TOS

Was just reading in New Scientist that editing software may soon be available so that you can scene select and create 'bespoke' episodes featuring your favourite characters. Won't be long before I can edit Rand into every episode mwa ha haa.
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Old July 27 2013, 11:33 PM   #23
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Re: Grace Lee Whitney - The Year After Leaving TOS

Gary7 wrote: View Post
Did you ever read her book? I have to imagine that she probably talked about her time immediately after being let go from Star Trek. I've not read it yet, but intend to eventually getting around to it.
Forgive the thread bump, but I've been looking around for a discussion of this book. I read it recently, and am curious to know what other fans think of it.

I found it quite sad in terms of what the studio "suits" did to her, and parts of the book are nauseatingly preachy.
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Old July 28 2013, 01:51 AM   #24
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Re: Grace Lee Whitney - The Year After Leaving TOS

I enjoyed her portrayal of Rand but I felt she had little to work with. The character itself was not a good one in my opinion. But this is no fault of Grace's, the problem was in the writing. I just don't think she was a compelling character.

I am not really sure if the big 3 would have been Kirk/Spock/Rand but I do think both Grace and Deforest were thought of as larger supporting characters than Sulu, Uhura, and Chapel in the 1st season. There is obviously a lot of Kirk/Rand in season 1 which was dropped for more Kirk/other women.

As for Grace being let go what I read was she was sexually assaulted by a paramount executive. No word on who this executive was. Clearly it was extremely hard to be a woman in the business back then.

Anyways Grace was making the rounds in the unemployment lines when Deforest Kelley spotted her (even he had to pick up unemployment checks after Trek was over) and apparently told her fans were asking about her at conventions and so she started to attend and I guess came back into the Star Trek family.
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Old July 28 2013, 11:03 PM   #25
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Re: Grace Lee Whitney - The Year After Leaving TOS

There was a British TV show called "Bring Back Star Trek" in which Grace blamed her character getting written out on positive discrimination, or, as you say in America, affirmative action.

If I'm honest, it made uncomfortable viewing for me.
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Old July 30 2013, 05:35 AM   #26
Nerys Myk
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Re: Grace Lee Whitney - The Year After Leaving TOS

toonloon wrote: View Post
There was a British TV show called "Bring Back Star Trek" in which Grace blamed her character getting written out on positive discrimination, or, as you say in America, affirmative action.

If I'm honest, it made uncomfortable viewing for me.
Huh? How would that have worked? She wasn't replaced by anyone. No one got her job. They eliminated the part all together.
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Old July 30 2013, 01:49 PM   #27
bbailey861
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Re: Grace Lee Whitney - The Year After Leaving TOS

Timewalker wrote: View Post
Gary7 wrote: View Post
Did you ever read her book? I have to imagine that she probably talked about her time immediately after being let go from Star Trek. I've not read it yet, but intend to eventually getting around to it.
Forgive the thread bump, but I've been looking around for a discussion of this book. I read it recently, and am curious to know what other fans think of it.

I found it quite sad in terms of what the studio "suits" did to her, and parts of the book are nauseatingly preachy.
It has been some time since I have picked GLW's book up off the shelf, but I recall enjoying the read. She went through a lot of ordeals and recalls many events that I had no idea about. It is gratifying to see that she has persevered and appears to be doing all right.
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Old July 31 2013, 10:36 AM   #28
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Re: Grace Lee Whitney - The Year After Leaving TOS

Does anyone know if Yeoman Rand was named after Shatner's first wife, Gloria Rand, or if that was just pure coincidence?
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Old July 31 2013, 11:06 AM   #29
Therin of Andor
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Re: Grace Lee Whitney - The Year After Leaving TOS

TheSubCommander wrote: View Post
Does anyone know if Yeoman Rand was named after Shatner's first wife, Gloria Rand, or if that was just pure coincidence?
Coincidence. Similarly, Leonard McCoy and Leonard Nimoy - and Mark Lenard. Similarly, DeForest Kelley and Trek's research advisors, Kellum deForest Research and Rand Corporation. Similarly, Kirk means "church", and there was also Nurse Chapel.
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Old August 1 2013, 03:55 PM   #30
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Re: Grace Lee Whitney - The Year After Leaving TOS

Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
toonloon wrote: View Post
There was a British TV show called "Bring Back Star Trek" in which Grace blamed her character getting written out on positive discrimination, or, as you say in America, affirmative action.

If I'm honest, it made uncomfortable viewing for me.
Huh? How would that have worked? She wasn't replaced by anyone. No one got her job. They eliminated the part all together.
The recurring cast got smaller by one to save money. Grace thought that her primary competitor benefited from being African American.

She could be partly right, in that the show might have found it awkward to eliminate its only black actor. But a much greater factor was the way Grace's minority competitor would strip naked and hide under the executive producer's desk to perform oral sex, and gush about how much she loved him. Little did Grace know, there was simply no way to compete with that.
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