Trek guest actors in maybe surprising roles

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Maurice, Mar 12, 2013.

  1. johnnybear

    johnnybear Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    William Windom, Paul Sorensen in 45 Minutes From Home, an episode of The Streets of San Francisco!
    JB
     
  2. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Location:
    astral plane
    Honestly, I *was* surprised that Windom landed a regular/recurring role on Murder, She Wrote. :)
     
  3. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Location:
    I said out, dammit!
    The last ever episode of Branded! "Kellie" featured Richard Webb (Ben Finney from "Court Martial," made about a year later) as the really mean head of a group of bank robbers.
    [​IMG]

    The title character, here being roughed up by mean ol' Webb, was played by 15-year-old Morgan Brittany, who grew up to be quite the stunner, and was on Dallas.
    [​IMG]

    Taking potshots at McCord in the dark:
    [​IMG]

    Nudge-nudge. Yup, he's dead. (That's John Carradine checking)
    [​IMG]
     
    Shaka Zulu, Henoch and J.T.B. like this.
  4. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2002
    Location:
    The Old Mixer, Somewhere in Connecticut
    Last night's 50th anniversary episode of Ironside, "Check, Mate; and Murder: Part 1" (Oct. 29, 1970), included Alan Bergmann as the head of a French Canadian terrorist cell...though it's hard to get excited about him when the Chief's latest old flame is being played by Bond femme fatale Karin Dor...!
     
    ZapBrannigan likes this.
  5. Shaka Zulu

    Shaka Zulu Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2013
    Location:
    Bulawayo Military Krral
    If you think that's hard to deal with, watch Klemperer as Adolf Eichmann in the movie Operation Eichmann.

    Moss was most likely signed to a contract with the production company of HH, Bing Crosby Productions, which was made at Desilu, not by Desliu, both of which ironically became owned by Viacom/Paramount/CBS-Paramount/CBS Television Studios.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2020
  6. E-DUB

    E-DUB Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2011
    Charles Drake (Commodore Stocker) played the sheriff in "It Came from Outer Space". And along the same lines Jeff Corey (Plasus) was in "Superman and the Mole Men" as a character named Luke Benson.
     
    Shaka Zulu likes this.
  7. FormerLurker

    FormerLurker Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    May 17, 2009
    And boy did Benson piss Superman off. At one point Superman wanted to paste him one.
     
    dupersuper and Shaka Zulu like this.
  8. johnnybear

    johnnybear Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    Shouldn't that be Richard Tatro, Forbin? :techman:
    JB
     
    Shaka Zulu likes this.
  9. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Location:
    I said out, dammit!
    D'OH!
    Well, it starts with an R... :biggrin:
     
    Shaka Zulu and johnnybear like this.
  10. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2002
    Location:
    The Old Mixer, Somewhere in Connecticut
    Paris posing as a kabuki artist:
    MI56.jpg
    Mission: Impossible, "Butterfly" (Oct. 31, 1970)
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    That was annoying. It was one thing when Rollin or Paris tried to fool Westerners into thinking they were Asian. But "Butterfly" asked us to believe that actual Japanese people, including a character noted for his racial purism, would believe that a guy who looked like Leonard Nimoy with fake epicanthic folds was an actual Japanese person.

    Although it's to the episode's credit that nearly all the real Japanese characters were played by Asian actors, with the exception of Kenneth "Khigh Dhiegh" Dickerson, who was Anglo-Egyptian but made a career out of pretending to be East Asian. This was the one and only time the original M:I did an episode set in Asia, and they could certainly have done worse. (The '88 revival filmed in Australia used Asian or Pacific settings frequently, and was often very racist in ways the original series usually avoided.)

    "Butterfly" has one other Trek guest, sort of -- James Shigeta, who played Admiral Nogura in the famous never-completed fan film Yorktown II: A Time to Heal with George Takei, which was covered in a Starlog article back in the '80s. (At least, never completed at the time. I gather someone's been working on completing it recently.)
     
    Shaka Zulu likes this.
  12. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2002
    Location:
    The Old Mixer, Somewhere in Connecticut
    Yeah...I had to laugh at the end when Nimoy complimented the police inspector for being "very perceptive". Not perceptive enough to notice that Nimoy didn't look the least bit Asian.

    It's noteworthy that in the long shots of the kabuki performer singing, it's obviously not Nimoy in the makeup.

    I did not know that! He's playing McGarrett's recurring nemesis, Chinese agent Wo Fat, on Hawaii Five-O.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2020
    Shaka Zulu and johnnybear like this.
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    M:I's credibility suffered when it started using the same core cast for every mission. The original idea was that there'd be a handful of rotating semi-regulars alongside guest agents of the week recruited for their mission-appropriate skills (e.g. Wally Cox as a safe-cracker, Albert Paulson as a photographic memory guy, Mary Ann Mobley or Eartha Kitt as an acrobat), but by the time Nimoy came on board, they'd pretty much settled into having the same team every week (except for the lack of a regular female lead in season 4). Instead of trying to pass off the same disguise artist as everyone, it would've been more plausible if they'd kept the disguise artist as a rotating or special-guest slot. For instance, in "Butterfly," it would've made more sense to recruit a Japanese team member to play the kabuki actor.

    Heck, given how the IMF was supposed to work, they should've recruited an actual kabuki actor to play the kabuki actor. That was the whole original idea, that these weren't professional agents but talented amateurs (to coin a phrase) recruited off the books to give the government deniability, and to provide whatever specialized skills a mission needed. But that unfortunately got kind of lost along the way.
     
    Shaka Zulu likes this.
  14. Henoch

    Henoch Rear Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2018
    Location:
    Back On The Shelf
    KIRK: My friend is obviously Chinese. :whistle:
     
    dupersuper, johnnybear and Forbin like this.
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    It's very telling about that era's prejudices when you realize how many of TOS's aliens were based on Orientalist tropes. Spock had yellow-green skin and black hair and was presumed to have an Asian-like appearance, and by extension the same would go for all Vulcans and Romulans (though Romulans were largely based on Ancient Rome, of course). Klingons were intended to be space Mongols (and the James Blish adaptations explicitly describe them as "originally of Oriental stock"). Orions and Argelians were both portrayed using stock Middle-Eastern tropes like belly dancers. Asian actresses were cast to play the Argelians Kara and Sybo and the Elasian Dohlman Elaan. The original story premise for "Mirror, Mirror" featured an enemy power called the Tharn who were described in the outline as having an "Oriental quality about them." Capellans were sort of a mix of Arab and Native American tribal tropes. The Children of Vaal were based on Pacific Islander tropes, guileless primitives and cargo-cult worshippers. And of course it got particularly blatant and outright racist with the Kohms of Omega IV, whom Kirk literally called "the yellow civilization."

    For all its faults, at least the third season mostly avoided this kind of thing, Elaan aside.
     
    Shaka Zulu likes this.
  16. Henoch

    Henoch Rear Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2018
    Location:
    Back On The Shelf
    I thought it was the eyebrows. :vulcan: :klingon:
    Why "Elaan aside"? The Elasians are shown to be multiracial with their queen (Dohlman) as an asian. Unless you're talking about their racial hatred of their enemies, the green-skinned Troyians which is part of the plot? The story is more about palace intrigue with a spoiled, bratty queen who doesn't want to go through with an arranged marriage as part of a peace treaty between two warring planets, and forces within the palace who want to scuttle the treaty. Arranged marriages between kingdoms were a common method in most-European times for peace treaties.
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    I think calling them "multiracial" is missing the point -- looking at it through modern expectations rather than the way audiences and producers in the '60s would've seen it. It was more like having one token real Asian alongside a bunch of white actors playing faux-Asians, a common practice in '60s TV. As the M:I example above shows, real Asians and yellowface actors were seen as interchangeable. Even if the featured guest star were cast authentically, they'd still often be surrounded by secondary players in yellowface.

    The point is that the only times Asian actors were cast as aliens in TOS is when they were meant to be members of cultures coded with Orientalist tropes -- in the case of Elaan, an exotic and desirable barbarian queen whose savage and deadly nature had to be tamed by the white male hero. The racial cliches came first, the casting second. Note that they cast a white actor (painted azure) as the more "civilized" Troyian ambassador. That kind of trope wouldn't be featured in a story based purely on European marriage alliances -- the Elasians were barbarians, alluring but uncivilized, exactly as Eastern cultures were routinely stereotyped in Western fiction for generations. Yes, obviously the story is inspired by Helen of Troy and also owes much to The Taming of the Shrew, but there's some gender-swapped The King and I in there too.

    And it was only the women, since Asian women were fetishized as exotically alluring -- which was why Shatner kissing France Nuyen (or "Wolf in the Fold" presenting Tania Lemani as a potential sex partner for James Doohan and Pilar Seurat as the wife of Charles Macaulay) was not as controversial as Shatner kissing Nichelle Nichols.
     
    Henoch likes this.
  18. johnnybear

    johnnybear Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    The BBC used to show Mission Impossible in a haphazard ordering as I recall! Episodes with Martin Landau & Barbara Bain interspersed with Leonard Nimoy ones the following week and that way you get a changing team every other show although the reboot in 88 & 89 actually had a member die and be replaced plus some of the original cast did return on occasion too!
    JB
     
  19. Shaka Zulu

    Shaka Zulu Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2013
    Location:
    Bulawayo Military Krral
    Most likely, the producers/writers (and in-universe, the IMF staff) felt that Paris wouldn't be that well-known to be uncovered that much, so he could be a Japanese man and also a Japanese man in Kabuki makeup. But yeah, they should've done what you said.
     
  20. johnnybear

    johnnybear Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    Vic Tayback in Tower Beyond Tragedy, an episode of The Streets of San Francisco!
    JB