Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Neroon, Jan 30, 2009.

  1. Anji

    Anji Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jan 7, 2003
    Assisting in the birth of baby Horta on Janus VI
    Good question. I always wondered how he got away with wearing what I think was his wedding ring when the other actors had to take theirs off.
  2. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer In Memoriam

    Jun 9, 2008
    Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA, Terra
    (Cross-posted from the Star Trek Phase II forums)

    Most folks probably know that Dr. Leonard McCoy wore a gold ring on his left pinky finger. Although we don’t know why Leonard McCoy wears a ring, we do know a bit about DeForest Kelley’s ring.

    The ring that De Kelley wore was actually a woman’s gold ring with a blue diamond in it. It was actually won in a card game in France shortly after World War I by De’s uncle Herman. Herman gave the ring to his sister, Clora (De’s mom). When De’s mom died decades later, it was the only possession of hers that De wanted. (Similarly, when De’s dad died, the only possession De wanted of his dad’s was his Bible.)

    Anyway, De would always wear his mom’s ring throughout his acting career. It kept him centered and focused and reminded him of the things that were important to him—especially as De seemed to by typecast playing outlaws and cattle rustlers and other unsavory characters. The ring gave him an anchor and helped him to keep from losing himself.

    When Gene Roddenberry hired De to play, Dr. McCoy, the ring was almost a show stopper (literally). Gene had wanted De as the ship’s gruff surgeon but was thwarted for one reason or another in the first pilot and again in the second pilot. When Star Trek finally went into production, the stars aligned and De was available for the part of Dr. McCoy. Roddenberry didn’t want any contemporary 20th century jewelry and he pushed the issue pretty hard, but De insisted that “you can’t have me if I can’t have my ring,” and Roddenberry relented. It was essentially a condition of being hired for the McCoy job.

    De had a bit more to say about the ring at a convention back in 1987:

    "I’ve never taken it off, it was in every Star Trek. You know, this ring was my mother’s ring and as a child, I used to admire it.... We were living in the South and we raised a lot of chickens, and she was feeding the chickens one day and the stone came out of it and it broke everybody’s heart. But we ate a lot of chicken; we were very poor folks. It’s true. She was cleaning the chicken and she was cleaning out the craw one day, and there was her diamond. So, when she passed away, they asked me what I wanted of her belongings, and I said, 'I don’t want anything except one thing, and that is that ring that she wore'. Which is now, from washing and ironing and working, it’s all smooth. It doesn’t, you know, it doesn’t stand up any more. It’s a very sentimental thing. And when I went into Star Trek, they said, 'You’ll have to take that ring off,' and I said, 'You’ll have to take me off with it.' And so that’s the reason I kept it on.

    You can see De’s ring in pretty much every episode; often, the blue stone was turned inside on the palm side of the hand to not be too distracting to the shot. But once in a while, you can glimpse the stone. You can even see the ring all the way up to publicity shots taken for Star Trek VI, the Undiscovered Country. The ring is small and De’s hands are often moving, so there just aren’t any really great close-up shots of the ring.


    You can find rings in the proper style on ebay, but you generally have to know to look for a woman’s ring, in a French style, from the Edwardian period. We at Phase II found one, but we had to swap out the red stone (I think it was a garnet, but it might actually be a ruby--I'm not much of a gemologist) for a blue one. And, in our case, we needed a Size 7 ring to fit the left pinky finger of our "Dr. McCoy," part-time actor and actual full-time urologist Dr. John Kelley.

    So here’s what we picked up for Phase II:
  3. Brutal Strudel

    Brutal Strudel Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    But of course Bones would have an old fashioned pinkie ring--GR should have realized that it fit the character perfectly, since he was written to be a walking anachronism. Maybe it was his ex-wife's wedding ring or, like the actor playing him, Bones wore it to remember his mother.
  4. FormerLurker

    FormerLurker Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    May 17, 2009
    I'll buy that Bones wears the ring to remind himself that his ex steamrolled him.