The world has just lost another beloved Star Trek Original Series cast member with the passing of Grace Lee Whitney on Friday, May 1st at the age of 85. According to The New York Times, her son Jonathan Dweck confirmed that she died peacefully at her home in Coarsegold, California due to natural causes. Ms. Whitney is of course best known for her appearances as Yeoman Janice Rand in the first eight episodes of TOS; a role that she reprised in Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) and additional feature films in the franchise, as well as an episode of Star Trek: Voyager in 1996 called "Flashback". Her Hollywood career is a long and storied one, and began with a role in the 1947 film "Mystery Range"; while her television debut came in 1952 for the series "The Unexpected". At a recent Las Vegas Star Trek Convention appearance, Grace Lee reminisced about being cast as a member of the all-woman band in the 1959 film "Some Like It Hot" and sharing a scene with Marilyn Monroe. In his comments to the press, Dweck stated "Over time, she became appreciative of her short time on 'Star Trek'
because she developed meaningful relationships with the fans, Leonard
Nimoy and other cast members." Whitney partially credited Nimoy with helping reboot her acting career in the late '70s after successfully overcoming a difficult period in which she struggled with alcoholism.
Below are some rare images of Grace Lee taken during the production of TOS ...
She will be remembered and beloved by fans around the world. Rest In Peace, Grace Lee.