12 celebrities you might have forgotten were on 'Star Trek'
Two Catwomen, Batgirl and the Dos Equis guy walk into a spaceship… This is not a joke.
The USS Enterprise first blasted into space 50 years ago. Star Trek set millions of living rooms on stun with its mesmerizing view of alien worlds — and alien creatures. Some of those alien creatures were portrayed by popular television actors of the time. Kirk and Spock encountered the familiar faces of sitcom dads, Batman villains, butlers and bombshells on their adventures. (Of course, William Shatner would guest star on dozens of other series himself.)
To celebrate First Contact Day and five decades of Star Trek, here are a dozen celebrities who popped up on the three seasons of the Original Series.
1. Joan Collins
The stunning beauty is doomed to die in the unforgettable "The City on the Edge of Forever." At least her character, Edith Keeler, got to walk around Mayberry with Kirk.
2. Frank Gorshin
Now we enter the Batman portion of the list. The other colorful sensation of 1966 shared a good number of cast members. An Emmy nominee for his portrayal of the Riddler, Gorshin had a memorable season three Trek appearance as the black-and-white Bele. Astin's eventual Bat-replacement, the other Riddler, John Astin, had a minor contribution to Trek, too. He was the uncredited voice of Capt. John Daley in the episode "The Conscience of the King."
3. Julie Newmar
There were other members of the Caped Crusader's rogues gallery in space. Two Catwomen purred onscreen. Julie Newmar sported a blond wig and Renaissance fair garb as Eleen in "Friday's Child."
4. Lee Meriwether
Meriwether, the big screen Catwoman from the Batman feature film, looked ravishing in purple as Losira in "That Which Survives."
5. Yvonne Craig
Adam West and Burt Ward sadly did not appear aboard the Enterprise, but their sidekick sure did. Craig slipped out of her purple Batgirl costume and jumped into a bucket of green paint (yes, we know that is not how they really apply the makeup) to play the Orion slave girl Marta in "Whom Gods Destroy."
6. Fred Williamson
For NFL star Fred Williamson made the transition to acting, largely on the silver screen, becoming a legend of Blaxplotation cinema and a regular, cool presence in action flicks. He also might be the only former pro football player to appear on Star Trek, in the season three episode "The Cloud Minders." That's him as the Troglyte named Anka.
7. Sally Kellerman
Before becoming Hot Lips in Robert Altman's M*A*S*H, Kellerman boarded the starship as Elizabeth Dehner in "Where No Man Has Gone Before," the second Star Trek pilot.
8. Clint Howard
Ron Howard's little brother went bald as the eerie child antagonist in "The Corbomite Maneuver." The Gentle Ben star would later return to the Trek universe in both Deep Space Nine and Enterprise.
9. Teri Garr
As she played a secretary in the modern day, Garr did not get to wear an elaborate costume or alien makeup. But her 1968 fashion is bold and hip in hindsight. Her character, Roberta Lincoln, is a key player in the second season finale, "Assignment: Earth."
10. William Schallert
From 1964 to 1966, Schallert played papa to Patty Duke on The Patty Duke Show. In the Federation, he was Nilz Baris, undersecretary in charge of agricultural affairs, a.k.a. the beaurocrat who saw a load of grain devoured by fur balls in "The Trouble with Tribbles."
11. Jonathan Goldsmith
Who, you ask? Why, he is The Most Interesting Man Alive — according to Dos Equis commercials. Goldsmith had loads of television roles. Some sources (such as io9 and IMDB) place Goldsmith in "The Corbomite Maneuver," in the early scene as Kirk walks shirtless through the Enterprise. There was a popular meme that stated, "I don't always play a Red Shirt on Star Trek, but when I do I survive the whole episode." Frankly, we don't think it looks much like him, but he was an uncredited Red Shirt in the episode.
12. Ted Cassidy
The towering Ruk in "What Are Little Girls Made Of?" would look familiar to any '60s TV lover. Of course that is Lurch from The Addams Family. The 6' 9" giant booked a couple other more subtle gigs on Star Trek, providing the voice to the Gorn in "Arena" and Balok's puppet in "The Corbomite Maneuver."