R.I.P. Joanne Linville, who had memorable roles in Star Trek and The Twilight Zone

She was the first woman to play a Romulan in the Trek universe. She was 93.

"You are a superior being. Why do you not command?" the Romulan Commander asks Spock in "The Enterprise Incident. The Vulvan replies, "I do not desire a ship of my own." The leading role may not be for everyone, but that does not mean one cannot make a significant impact.

While Joanne Linville never headlined a series of her own, the longtime television actress made her mark on history. Playing that Romulan Commander in that 1968 episode, she became the first woman to portray a Romulan in the Star Trek universe. A quarter-century later, when the Romulans turned up in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Face of the Enemy," writer Naren Shankar suggested that Linville reprise her Romulan role. Alas, the actress was unavailable. (According to the book Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages.)

After studying under legendary acting teacher Stella Adler, Linville began her television career largely in the dramatic anthology series of the 1950s. She appeared multiple times in Studio One, and also turned up in installments of Alfred Hitchcock PresentsKraft TheatreThe United States Steel HourThe Alcoa Hour, and The Kaiser Aluminum Hour

Soap opera aficionados might know Linville for playing a scandalous role in The Guiding Light (as Guiding Light was known back then), as a runaway drug addict named Amy Sinclair who gets wrapped up in an illegal adoption ring.

MeTV viewers are most likely to remember Linville (who, by the way, was of no relation to M*A*S*H actor Larry Linville) from her starring turn in a provocative tale from The Twilight Zone, "The Passerby," a Civil War story that cast her as a mansion owner on a road trafficked by soldiers. She encounters Abraham Lincoln (Austin Green) as seen here.

Linville in The Twilight Zone

Later in her career, Linville appeared in episodes of Columbo ("Candidate for Crime"), Barnaby Jones, CHiPs, Charlie's Angels, and L.A. Law.

But her calling in the acting profession ended up being in education, as she returned to the Stella Adler Academy of Acting & Theatre in Los Angeles to instruct, in a course called The Power of Language.

On June 20, Linville died in Los Angeles, her agent reported to Variety. She was 93.

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epickett 6 months ago
I know her from Star Trek, but I don't remember the Twilight Zone episode. I thought I had seem them all, too...
DIGGER1 10 months ago
R.I.P., JOANNE LINVILLE, A.K.A. "ROMULAN COMMANDER"(B.01/15/1928-D.06/20/2021).

jacko3 11 months ago
May the Good LORD Bless Joanne Linville - Amen - Alleluia!
bebife1229 12 months ago
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kimmer 12 months ago
Her role in TTZ as the plantation "Belle" is what I remember vividly. Sticks in my mind.Rest in Peace dear lady.
sadhwhite 12 months ago
She also played Dr. C. L. Fremont on the original Hawaii Five 0 episode involving Mcgarrett’s sister’s child
DethBiz 12 months ago
RIP to just a GREAT actress. I enjoyed watching her in whatever genre she appeared in. She always seemed to show up as a troublemaker in Gunsmoke. Her Twilight Zone The Passerby episode was one of my personal favorites.
Shinichi 12 months ago
Ms Linville's daughter reprised her mom's role in the last episode of be Star Trek continues. She looks just like her. Now an even more special tribute
Oldwatcher73 12 months ago
oh my..rip..i remember this actress and have seen the star trek episodes with her more than once..
Deleted 12 months ago
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Oldwatcher73 12 months ago
oh please sir or madam..please refrain from posting ignorant comments like this one and stick to the topic at hand..
12 months ago
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Tommygunz 12 months ago
One of the best Star Trek episodes, she was also in an episode of Bonanza too, very fine actress.
JHP 12 months ago
was she a sis of Larry?
MaryMitch JHP 12 months ago
The article says they weren't related.
MaryMitch JHP 12 months ago
Mark Ruffalo, who played Hulk in the recent Avengers movies, tweeted "The greatest actress I have ever known and the greatest teacher and mentor I could have ever hoped for. I will love you forever, Joanne. Thank you for all. RIP, great one."

https://twitter.com/MarkRuffalo/status/1407365659378556934?s=20
JHP MaryMitch 12 months ago
ok in the words of major burns

"I was just spitballing")
Dennes 12 months ago
Thank you for ur info. Nice to know..
drkevinbrooks 12 months ago
Awesome as the Romulus commander. Unforgettable.
Moody 12 months ago
I remember seeing her on several tv shows but I never knew her name. Obviously, she was a very talented actress & quite beautiful too. RIP.
Pacificsun 12 months ago
Wow! What a stellar career.
Think how novel it was in 1968 to put such an elegant, strong and especially, feminine actress into a role equivalent to the one of Captain James T. Kirk (outside of the Roddenberry universe)? Twilight Zone (an anthology series) was good about doing that, but occasionally. I could very well see, she, in that role spinning off a series (perhaps with a Romulan point of view). But, hey, it was enough that they got Star Trek past the networks.

I'm sure her family knows how much enjoyment her talent and skill brought to the audience. With much appreciation!
Pacificsun 12 months ago
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Pacificsun 12 months ago
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Mirramanee Pacificsun 12 months ago
I think it was a real shame that she did not reprise her role on ST: TNG. The story says she was unavailable and I feel many TOS fans would have liked to see her again and maybe find out what happened to her after Kirk/Spock stole the secret of the cloaking device on her watch. I cannot imagine the Romulan Empire would have treated her too well after that.
Pacificsun Mirramanee 12 months ago
What an interesting plot line, ST:TOS left open for a sequel.

The problem of that time is that (some) actors were wary of getting typecast or associated with aliens and monsters from space. We can hardly imagine that POV now. But (without having read anything, which may certainly prove me wrong) Ms. Linville probably accepted the ST role based on such a good script and the plot of that episode. IMO, that's why it's a strong fan favorite! Anytime they throw Spock, Kirk and Bones together!! And then run an emotional storyline around all of them!

Well done!
Peter_Falk_Fan 12 months ago
I always enjoyed watching her on some of my favorite shows: "Columbo", "The Invaders", "The Twilight Zone", and "Star Trek". RIP Joanne Linville.
Angela Smith (Moonshot) & Professor Pat Reed (The Pit) in "The Invaders"..... RIP
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