Yvonne Craig was nearly another famous green alien on Star Trek

Plus, learn why she found the body paint to be "dismal."

"It's not easy bein' green." Kermit the Frog first sang those lyrics in 1970, but another iconic TV character could have used them a year earlier. 

"Whom Gods Destroy" aired as one of the later episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series. Fans remember it best for featuring the green Orion slave girl, Marta, and duplicate Captain Kirks. Speaking of duplicates, the plot, frankly, had several similarities to the early Star Trek outing "Dagger of the Mind." Not to mention the fact that another Orion had wiggled her way into the pilot episode, "The Cage."

Footage from the rejected pilot "The Cage" eventually turned up in "The Menagerie," giving Trekkies their first look at the green Orion slave girls. Covered in emerald makeup, Susan Oliver played that role. But producers nearly cast Yvonne Craig.

In 1965, Craig had many television credits to her name, if not a breakout role. She would not land the role of Batgirl in Batman until 1967. Her early resume included guest spots on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis77 Sunset Strip, Perry Mason, Wagon Train and other hits.

In an interview seen in the 30th anniversary VHS collection of Star Trek, James Doohan explained Craig nearly nabbing the role in "The Cage."

"Yvonne Craig, who appears here as the ill-fated Orion slave girl, Marta, was also an excellent dancer," the Scotty portrayer recalls. "She had been considered for the role of Vina in the first Star Trek pilot. She must have been destined to appear in green body makeup!"

About that makeup — the Star Trek team forgot the formula!

"They couldn't remember what they did to make [Susan Oliver] green," Craig said in an interview with Pop Goes the Culture TV. They were also determined to make Craig the exact shade of green seen on the slave girl in "The Cage" / "The Menagerie." That meant a rather painstaking trial-and-error process.

"It was dismal," Craig continued in the same interview, "It was unbelievable what we went through as far as makeup is concerned… They couldn't get it right."

At first, the makeup would slip off when other actors grabbed her in scenes, leaving white streaks on her arms. To try to prevent running body paint, the crew tried covering the freshly green Craig in "liquid bandage," but that substance, coupled with the acetone required to remove it, would become hazardous over six days of filming. "You'll have no skin and no liver," Craig joked.

Still, despite the behind-the-scenes challenges, Craig cherished the role in hindsight — especially the wardrobe. Despite her physical dance routine, the costume hardly budged a millimeter.

"I have never stolen anything ever," she admitted, but she regrets not taking home her Marta costume. "You fool!" the devil on her shoulder told herself, "You should have stolen that costume!"

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Snackins111 14 months ago
Any new shows on the horizon? The Hulk as a prelude to SvenHeads covening? Perhaps something for Saturday Nite Sci-Fi to accompany your fine programming?
orionprime01 29 months ago
Yvonne Craig, a beautiful woman but most especially, a great personality. I was able to talk to her once, in her latter years. Her smile and personality were still infectious and i have never forgotten that moment. She was a real joy.
From working with Elvis, to Batman and in Star Trek, she was an awesome performer.
Thanks for the memories.
Filmnoirfan 29 months ago
Yvonne Craig was memorable in several shows and enjoyed a long life (78 years) while the same could not be said of Judy Tyler who, unfortunately, did not live to see herself perform in the lone episode of Perry Mason in which she appeared or opposite Elvis Presley in Jailhouse Rock
jimmyvici 49 months ago
Beautiful woman with remarkable legs. Kirk sure knows how to reel ‘em in!
Diz 49 months ago
Interesting to note that in the Perry Mason mentioned, her stepfather was played by Neil Hamilton, who played her father on Batman.
TVFF 49 months ago
Marta is to blame for me having a life-long attraction to green women. Not so easy to find here on Earth!
dmagoon TVFF 49 months ago
Neither are "Equestria Girls".
droby 49 months ago
The managerie also was great at how they showed it like it was supposed to be. A Star Trek 11 years in the past so it was pretty seamless I thought. My wife got lost in the switching back n forth lol but she eventually got it
Josie92 49 months ago
"The Menagerie" is an all time great episode. Especially the character Spock. He is completely different from the Spock we have come to know and love. Definitely worth a look for Trek fans. I have every episode of the original Star Trek on VHS! Not that they will do me much good today!
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