If you asked me who would be my most favourite actors to meet my answer would be fairly simple.
DeForest Kelley and James Doohan.
For the uninitiated, these gentlemen played Dr Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy and LtCdr Montgomery Scott on the original Star Trek. They were top of my list to meet at some point along with Leonard Nimoy (Spock).
On 11th June 1999 I lost one of my favourites.
Jackson DeForest Kelley passed away after battling cancer. Sad doesn’t come close.
RIP Mr Kelley…sorry I never got to meet you…
Rising Star 8 would be the last convention I would attend in Southwest Virginia.
Again there were plenty of return guests plus lots of new ones including Frank Gorshin (Batman, Star Trek), Julie Caitlin Brown (Babylon 5, Star Trek), Herbert Jefferson, Jr. (Battlestar Galactica), and Anne Lockhart (Battlestar Galactica).
I’m missing lots of pictures from this event but I am on the hunt.
Frank Gorshin, who played The Riddler in the 60s Batman show and playing Bele in the episode ‘Let that be your last battlefield‘ of Star Trek. He was a good signer, but could be a bit arrogant. He WAS funny, but he did try too hard sometimes.
Julie Caitlin Brown (JCB!) play Na’toth in Babylon 5. It was her first big role I believe. She was a good first-time guest who has since gone on to bigger things!
I didn’t get much of a chance to talk to Herb Jefferson Jr and Anne Lockhart from the original BSG, but from what friends told me, they are both really nice people.
September 1998 meant Rising Star 7. Lots of repeat guests, Deanna Lund, Don Marshall and Richard Biggs again. This time joined by Erin Grey and Gil Gerard of Buck Rogers fame and France Nuyen from Star Trek.
Gil Gerard. Buck Rogers. How to describe him? He really is Buck Rogers! All American hero with a sense of justice and morals. Good to fans, very chatty!
For a period of time over the weekend I was Erin Greys assistant. If you don’t know, Erin played Colonel Wilma Deering in Buck Rogers. I was there to help her, running to get drinks, sitting with her at the autograph table etc. She’s a very lovely, chatty lady who is very much into yoga. I know this because when things were quiet she would do random stretches etc!
France Nuyen played Elaan in the classic Trek episode Elaan of Troyius. She seemed very much like her character in the episode. Very demanding and very opinionated! Again, I’ve lost the picture but am on the hunt!
There were a few more guests than in previous years at Rising Star 6 in 1997.
Rick Biggs had brought along a guest star from the current series of B5, Marjorie Monaghan who played the terrorist, Number One. She was lovely but look a bit scared most of the time. I got to cover the guest assistant role a few times for both her and Rick.
Richard Hatch starred in the original Battlestar Galactica (and again in the remake). He was an ok guest, liked a practical joke or two, but was full of his own self importance….this didn’t go down too well with some. Luckily his attitude seems to have changed over the years as you will see elsewhere in this blog.
Then we move onto BarBara Luna. Hmm. Nice enough lady but, HAS to be the centre of attention all of the time. Kinda reminded me of Zsa Zsa Gabor. Unfortunately, I cannot find the picture I had with her but I am on the hunt!
1996 brought Rising Star 5. Again, Deanna Lund was there and Rick Biggs made a welcome return. We were also lucky enough to have 2 Star Trek guests.
The first was Don Marshall. Don played Lt. Boma in the classic episode (and one of my favourites) The Galileo 7. We were asked to help drive Don from place to place and be a general assistant to him. I don’t drive so that duty fell to my buddy, Ben. We were also lucky enough to have Don as our table guest at the Saturday Night banquet where he regaled us with stories from the set, including the fun they had playing with giant polystyrene boulders. He was also kind enough to sign my rather battered copy of the photonovel.
I didn’t get the chance to interact with Yvonne Craig for very long. She only had the one Trek role and is probably more famous for being Batgirl in the 60s Batman series. She seemed very nice though!
It was 1995 and we headed off to Rising Star 4. This time there would be 3 Star Trek guests….Spice Williams, who I met at Rising Star 1, and two new ones. 1 of whom it would turn out was lovely, whilst the other not so nice!
Patti was known at the time for being one of those actors that appeared in all the popular shows at the time. She had appeared on TJ Hooker, but most recently as Nurse Alyssa Ogawa on Star Trek: The Next Generation. She was pretty new to the convention circuit, quite quiet to begin with but once she found her con feet she was much better. I spent some time with her at her table being a guest assistant, helping her set up for autograph sessions etc. A genuinely lovely lady but hard work when it came to talking to her. She came back once or twice through the years and was lucky enough to reprise her role in two of the TNG movies.
Then came Grace Lee Whitney…. I was really looking forward to meeting her. My first real classic Trek actress! Yeoman Rand!
What a let down. Never have I met such a rude person! She seemed fine to begin with (which is when I got the photo) but after a while she was more concerned about telling people what was wrong with them rather than signing autographs and talking about her work. Some of the comments she made to people concerned their height/weight/what they were drinking/wearing and just generally unpleasant comments.
Not a nice person at all in my opinion!
1994 was a quiet year for Star Trek guests at Rising Star 3. In fact, there were none!
However, I did get the chance to meet and socialise with Richard Biggs, who played Dr Stephen Franklin on Babylon 5, another favourite of mine.
Rick was a great guy, and ‘Aunt Shirley’ the head of his fan club was equally as great!
Rick was great at keeping people entertained. He ran the funniest auction I have ever been to, and provided a great stand-up routine at the Saturday night banquet. At the staff and crew social after the event he was equally as gracious. I also got the chance to be his stand-in guest assistant on a couple of occasions as I was assisting the con-organiser.
Another great taken far too early.