September 11, 2004

"Full power, Mr. Scott!"

Recently, actor James Doohan (Scotty) was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame. Last weekend he was the guest of honor at "Beam Me Up Scotty for the Last Time", the final convention where he appeared.

I wasn't aware of this, but James Doohan was always big into the fan conventions, prehaps more than any other Original Series actor. And despite the friction between certain cast memebers of that crew, he's always seemed above it all.

But sadly, Mr. Doohan has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. He already has diabetes (as well as something else, though I can't remember what), but it's a real shame to see his mind decay.

I'm a big fan of Howard Stern, earlier this week they were playing some clips where he spoke at his final convention. He sounds like a weak, hesitant old man, nothing like his old self.

Here are quotes from two audio clips they played on the Stern show (incidentally, these were the two that were the most coherent):

Doohan: "It's very nice to look out on 15-20,000 people...and that's an audience."

reporter: "Any last thoughts for the fans?"
Doohan: "Keep on doing it."

I'd like to point out that the reporters seemed to really pester him with memory questions, such as they "Any last thoughts" (above) or the one that really irritated me, something along the lines of "What's your favorite memory of Star Trek?" (Mr. Doohan had no answer)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had heard about the Alzheimers a little while ago. It is sad to lose ones memories a little at a time.

As a side note...I have a deep seated dislike of the media. They are thoughtless, insensitive oxygen thieves that will do anything for a sound bite. I refuse to give them the benefit of the doubt of poorly chosen words.

7:59 AM  
Blogger TEX said...

I met James Doohan when I was 8 or 9 years old at a sci-fi convention. That was in 1975, before the ST films and when very few of the original actors visited conventions. Mr. Doohan was signing autographs and Scotty was easily my favorite ST character. When my turn in line came I told him that he was my favorite and that when I grew up I wanted to be able to fix things like he did. He talked to me for what seemed like a really long time, smiling the whole time. When he autographed picture I'd brought for him to sign (sadly I lost all my old ST stuff to a mom-purge of my closet when I went away to college) he shook my hand and said he thought wanting fix things was a good ambition.

I'm not an engineer today. I ended up a facilities manager for a pharmaceutical company though, so I do get calls from "the brigde" every day asking me to perform a miracle. And Scotty is still my idol.

8:13 PM  

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