Grace Lee Whitney of 'Star Trek' Dies at 85
LOS ANGELES - Actress Grace Lee Whitney, who played Yeoman Rand in the first season of "Star Trek" has died at age 85.
The blonde actress died at her home in Coarsegold, Calif., about 30 miles north of Fresno on May 1, according to her son Jonathan Dweck.
Whitney played Yeoman Rand in the first eight episodes before she was written out of the series. In her autobiography published in 1998, “The Longest Trek: My Tour of the Galaxy,” she admitted she suffered from alcoholism which impacted her career in subsequent years.
Whitney ultimately sought treatment and was able resume her career with the help of "Star Trek" co-star Leonard Nimoy who played Mr. Spock on the series. She would go on to reprise her role as Rand in =“Star Trek: The Motion Picture,” “Star Trek III: The Search for Spock,” “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home” and “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.”
In the years before "Star Trek," Whitney was a versatile actress and vocalist born in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Beginning as a "girl singer" on Detroit's WJR radio, she soon opened in clubs for the likes of Billie Holiday and Buddy Rich, and toured with the Spike Jones Band. Grace debuted on Broadway in "Top Banana", and subsequently appeared in the United Artists film of the same name.
She is survived by her sons Jonathan and Scott Dweck.