'Star Trek' Actor Morgan Woodward Dies at 93

Star Trek guest star Morgan Woodward has died. He was 93.

According to StarTrek.com, Woodward passed away on February 22nd in Paso Robles, Calif. His career includes more than 400 film and television credits across 250 shows and movies spanning the course of five decades, from the 1950s through the 1990s. Those credits include two guest appearances on Star Trek: The Original Series.

His roles include Shotgun Gibbs on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, Boss Godfrey in Cool Hand Luke, Punk Anderson on Dallas, and Old Harry Cokely on The X-Files.

Woodward played Dr. Simon Van Gelder in the Star Trek episode “Dagger of the Mind.” Gelder was assigned to the Tantalus Penal Colony when it was visited by the Enterprise. He had suffered neuro-synapse damage and escaped the penal colony aboard the Enterprise, begging Capt. Kirk not to force him to return.

He also played Capt. Ronald Tracey in the episode “The Omega Glory.” Tracey was an experienced Starfleet officer and captain of the Constitution-class starship USS Exeter. Tracey violated the Prime Directive by leading a landing party to the surface of the planet Omega IV, where the group contracted the Omega IV virus.

During an interview with StarTrek.com in 2015, Woodward said that his Star Trek roles may be his best-remembered.

Star Trek is a cult, and any time you’ve got a cult, it continues and continues,” Woodward said. “They’re getting ready to do another Star Trek movie now and some of the original people could be in it. It just keeps going. So, no, it doesn’t surprise me. It doesn’t surprise me, not at all. The (conventions and autograph) shows that I’ve gone to, most of the people want me to sign pictures from Star Trek. I sign pictures from Dallas and the westerns and Cool Hand Luke, too. The Man with No Eyes from Cool Hand Luke is still very, very popular, and that’s almost 50 years, too. But it’s mostly Star Trek that people want me to sign pictures of, and I get that.”

According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Woodward was born in Fort Worth in 1925. He graduated from North Texas Agriculture College in 1948. The college named Woodward a distinguished alumni in 1969.

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Woodward won the Golden Lariat Award at the National Western Film Festival in 1988. In the same year, he won the Golden Boot Award from the Hollywood Motion Picture and Television Fund.

The Arlington Historical Society presented a “Tribute to Morgan Woodward event at the UTA Rosebud Theatre in 2017. The event featured film clips, memorabilia, and other items tied to Woodward’s career.