Star Trek Actress Barbara March Dies at 65

Actress Barbara March has died. She was 65 years old.. The actress is known to Star Trek fans for her role as Lursa, one-half of the sisters of the Klingon House of Duras, along with B'Etor, played by Gwynyth Walsh. She appeared in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes “Redemption,” “Redemption, Part II,” and “Firstborn,” the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “Past Prologue, and the feature film Star Trek Generations.

March died as a result of a cancer diagnosis. Her husband, fellow Star Trek guest star Alan Scarfe, took to Facebook to break the news of March’s death:

“My beloved Barbara, my partner in all things for more than forty years, passed through eternity's gate yesterday evening after a cruel battle with cancer.

She was wise and compassionate and beautiful and her brilliance, kindness and perspicacity touched many.

Her stage performances as the Duchess of Malfi at the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, Isabella in Measure for Measure at Canada's Stratford Festival, Desdemona, Titania, Lady Macbeth, Ruth in The Homecoming and Rowena in The Gayden Chronicles were without equal and a vast audience will continue to marvel at her portrayal of Lursa of the House of Duras on Star Trek.

She was also an accomplished author, artist and poet. Her screen adaptation of her novella The Copper People will soon, I hope, be produced, as will her plays, The Razing of Charlotte Bronte (also available in Italian in a fine translation by Chandani Alesiani) and a comic satire, Pinteresque.

She was a fountain of original ideas and possessed a unique depth of understanding.

Tosia and Rick and Jon and I and all her family and friends will miss her terribly.

But now, I know, she is truly free to dance.”

March was born in Toronto, Canada, and studied at the University of Windsor. She performed at the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis and in Canada’s Stratford Shakespeare Festival. Outside of Star Trek, she appeared on television shows including Night Heat, The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw, L.A. Law, The Portrait, and Total Security, but Lursa was her most popular role.

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"It's amazing," she said in an interview with the official Star Trek Generations magazine in 1994 (via StarTrek.com). "We were really surprised by how popular Lursa and B'Etor are. I think it's because, in one sense, these women have a great deal of power. They're very emotional, almost a bad Laurel and Hardy team. They're rebellious, strong, and can kick butt, and there just aren't that many female characters on television who control things like the Duras sisters try to do. I think all of these aspects, and the chemistry between Gwynyth and I, have helped the characters really catch on. It was wonderful to create a character on Star Trek because she wasn't a stereotypical cardboard cutout."

In addition to acting, March was also an author and playwright. She married Scarfe in 1979. She’s survived by Scarfe, their daughter Tosia, and stepson, Jonathan.

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