John M. Dwyer, the award-winning set decorator who worked on two Star Trek television series and six Star Trek films, has passed away.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Dwyer died on Sept. 15th of complications related to Parkinson’s disease at a hospital in Encinitas, Calif.
Dwyer became a part of the Star Trek family in 1967 when he signed on to Star Trek: The Original Series during its second season. His very first episode was the iconic “The Trouble With Tribbles.”
Dwyer worked on 38 episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series in total. In 1969 he shared an Emmy nomination with Walter M. Jefferies for art direction and scenic design on the episode “All Our Yesterdays.
"In the original series we had to be really inventive, because we were dealing with stuff that nobody knew anything about," he said in the "Designing the Final Frontier," featurette on a Star Trek DVD release. "There was no space shows, and we didn't have any money, so you had to scrounge; in effect, scrounge everything that you got."
Dwyer was known for being quite resourceful, saving unused budget money from one episode for a later episode and making use of discarded materials he’d retrieve from the trash to build the alien landscapes that the Enterprise crew would visit.
"I'm not a scientist by any stretch of the imagination, but I keep in touch with materials that are going around," he said in 2002 (according to Memory Alpha). "On the original series, we were the first ones to use refractive Mylar, because it had just come out … and I went crazy with the stuff. In those days, nobody cared what you put on the set, so long as there was something that looked right. I'd take a piece of Masonite and cover it with some adhesive Mylar, put a two-by-four on the backside of it and hang it on a wall."
"The first time I met John Dwyer was during pre-production for Star Trek IV," Star Trek designer Michael Okuda told StarTrek.com. "I was on Stage 9, digging through some props to see if there was something we could use. John, who had no idea who I was, walked right up to me, introduced himself with a big smile, and we shook hands. I was in awe of this guy, whose creativity on The Original Series was legend."
Dwyer only stayed with Next Generation for a single season but worked on Star Trek V: The Final Frontier in 1989, Star Trek Generations in 1994, Star Trek: First Contact in 1996, Star Trek: Insurrection in 1998, and Star Trek: Nemesis in 2002.
Dwyer won an Emmy Award in 1981 for his work on The Gangster Chronicles. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his work on 1980's Coal Miner’s Daughter. His other credits include Jaws (1975), Two-Minute Warning (1976), Beverly Hills Cop (1984), Rocky V (1989), Black Rain (1989), Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), Patriot Games (1992), Larger Than Life (1996), Alien: Resurrection (1997) and Hollow Man (2000).
Dwyer is survived by his wife, Anita, and his son, Matthew.