Thursday, July 21, 2005

Goodnight Jimmy I Hardly Knew Ya

Another Canadian entertainer has met the end of the tracks. The nerd world (yes I'm proudly a resident of said world) is mourning the loss of James Doohan yesterday. Born in Vancouver, James was best know to the world as Montgomery Scott or "Scotty". Chief engineer and all around nice guy on the Starship Enterprise.

While he was known for his role on Star Trek as the man who could be counted on to get them out of a tight spot, he also was a hero in the real world as well. James led men into the D-Day battle as Captain of his troops. Shooting two snipers along the way, Doohan led his unit to higher ground through a field of tank mines and took defensive positions for the night. Crossing between command posts he took six hits from a German machine gun: four in his leg, one in the chest, and one through his middle right finger. The chest bullet was stopped by his silver cigarette case. The wounds healed and his middle finger was amputated. This was later known to be a great inconvenience when driving around in modern day traffic! For the remainder of the war, he became a pilot observer, and received the dubious distinction of being called the "craziest pilot in the Canadian Air Forces."

After he got home from the war he started mucking about on the radio and as a result he ended up with a 2 year scholarship to the Neighborhood Playhouse where he trained with Leslie Nielsen, Tony Randall and Jackie Gleason. His skills with dialects and his good humor and fantastic work ethic earned him many a role and a place in the hearts of fans everywhere. He eventually landed the role people remember him for and enjoyed his success, but such fame carries a price. In 1973, he complained to his dentist that he was worried about the typecasting of himself as Scotty. His dentist advised him:
    "Jimmy, you're going to be Scotty long after you're dead. If I were you, I'd go with the flow."
Jimmy was quoted later as saying
    "I took his advice and since then everything's been just lovely."

He was a fan favourite at conventions and was always ready with his own bag of pens and paper to make sure the fans could get their autographs. Fans often said that he either loved them being there because he was always extremely patient with them. Quick to offer and autograph or photo opportunity.

Now that his time has come he will be able to roam the stars for eternity as his last wish is to have his ashes shot into space. Maybe his ashes will bump into Gene's and they can hang out together, who knows.

The world has lost a great man even if he hadn't found his way to fame and fortune. Goodnight Jimmy, maybe you can be crowned the craziest ashes in space.


Blogger blue2go said...

Oh, that's too bad. We'll certainly miss Scotty....

8:34:00 AM  
Blogger Stacy The Peanut Queen said...

I grew up watching the original "Star Trek" (I really didn't have a choice...I had two older brothers...;) and I always loved Scotty!!!

I had no idea what his life had been like...thanks for the info...:)

He will be missed!

8:56:00 AM  
Blogger JODSTER said...

Always sad to see an icon leave the earth though I have to admit, I thought he had already passed. When he got his star on the walk of fame last year, and Sulu haad to do the speech because Doohan had this, and this, and this and this wrong with him, I realized he likely wasn't long for this world.

Sympathies to the trekkies, and more importantly, the Doohan family.

9:36:00 AM  
Blogger Carol (Smiles and Laughter) said...

I had no idea what his life was like either. Thanks for posting that!

He definitely was an icon.

10:43:00 AM  
Blogger Innana1 said...

Hoorah Scotty!
Didn't know his military background. Craziest in the Canadian Air Force, eh? Those wild Canadians--bet there was a bunch of competition.

Doohan was the one who determined Scotty would be Scots -- he was asked which accent he wanted to do for the engineer: he said, it had to be Scots -- they were home to the world's greatest engineers. (True -- Robert Louis Stevenson's father, for one, and Stevenson himself trained as an engineer.)

What a class act. I'm sorry we no longer have him.

12:32:00 PM  
Blogger Schotzy said...

Thanks Pete, I too was an original Trekie, and the line 'Beam up Scottie' will live forever. Now that Scottie has been 'beamed up' scifi will never be the same. S

1:07:00 PM  
Blogger Martini Love said...

I am not one for Star Trek by my mother is so this is pretty sad :(

1:23:00 PM  
Blogger Martini said...

I was really sad to read the news yesterday and at the time I declared I'd take 3 days off for mourning. But I didn't. The remaining TOS cast members can't be too far behind. More sad days are coming...

2:51:00 PM  
Blogger Hick said...

I guess he's been beamed up...I don't think that's very original, but it's the best I can come up with.

He will be missed.

3:17:00 PM  
Blogger GlitterGlamGirl05 said...

Beam me up....

4:27:00 PM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

How sad. It such a shock when a celebrity passes that we've watched for years.

5:25:00 PM  
Blogger Rhodent said...

GReatest Star Trek line will always be "Beam me up, Scotty!"

8:51:00 PM  
Blogger jon said...

When I was in high school, I actually went to a Star Trek convention in Detroit. James Doohan was the guest. He was quite entertaining as he just talked about the making of Star Trek. unlike many of the things I write, This was all true.

9:12:00 PM  
Blogger Ms Vile File said...

Thanks, fascinating background info on 'Scotty'. Sounds like a star who handled fame with manners and grace, too (could have taught the young 'uns a thing or two...)

11:52:00 PM  
Blogger portuguesa nova said...

So sad.

1:55:00 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Morning Pete.

Now I know why Scotty hasn't been able to beam me up to over your way...cos he's been suffering an illness. But a catch phrase that'll never be forgotten.

Sad news for Trekkies all over the world :(

5:24:00 AM  
Blogger deni said...

I read that about him in the paper yesterday and I was quite impressed.

He will definately be missed.

8:27:00 AM  
Blogger kathrynhowlswithwolves said...

Ah, Scotty...aye I'll miss him well.

Thanks for stopping by my space :)

Love the blog here...and your pic cracks me up.

10:35:00 AM  
Blogger Sask 1 said...

That was sad.I loved Scotty especially as i was an original Trekkie.

12:14:00 PM  
Blogger dan said...

That's a really great tribute, Rainy.

Do I remeber right in that he bacame a father again not to many years back???

1:42:00 PM  
Blogger Rainypete said...

He had seven in all, the last on 2000

You can check out the whole pile of them here

1:57:00 PM  
Blogger Herge Smith said...

Great piece Rainy - last words from another deceased Trekker - "It's worth than that, he's dead Jim"

Scotty was great.

8:11:00 PM  
Blogger glomgold said...

The guy was missing his middle finger? I guess I never really saw the show much.
Yay! Leslie Nielsen!!

11:02:00 PM  
Blogger dan said...

Thanks for that, Pete.

3:42:00 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

From what I've read, he's had a rich life, however. My thoughts to his wife and his young child (a daughter that is around five, I think.) Cheers to Scotty!

1:13:00 PM  

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