Friday, January 20, 2012

Happy Birthday, De!

Jackson DeForest Kelley January 20, 1920 – June 11, 1999

He was a good southern choir boy turned enlisted man, turned actor. He was a romantic, and lifelong husband to Carolyn Dowling. He played villains and cowboys and medics, and he was even offered the role of Mr. Spock. (yeah that's right) But to us, he has been and always shall be our beloved doctor, The Good Doctor, Bones McCoy. Some of the funniest and most wonderful moments in Star Trek over the years were his, including his cameo in the pilot episode for The Next Generation. He was always a perfect foil to Spock's Vulcan logic, and a constant confidant to our Captain Kirk. What would they have done on the Enterprise without his hypo-spray and humanity to keep everyone alive and sane? And Bones always knew when a man needed a drink more than a prescription.
De's portrayal of Dr. McCoy inspired many Star Trek fans to become more like his character and go into medicine, and he was quite proud of that fact. He had always wanted to be a doctor in real life, and was glad that, at least on Star Trek he became the best known doctor in the galaxy. De was the oldest cast member in Star Trek, and perhaps the most loved, it seems he never had a sore moment with anyone who was involved in the show. In his later years, he explored his love of poetry and art, and even wrote three poems about Gene Roddenberry. He loved his work, and we love him for it. As he said to William Shatner from his deathbed "Let's make just one more Star Trek movie! I sure miss making those movies!" (Dammit Jim! Don't cry!)
So here's a salute to the late great DeForest Kelley and the old country Doctor, "Bones" McCoy. Are we having mint juleps this evening? You bet your pointed ears we are!

My favorite toast, a' la Dr. McCoy: "To whatever you want the most." (as said to Dr. Miranda in "Is There No Truth In Beauty?")
"He's really not dead, as long as we remember him."
-Dr. McCoy, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

We remember you, De! Happy Birthday! You are missed!

1 comment:

  1. My brother was born one day after him. It's too bad that Karl Urban didn't get to meet De Kelley for the new movie, but I think he did a fine job of playing McCoy. No, it was like De Kelley's ghost had taken over Karl Urban's body.