The Beyond Star Trek blogathon is the brainchild of our hosts Quiggy of The Midnite Drive-In and Hamlette's Soliloquy. The blogathon explores the careers of Star Trek actors beyond and before their involvement with the influential and enduring series. Your exploration begins HERE and HERE.
January 20, 1920 - June 11, 1999
DeForest Kelley is immortalized in pop culture for making the role of Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy on Star Trek such a memorable and beloved character in the franchise. Nonetheless, it is fitting that Mr. Kelley was awarded the In Memoriam citation from the Golden Boot Awards, presented by the Motion Picture and Television Fund for significant contributions to the western genre. His film and television credits include numerous westerns films including Tension at Table Rock, 1956, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, 1957, Warlock, 1959, and Gunfight at Comanche Creek, 1963.
Kirk Douglas, Burt Lancaster, John Hudson, DeForest Kelley
Gunfight at the O.K. Corral directed by John Sturges
DeFrest Kelley's television western appearances are plentiful beginning with The Lone Ranger through to Gunsmoke, Rawhide, Wanted: Dead or Alive, Trackdown, The Virginian, and Bonanza before settling in on the little series Gene Roddenberry touted to executives as "Wagon Train in space."
Warlock directed by Edward Dmytryk
STAGE FOR TUCSON
Written by John McGreevey and Harold Shumate
Directed by Bernard Girard
First aired on Friday, November 16, 1956
"What's the matter with you -- with everybody? One failure, one hurt and you think you can spend the rest of your life feeling sorry for yourself!"
The disparate group includes a drummer (Eddie Albert), a one-armed veteran of the Civil War (John Ericson), a disgraced doctor (Ian McDonald), and a runaway couple. Les Porter (DeForest Kelley) has convinced the married May Farrell (Jaclynne Greene) to run away with him, and her husband's money. It is evident from their testy exchanges that things are not going well. Porter is only interested in the money and guilt is overwhelming Mrs. Farrell.
Porter's true character, a chance at redemption for the doctor and the soldier, and a new life for pretty and feisty Sandy await those who stand up to villainy and bloodshed.
VILLAGE OF FEAR
Written by Antony Ellis
Directed by Christian Nyby
First aired on Friday, March 1, 1957
"Sometimes violence is the only way. I wish it was different."
The "book man" has the respect of the outlaw for his knowledge, and is thrown in with the frightened hostages and tasked with seeking out the outlaw's killer. Raikes will use his experience as a soldier and his knowledge of human nature to help the townspeople in their plight.
Holton (Peter Hansen) and Donnelly (Ross Elliot) are stable forces in the group, but nerves are frayed and the future seems hopeless. Sherm Pickard (DeForest Kelley) is almost certain he knows who shot the young outlaw. His fear shows in his proclamations and actions. Is he a loose cannon or someone who can be depended upon in the fight for the lives of all?
SHADOW OF A DEAD MAN
Written by Frederick Louis Fox and Aaron Spelling
Directed by Robert Gordon
First aired on Friday, April 11, 1958
"I guess we all got reasons for the things we do."
On the return trip, the two men learn about each other's lives. Benson is not a lifetime criminal. His ranch went under financially, and this was his first "job". He didn't get any of the money, just a wanted poster and a reward. When Logan is bitten by a rattlesnake Benson has the opportunity to escape, but he opts to take Logan safely to his family. Logan Wheeler dies imploring his family to help Benson.
Zachary and Jessie bury Logan with a headstone proclaiming he is Raney Benson. Despite her engagement to Mark Wilkins (Richard Shannon), Jessie doesn't try to fight her growing attraction to Benson. Zachary can see that the feeling between his daughter and the bank robber is genuine and worries for her future. Mark discerns the truth and goes to Sheriff Kenney (Fred Kohler Jr.), whose arrival brings an unexpected twist to the story of the star crossed lovers.
Written by Raphael Hayes
Directed by Robert Ellis Miller
First aired on Thursday, March 31, 1960
Kelley's final episode on Zane Grey Theater is this 4th season episode. I was unable to access the episode online and, as far as I can tell, that season has yet to be released on DVD. I probably saw it when we had an all-western channel in the vicinity 20 years ago.
DeForest Kelly at home, 1968
Doesn't this look like a comfortable place to sit back and enjoy a western or two?