William Campbell reported dead
“Dear captain, so many questions. Make the most of an uncertain future. Enjoy yourself today: tomorrow…may never come at all. “
–Trelane (played by William Campbell)
The Squire of Gothos
episode of Star Trek
screenplay by Paul Schneider
William Campbell appeared in two very different roles on the original Star Trek. He was the petty but powerful Squire of Gothos, and as the Klingon Koloth in the classic Trouble with Tribbles episode.
He can be described as theatrical, but in the best sense of that term. He presented characters who were larger than life, but without that meta sense of irony you see when great actors think a role is just schtick. Was Trelane a ridiculous fop? Yes, but because Campbell respected the part, he could also be dangerous.
That was hardly his only geek-friendly part. Those include:
1962’s Dementia 13…directed by Francis Ford Coppola
1964’s Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte (with Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, Agnes Moorehead, Victor Buono, Bruce Dern…and more)
1966’s Blood Bath…in which he portrayed a painter/vampire
The Wild, Wild West
Shazam! (the Saturday morning version of Captain Marvel)
The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries
The Next Step Beyond (an update of One Step Beyond)
The Return of the Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (in which he again played Koloth)
Kung Fu: The Legend Continues
He also appeared in other more mainstream productions (Perry Mason, Combat!), and starred in a series, Cannonball.
He was also in Elvis’ first movie, Love Me Tender.
Good-bye, William…thank you for putting a smile on our faces and a chill in our hearts…at the same time.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.