Friday, February 27, 2015

Stuntman Dick Crockett and Remembering Leonard Nimoy…Day 58 of Bond 365

Dick Crockett (Wikipedia)
Dick Crockett
Born this day in 1915
Crane Operator and Stunts in Diamonds Are Forever

Richard “Dick” Crockett worked for 40 years in the industry as an actor and stunt coordinator, working on several films and television series. His acting, stunt, production, and directing credits (almost 170!) reads like a history of television and film. He had a small uncredited role in Diamonds Are Forever (1971), where he also did stunts. Big budget films seemed to be his niche because he did stunts for some of the ones: Dirty Harry (1971), Earthquake (1974), The Towering Inferno (1974), The Hindenburg (1975), and a couple of the Pink Panther films (1976 and 1978).

Interestingly, Crockett was William Shatner’s double in the episode “Where No Man Has Gone Before” (1966) and he made two appearances: as the Bald Klingon Brawler in “The Trouble with Tribbles” (1967) and as Andorian Thall in “The Gamesters of Triskelion” (1968).

Above is a YouTube clip showing the bar brawl from the original Star Trek series that breaks out. You'll be able to see Crockett in action - he's the bald Klingon that looks to get in a few good swings here and there. 

Leonard Nimoy, 1913 - 2015

Please indulge me as I express a heartfelt sadness at the passing of Leonard Nimoy today. 

At an early age, I remember watching Nimoy in Star Trek when it was in syndication and being broadcast each evening prior to my dinnertime. Then it was In Search of….where he hosted the show that explored unexplained phenomena such as the Bermuda Triangle to eventually watching Nimoy and the entire Star Trek cast when they took to the big screen for several outings.

Although Nimoy will be long remembered as Mr. Spock in the Star Trek franchise, he did do a little bit of spy genre work. He was in an episode of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. titled “The Project Strigas Affair” (1964) in which he played Vladeck. In fact, another Trekkie guest starred in that episode: William Shatner. It was their first time working together since that was prior to Kirk and Spock.  In the episode, Shatner is a reluctant U.N.C.L.E. recruit while Nimoy is an agent for the Iron Curtain and apparently, not particularly bright. As a side note, you might recognize His Excellency as Colonel Klink (Werner Klemperer) from a very popular show from the late 1960s, Hogan’s Heroes.

Nimoy was also in “The Dead Spy Scrawls” as the assassin Stryker for another spy show, Get Smart (1966). In the show, he wears large, dark sunglasses for most of the time, but you cannot miss that voice. And for two seasons, he was cast as an IMF agent, Paris, in Mission: Impossible (1969-1971).

He continued to act on the small and big screens, however he was also pursuing other interests. For instance, he went back to school and studied photography at University of California, Los Angeles. It was an interest he had since a teenager and one that he pursued until his death. He also did some directing, including Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984) and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986). Both did very well at the box office and with the critics. He wrote two autobiographies, I Am Not Spock (1975) and twenty years later, I Am Spock. And, he released a handful of albums, but I will remember his voice being sampled for the 80s What’s On You Mind (Pure Energy) from Information Society (great song by the way!).

I do happen to have one Nimoy story. I was at the Emerald City Comic Con (Seattle) in 2010 and there was an extremely long queue waiting to meet him. I was in another line, I think for Wil Wheaton actually, and if you can imagine, the entire convention floor burst out in applause when Mr. Nimoy came out to the floor and headed to his signing table. From afar, I did peek over to his table and watch him as he was talking with fans – he was all smiles. What an enduring legacy of an amazing talented and respected person.

“A life is a like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP.”
Nimoy’s final tweet in which he shared some of his poetry

© Copyright. Michele Brittany. 2011 - 2015. All rights reserved. All text, graphics, and photos are protected by US and International Copyright Laws, and may not be copied, reprinted, published, translated, hosted, or otherwise distributed by any means without written permission.

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