Star Trek’s James Doohan has Alzheimer’s

WaPo’s Reliable Source has this sad news:

Sadly, James M. Doohan, known as Scotty — as in “Beam me up, Scotty” in “Star Trek” — has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, his agent confirmed yesterday. Doohan, 84, has a 4-year-old daughter and two sons with his wife, Wende, and four older children from a previous marriage.

(Hat tip: Jeff Quinton)

It’s hard to believe “Scotty” is 84, but then it’s been 38 years since the debut of Star Trek. He hasn’t been well and, judging by the looks of him, he hasn’t always taken the best care of himself. But Altzheimer’s is among the cruelest of diseases.

While this is the first I’ve heard of it, the news has been out a few days, apparently. TrekWeb had the story July 1st:

‘Scotty’ Actor James Doohan Suffering from Alzheimers DiseaseThe British press reports today that STAR TREK actor James Doohan is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. According to Sky News, the 84 year-old ‘Scotty’ star has also battled Parkinson’s, diabetes, and lung fibrosis.

“With Jimmy it’s the loss of words,” his wife Wende revealed. “He is not so sick yet that he doesn’t know people… What he had for breakfast might be an iffy thing, but golly he could tell you all about how he got the part in STAR TREK.”

Doohan will receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in a ceremony in Los Angeles next month (story), joining all but Walter Koenig (‘Chekov’) from the original STAR TREK series to have received the honor.

Fark, however, always looks on the bright side of life, as in this report from May:

Star Trek’s James Doohan not dead yet nor in coma. Still fat, drunk, and unhealthy though.

IMDb has a complete listing of Doohan’s television and movie appearances, which span from 1951 to 1999.

He is also apparently a WWII veteran–and a Canadian, no less–as noted in this prelude to a Sci-Fi Online interview.

ames Doohan served in the Royal Canadian Artillery during World War II before starting his acting career with a radio show appearance on 12 January 1946. While numerous radio and screen roles followed, Doohan was destined to find interstellar fame and fortune 20 years later thanks to the role of Montgomery ‘Scotty’ Scott in Star Trek. Today, Doohan has effectively retired from acting and, due to a number of illnesses which included a bout of pneumonia that left him hospitalised last year, has reluctantly cut back on public appearances.

Among the things I stumbled upon that I wish I hadn’t–ranked depressingly high on Google–is James Doohan Nude Pics – James Doohan Naked Video. I couldn’t bring myself to click the link.

In the Sci-Fi interview, Doohan states, “Scotty is 99 per cent James Doohan and one per cent accent.” I always enjoyed the Scotty character; I suspect I’d like Doohan a lot, too.

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James Joyner
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James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. shank says:

    The guy’s eighty-friggin-four and he’s got a four year old daughter? All hail VIAGRA!!

  2. James Joyner says:

    The math on that one had me scratching the old noggin as well.

  3. Jeff says:

    He was in Canadian forces involved in D-Day apparently and thanked Spielberg for not toning down the violence during the landing scenes in Saving Private Ryan.

  4. Will Collier says:

    Very sad to hear about this. I met the guy when I was a teenager (mid 80’s), when he and a couple of the other “secondary” Star Trek actors did a signing at a Dothan, Alabama video store (must have been lean times).

    Doohan was as nice a person as you could ever want to meet (they all were, for that matter), despite being in a stifling-hot, tiny video rental joint in the middle of nowhere. Spent lots of time talking to anyone and everyone who dropped in.

  5. bryan says:

    While I guess it’s Doohan’s “right to choose” to have a child at 80, I really feel sad for the child. She will grow up without really knowing her father. And that sucks. What was he thinking? Even if he’d lived, he’d be 98 at her high school graduation!

  6. First, I like the actor and my guess is that he is a guy you would like to sit down and have a drink with (probably scotch) at the nearest pub.

    But on hhaving a kid at 80, I’m with Bryan – on both him and Tony Randall. I have a kid an love her dearly, but I wouldn’t have wanted to bring her into this world knowing that I wouldn’t be around for her much longer than a decade or so (and it turned out to be much shorter than 10 years for both of them)

  7. Attila Girl says:

    Lost of children grow up in single-parent households. It isn’t the end of the world. I suspect that their wives had opinions on the matter, too.

    I can’t imagine having a husband who is older than I by more than 9.5 years (my personal “maximum”–and I’ll let you guess why), but I don’t know whether society should be telling women they have to choose between marrying older men they find interesting and having kids. Just a thought.

  8. bryan says:

    Lost of children grow up in single-parent households. It isn’t the end of the world. I suspect that their wives had opinions on the matter, too.

    Sorry, Attila girl, but I’m not talking about it from the mother’s perspective, but from the child’s perspective. The mother bears just as much shame as Doohan for this.

    While it’s not “the end of the world,” it’s a pretty sorry trick to play on your child.