Grace Lee Whitney has died. She was a Sar Trek actress (Janice Rand,) one my favorite programs to watch, so sad to lose another one of its star’s. At the time of her death, she was eighty-five, according to the Associated Press. This is the second star we say goodbye the other was Leonard Nimoy (Spock). She died “of natural causes,” the AP reports, on Friday, May 1, at her home in Coarsegold, Calif.
The star’s death was confirmed by the official Star Trek website, which celebrated Whitney’s contribution to the beloved series, as well as her hard-fought, and ultimately successful, battle with sobriety.
Whitney’s son Jonathan Dweck highlighted his mother’s struggle with addiction, telling the AP that the actress would have wanted to be remembered as a survivor. The late star touched on her drug problems in a 1998 memoir, The Longest Trek: My Tour of the Galaxy. She eventually recovered after the dark period in her life, going on to speak publicly in support of addicts seeking recovery.
The role she played was as Captain Kirk (William Shatner) assistant on the first season. She was also seen in 77 Sunset Strip, Irma la Douce, and Some Like It Hot.
Whitney leaves behind her two sons, Jonathan and Scott.
She was remembered on Twitter in the early hours of Monday, May 4, by costar Shatner, who wrote,
“Condolences to the family of Grace. She was a constant shining smile over the years every time our paths crossed.”
Whitney was from Ann Arbor, Michigan.