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DeForest Kelley

DeForest Kelley

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Also Known As: Deforest Jackson Kelley, De Forest Kelley Died: June 11, 1999
Born: January 20, 1920 Cause of Death: stomach cancer
Birth Place: Atlanta, Georgia, USA Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Known to generations for his portrayal of the compassionate yet slightly cranky ship's doctor, Leonard "Bones" McCoy, on the classic television series "Star Trek" (NBC, 1966-69), actor DeForest Kelley created one of science fiction's most beloved and indelible characters. Following an auspicious start in film with the leading role in the noir "Fear in the Night" (1947), a disappointed Kelley quickly found himself settling for guest turns on various television series and smaller roles in films such as "House of Bamboo" (1955) and "Tension at Table Rock" (1956). Westerns quickly became Kelley's stock-in-trade, with appearances in "Gunfight at O.K. Corral" (1957) and "Warlock" (1959) being among his more notable. Although his work in the Gene Roddenberry-created pilot "333 Montgomery" (NBC, 1960) failed to materialize into a series, it impressed the writer-producer enough to win Kelley a supporting role in "Star Trek" just a few years later. His work as the unapologetically humanistic McCoy soon elevated Kelley's role to co-starring status on the iconic series. However, despite his proven talents, parts were hard to come by for the veteran actor in the aftermath of the show's cancellation. A full decade...

Known to generations for his portrayal of the compassionate yet slightly cranky ship's doctor, Leonard "Bones" McCoy, on the classic television series "Star Trek" (NBC, 1966-69), actor DeForest Kelley created one of science fiction's most beloved and indelible characters. Following an auspicious start in film with the leading role in the noir "Fear in the Night" (1947), a disappointed Kelley quickly found himself settling for guest turns on various television series and smaller roles in films such as "House of Bamboo" (1955) and "Tension at Table Rock" (1956). Westerns quickly became Kelley's stock-in-trade, with appearances in "Gunfight at O.K. Corral" (1957) and "Warlock" (1959) being among his more notable. Although his work in the Gene Roddenberry-created pilot "333 Montgomery" (NBC, 1960) failed to materialize into a series, it impressed the writer-producer enough to win Kelley a supporting role in "Star Trek" just a few years later. His work as the unapologetically humanistic McCoy soon elevated Kelley's role to co-starring status on the iconic series. However, despite his proven talents, parts were hard to come by for the veteran actor in the aftermath of the show's cancellation. A full decade later, Kelley and the rest of the USS Enterprise crew were called back to action for the epic re-launch, "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" (1979). The franchise jumped to warp-speed with the hugely popular "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" (1982), and continued for four more installments before the original crew finally stepped off the bridge of the U.S.S.Enterprise for good. A key member of a cast known for inflated egos and, at times, bitter in-fighting, Kelley emerged as the one member of the original cast who was universally admired by his "Star Trek" co-stars.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Trekkies (1997)
3.
 Star Trek VI: the Undiscovered Country (1991) Doctor Leonard "Bones" Mccoy
5.
 Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986) Dr Leonard "Bones" Mccoy
7.
8.
 Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) Dr Mccoy
9.
 Night of the Lepus (1972) Elgin Clark
10.
 Apache Uprising (1966) Toby Jack Saunders
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Raised in Atlanta, Georgia, where he sang in his local church's choir
1937:
First journeyed outside his native Georgia after graduating high school at age 17; visited an uncle in Long Beach, California, planning to stay for two weeks, but lived in California for a year (date approximate)
:
Performed on the radio station WSB, which won him a singing engagement at the Atlanta Paramount Theater with Lew Forbest and His Orchestra
:
Moved to California; joined the Long Beach Theater Group
:
Discovered by a Paramount talent when he appeared in a Navy training film; was offered a screen test and later a contract; stayed with Paramount for approximately 2 1/2 years (date approximate)
1947:
Made feature film debut in a leading role in the Paramount-produced film noir, "Fear in the Night"
1949:
Last Hollywood film for six years, "Duke of Chicago"
:
Moved to New York City and worked primarily onstage in stock theater as well as in early TV, such as the "Schlitz Playhouse of Stars" (date approximate)
1955:
Returned to Hollywood to resume feature film work and to work in TV shot on the West coast; first film, "House of Bamboo", directed by Sam Fuller; got help finding TV work from friend Barney Girard, who was writing for "You Are There"
1956:
Acted in first Western feature, "Tension at Table Rock"
1960:
Played the leading role of lawyer Jake Brittin in the NBC crime pilot, "333 Montgomery", broadcast as an installment of the "Alcoa Theater"; Gene Roddenberry wrote and produced the pilot; later became a series entitled "Sam Benedict", but with Edmond O'Brien in the title role
1966:
Another feature film absence, of six years, followed after "Waco"
:
Played Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy on the cult NBC science-fiction series, "Star Trek"
:
Provided the voice of Dr. McCoy for the NBC animated children's version of "Star Trek"
1979:
First reprised the role of Dr. McCoy on the big screen for the feature film, "Star Trek: The Motion Picture"
1991:
Final acting role, reprising McCoy in "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country"
1995:
Final film appearance in the documentary "William Shatner's Star Trek Memories!"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Decatur Boys' High School: -

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Carolyn Dowling. Married on September 7, 1945; met when they were both performing with the Long Beach Theater Group.

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