It is sad to report that Star Trek actress Grace Lee Whitney has passed away at the age of 85. Whitney played Yeoman Janice Rand in the first season of Star Trek, reprising her role in four Trek films.
Her family reported on Friday, May 1 that the actress passed peacefully in her Coarsegold, CA.
Whitney was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1930 and began her career at aged 14. She appeared on television, movies and stage, penning an autobiography in 1988 titled [easyazon_link identifier=”1884956033″ locale=”US” tag=”worofthener-20″]The Longest Trek: My Tour of the Galaxy[/easyazon_link]. In her book, she told of her days on the set of Star Trek, and spoke very highly of her co-star Leonard Nimoy who passed away earlier this year.
In her Star Trek tenure, Whitney’s Janice Rand was written out of the first season without much explanation. She returned as Chief Petty Officer Rand in Star Trek The Motion Picture, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. In 1991’s Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, she was promoted to Lieutenant JG then to Commander and First Officer of the U.S.S. Excelsior under Captain Hikaru Sulu (played by George Takei) in the Star Trek Voyager episode Flashback.