35 Facts About DeForest Kelley


Jackson DeForest Kelley, known to colleagues as "Dee", was an American actor, screenwriter, poet, and singer.


DeForest Kelley was named after pioneering electronics engineer Lee de Forest.


DeForest Kelley later named his Star Trek character's father "David" after his own father.


DeForest Kelley was immersed in his father's mission in Conyers, Georgia, and told his father that failure would mean "wreck and ruin".


DeForest Kelley wanted to become a doctor like his uncle, but his family could not afford to send him to medical school.


DeForest Kelley began singing on local radio shows, including an appearance on WSB AM in Atlanta.


DeForest Kelley attended the Decatur Boys High School, where he played on the Decatur Bantams baseball team.


DeForest Kelley spent his weekends working in the local theaters.


DeForest Kelley made his film debut in New Moon, and nearly secured the lead role in This Gun for Hire, but Alan Ladd was chosen instead.


DeForest Kelley worked as an usher in a local theater to earn enough money for the move.


DeForest Kelley's mother encouraged her son in his new career goal, but his father disliked the idea.


DeForest Kelley's acting career began with the feature film Fear in the Night in 1947.


DeForest Kelley did not become a leading man and his wife Carolyn and he decided to move to New York City.


DeForest Kelley found work on stage and on live television, but after three years in New York, the Kelleys returned to Hollywood.


DeForest Kelley played ranch owner Bob Kitteridge in the 1949 episode "Legion of Old Timers" of the television series The Lone Ranger.


DeForest Kelley appeared in three episodes of the television series Science Fiction Theatre.


DeForest Kelley appeared in leading roles as a US Navy submarine captain in the World War II-set television series, The Silent Service.


DeForest Kelley appeared in season one, episode five, "The Spearfish Delivers", as Commander Dempsey, and in the first episode of season two, "The Archerfish Spits Straight", as Lieutenant Commander Enright.


DeForest Kelley appeared three times in various portrayals of the gunfight at the OK.


DeForest Kelley appeared in the 1962 episode of Route 66, "1800 Days to Justice" and "The Clover Throne" as Willis.


DeForest Kelley had a small role in the movie The View from Pompey's Head.


DeForest Kelley built up an extensive list of credits, alternating between television and motion pictures.


DeForest Kelley was afraid of typecasting, though, so he broke away from villains by starring in Where Love Has Gone and a television pilot called 333 Montgomery.


The pilot was written by an ex-policeman named Gene Roddenberry, and a few years later, DeForest Kelley appeared in another Roddenberry pilot, Police Story, that was again not developed into a series.


In 1956, nine years before being cast as Dr McCoy, DeForest Kelley played a small supporting role as a medic in The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, in which he utters the diagnosis "This man's dead, Captain" and "That man is dead" to Gregory Peck.


DeForest Kelley appeared as Lieutenant Commander James Dempsey in two episodes of the syndicated military drama The Silent Service, based on actual stories of the submarine service of the United States Navy.


Just before Star Trek began filming, DeForest Kelley appeared as a doctor again, in the Laredo episode "The Sound of Terror".


DeForest Kelley reprised the character in a voice-over role in Star Trek: The Animated Series, and the first six Star Trek motion pictures.


Several aspects of DeForest Kelley's background became part of McCoy's characterization, including his pronunciation of "nuclear" as "nucular".


DeForest Kelley became a good friend of Star Trek castmates William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, from their first meeting in 1964.


DeForest Kelley regarded "The Empath" as his favorite Star Trek television episode.


Later in life, DeForest Kelley developed an interest in poetry, eventually publishing the first of two books in an unfinished series, The Big Bird's Dream and The Dream Goes On.


In 1991, DeForest Kelley received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.


DeForest Kelley was diagnosed with stomach cancer in 1997, from which he died on June 11,1999, aged 79, at the Motion Picture and Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles.


DeForest Kelley's remains were cremated and the ashes were spread over the Pacific Ocean.