Remembering TOS Guest Don Marshall, 1936-2016
StarTrek.com is saddened to report the passing of Don Marshall, who played Lt. Boma -- the astrophysicist who clashed with his superior officer, Spock -- in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "The Galileo Seven." The actor also made his mark in several other sci-fi projects; he was a regular on the series Land of the Giants, co-starred with Rosie Grier and Ray Milland in the cult classic film The Thing with Two Heads, and guest starred on The Bionic Woman, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century and The Incredible Hulk. According to a statement posted on Facebook by BarBara Luna, Marshall's longtime friend, fellow TOS guest and fellow frequent convention attendee, the actor, who was 80, "passed away at Cedars Sinai Hospital on Sunday evening October 30, 2016 at approximately 8 pm. Don transitioned peacefully; at his bedside were his daughter, son, and twin brother Doug Marshall. A memorial service is to be determined."
StarTrek.com spoke to Marshall back in 2012. During the wide-ranging conversation, Marshall addressed one of the most-impactful aspects of his appearance on TOS, which was that Lt. Boma’s skin color meant nothing in the scheme of the episode.
"That was beautiful. That was Gene Roddenberry, and I’d worked for him once before. I did an episode of The Lieutenant for him," Marshall said, referring to "To Set It Right," a controversial, racially charged hour that also featured Gary Lockwood, Dennis Hopper and, in her television acting debut, Nichelle Nichols as the fiancee of Marshall's character. "That’s the way the guy was. He didn’t see color. He saw situation and he had a vision, more so than most people. You could really see that with Star Trek. People learned from Star Trek. This guy created something special. A lot of people went into engineering because of Star Trek. I’ve been told that by many, many engineers. People became astronauts and went into the space program because of the show. You look back and you think, 'What a visionary Gene was,' or ‘What a beautiful person he was.' I wish everybody was that way, but of course we don’t have that."
Please join StarTrek.com in offering our condolences to Marshall's family, friends, colleagues and fans.