Remembering William Campbell
It is our sad duty at StarTrek.com to report the passing of William Campbell. The actor, beloved in Star Trek circles for his roles as Trelane in the TOS episode “The Squire of Gothos” and as the Klingon Koloth in the TOS episode "The Trouble with Tribbles” and the DS9 episode “Blood Oath,” passed away in the early evening of April 28 following a long illness. Campbell died peacefully and, appropriately, in Woodland Hills, California, at the Motion Picture & Television Country Home and Hospital, a facility for which he worked tirelessly as an advocate, volunteer and fundraiser. Campbell was 84.
Though hundreds of actors and actresses have guest starred on the various Star Trek shows and in the features over the years, few made as much of a personal connection with fans as Campbell. A big, burly man with a booming voice, charming smile and playful demeanor, Campbell loved Trek fans as much as they loved him. He attended numerous conventions over the years and was a familiar face on Trek cruises, and never was he more thrilled than when he reprised his roles as Trelane in the video game Star Trek: Judgment Rites and Koloth on DS9, as they gave him plenty of fresh stories to share with convention attendees. Though slowed by health problems in the early 2000’s, Campbell found the strength to attend Creation’s 40th anniversary Star Trek convention in 2006, and, as usual, he held the audience spellbound.
It should be noted that Star Trek was not Campbell’s only claim to fame. He sang with Elvis Presley in Love Me Tender; starred in Dementia 13, produced by Roger Corman and directed by a first-timer named Francis Coppola; and co-starred in The High and the Mighty, Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte and Pretty Maids All in a Row, that last one a post-Star Trek feature written and produced by Trek creator Gene Roddenberry. His many television credits include Cannonball, The Millionaire, Perry Mason, O’Hara, U.S. Treasury (with George Takei), Gunsmoke, Quincy, M.E., The Return of the Six Million Dollar Man and Bionic Woman, and Kung Fu: The Legend Continues.
Campbell is survived by his wife of nearly 50 years, Tereza. Funeral services will be private, but Mrs. Campbell asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Motion Picture & Television Country Home and Hospital. For details, click here.