Bob Justman, who passed away in 2008 at the age of 81, went from gofer to Executive Producer during a career that spanned more than 35 motion pictures and 500 television episodes, pilots and telemovies.
After Navy service in World War II and college at UCLA, Justman began his film career in 1950 with $50-a-week jobs on independent films. In 1953, he became assistant director and worked with director Robert Aldrich on the films "Apache" with Burt Lancaster, Jean Peters, and Charles Bronson; "The Big Knife" with Jack Palance, Rod Steiger, Ida Lupino, and Shelly Winters; "Attack" with Jack Palance, Lee Marvin, and Eddy Albert; and Mickey Spillane's "Kiss Me Deadly."
Soon afterward, he entered the fledgling television industry to freelance on such disparate fare as The Adventures of Superman, The Thin Man, Northwest Passage, Stoney Burke, The Outer Limits, and many, many others.
In 1964, he met Herb Solow and Gene Roddenberry, and was hired as the assistant director on "The Cage," the first Star Trek pilot. He was soon back, but now as the Associate Producer of the second Star Trek pilot and the series which followed. He became Co-Producer for the show's third and final season.
In late 1968, under Solow's aegis at MGM, he produced the lyrical series, Then Came Bronson, starring Michael Parks. He joined with Roddenberry at Warner Brothers to produce a science-fiction pilot, Planet Earth, and later worked again with Solow on Man from Atlantis. The TV series Search, McClain's Law, and MacGruder & Loud followed.
Justman was also Executive in Charge of Production on Gideon's Triumph, a Hallmark Hall of Fame two-hour special starring Henry Fonda, John Houseman and Jose Ferrer.
In October, 1986, he teamed up again with Roddenberry to produce and help create the most successful syndicated television show of this or any other era, the Peabody Award-winning Star Trek: The Next Generation. In 1996, he and fellow Trek producer Herbert Solow co-authored the book Inside Star Trek: The Real Story.
Justman served on the Board of Directors of both the Directors Guild of America and the Producers Guild of America and was a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. In his later years, he divided his time between writing, lecturing and guesting at science-fiction and Star Trek conventions at home and abroad. For more than 22 years, he pursued a secondary avocation, a career in law enforcement which included a lengthy stint "working the street" as a uniformed Reserve Deputy Sheriff. At one point, he was a captain of an area reserve company, which provides consultation services to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
Justman died on May 28, 2008, leaving behind his wife Jackie and their three children.