Eddie Paskey appeared in nearly 60 episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series, most of them as Lt. Leslie, but he only ever earned screen credit twice... for "The Alternative Factor" and "This Side of Paradise." So, why do we bring this up now? That's because "The Alternative Factor" debuted on March 30, 1967... or 50 years ago today.
Rather than toast "The Alternative Factor," we're going to tip our cap to Paskey. Did you know that he:
He was glimpsed sporting gold, blue and, yes, red shirts over the course of his time on TOS.
Served as William Shatner's stand-in and turned up briefly as a Starbase 11 medical care assistant in "The Menagerie, Part 1."
Can thank Shatner for the character name Lt. Leslie. According to Paskey's official site, "This was a result of his friendship with William Shatner. During a scene in which Eddie was at the helm, Bill felt that he should have a name since he was to issue a command to Eddie. Thus, he became 'Mr. Leslie,' named after Shatner's oldest daughter, Leslie."
Drove the truck that claimed the life of Edith Keeler in "The City on the Edge of Forever."
Appeared as Connors in "Mudd's Women."
Died in "Obsession" and seemingly came back to life in the next episode.
Played one of Bela's baddies in "A Piece of the Action."
Hand-doubled James Doohan in several episodes.
Retired from acting during season three of TOS. "He had been having cluster headaches that were further aggravated by the set lighting," it's explained on Paskey's site. "In a scene in which he received a 'Spock pinch' and was thrown against a railing, he felt his back go out. At this point, Eddie knew he could no longer handle the job's activities."
Remains a popular guest at Star Trek conventions around the globe.