StarTrek.com is deeply saddened to report the passing of Cliff Bole, who died peacefully at his home in Palm Desert, CA, on the morning of February 15 at the age of 76. Bole made a massive mark on the Star Trek franchise, directing 42 hours of Star Trek television, including 25 episodes of The Next Generation (“The Best of Both Worlds, Part I and II” and “Unification Part II” among them), seven episodes of Deep Space Nine (including “Defiant” and “Explorers”) and 10 episodes of Voyager (such as “The Q and the Grey” and “Dark Frontier, Part I”). Bole even received a most unusual tribute from the show’s producers and writers as a thank you for his efforts: the alien race the Bolians were named after him.
“When (the Bolians) first happened I thought someone was pulling my leg, maybe (Rick) Berman or someone else,” Bole told StarTrek.com during an extensive 2012 interview. “Then it became an item. I was proud of it. To hear your name constructed into the name of an alien race, I thought it was great -- and I still do. It comes up all the time. People ask me about it all the time. I'm amazed that people still follow the show enough to ask about it.
Prior to Trek, Bole had served as a script supervisor on McHale’s Navy and worked for a decade pre-Trek as a director on such shows as The Six Million Dollar Man, Charlie’s Angels, Supertrain, V, Vegas, Fantasy Island, T.J. Hooker, MacGyver and more. And, between and post-Trek he helmed shows spanning from Baywatch, Millennium and M.A.N.T.I.S. to The X-Files, Harsh Realm and Supernatural.
Discussing his days on Star Trek, Bole told StarTrek.com in that same 2012 interview, “Directing (TNG, DS9 and Voyager) was the greatest part of my career from the standpoint of getting up and saying, ‘Man, I really want to go to work.’”
According to his obituary in The Desert Sun, Bole is survived by his wife, Brenda; his daughter, Stacey Bole Harrison of Granite Bay, Calif.; his son, Curtis Robert Bole of Santa Monica, Calif.; and two grandsons, Connor and Cole. In accordance with his wishes, Bole's ashes will be scattered at sea. The family suggests that friends wishing to honor his memory contribute to a cancer research organization of their choice or visit his star in Palm Springs. A celebration of life will be held later in the year.
StarTrek.com sends our condolences to Bole’s family, friends and many fans.