StarTrek.com is saddened to report the passing of Bruce Hyde, the actor who played Lt. Kevin Riley in “The Naked Time” and “The Conscience of the King. He died on October 13 at the age of 74, succumbing to throat cancer.
Hyde earned the enduring adoration of Trek fans for his portrayal of Riley, especially his memorable crooning of the song "I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen." Beyond his Trek appearances, he acted in the television shows Dr. Kildare and The Beverly Hillbillies, as well as in several plays, including Canterbury Tales (on Broadway) and Hair. Hyde later spent more than 25 years as a tenured professor at St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, Minnesota. He taught communication studies, small-group communication and interpersonal communication until earlier this year, when he retired due to the return of the throat cancer he'd been diagnosed with and beaten in 2010.
StarTrek.com had the pleasure of sitting down with Hyde for an interview in 2014. His voice was raspy, but he seemed happy to make his recent to the convention circuit after a long time away. Of his enduring Star Trek connection, he said, "I’m honored to have my little toe in pop culture history. I only made a living as an actor for six or seven years, and Star Trek, these two episodes, were about three weeks of work. So I’m dumbfounded. I think it’s a good thing. Star Trek is certainly a good thing. I have the sense that Gene Roddenberry had a vision, a kind of “We come in peace” vision of the world. Even if these people at the convention today don’t know that – because I’m not sure how many people talk about Star Trek at that level – it’s there.
"That vision was embedded in this whole Star Trek phenomenon," he continued. "There is, in a world of chaos and separation, this vision of a group of people who go out into space, unified in their purpose. And that’s great. As for me? I thank people for even remembering me. Everyone I’ve seen today, I’ve said, “Thank you.” I just did those two episodes, so to be included in an event like this, it’s an honor. It strange that anything survives this long, but that Star Trek has I think is a tribute to Gene Roddenberry’s genius."
Hyde is survived by his wife of 20 years, Susan Saetre, stepchildren Ben and Tim, granddaughter Joliva and his sister, Janie Hyde Miller. Please join StarTrek.com in offering our condolences to Hyde's family, friends, colleagues, students and fans.