Jane Wyatt had appeared in over 25 films before her role as Margaret Anderson in the seminal sitcom "Father Knows Best" in 1954, for which she won three Emmys in a row. Who better, then, to portray the mother of Vulcan science officer Spock in the original Star Trek series?
Wyatt was born August 12, 1910, in Campgaw, N.J. to a drama critic mother and Wall Street investor father. She studied at Barnard College and, following her acting impulses, left to study at Berkshire Playhouse in Stockbridge, Mass. When she later signed a studio contract at Universal, her professional career was effectively launched.
In movies, Miss Jane Wyatt (as she was sometimes billed) hit high marks in Frank Capra's "Lost Horizon" and co-starring with Cary Grant in "None But the Lonely Heart." While enjoying her movie work, Wyatt preferred the stage. In order to fulfill this desire she had a clause in her studio contract that allowed her time off every year to return to Broadway.
Wyatt's political associations earned her a brief spell on the Hollywood blacklist in the early '50s. Prior to that, Wyatt was also castigated in some quarters for being anti-fascist before the United States entered World War II.
Star Trek fans of course know Wyatt as Spock's caring mother and Sarek's devoted wife Amanda in "Journey to Babel," a role she reprised in "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home," in what would be her final film appearance.
In her private life, Wyatt achieved another type of success. She married Edgar Bethune Ward, a businessman, in 1935 and they remained together for 65 years until his death in 2000. The couple had two sons, Christopher and Michael Ward.
Wyatt died on October 20, 2006, of natural causes at age 96.