Jeffrey Hunter was the actor who played Captain Christopher Pike in the first Star Trek: The Original Series pilot, "The Cage." NBC rejected that pilot in 1964 and Hunter passed on the opportunity to return for the second pilot, "Where No Man Has Gone Before," which sold and set Trek on its path to glory. Footage from "The Cage" was used in the TOS episodes "The Menagerie" and "The Menagerie, Part II."
Born in Louisiana and raised in Wisconsin, Hunter started acted while still in his teens and made his film debut in 1950's Julius Caesar, with Charlton Heston. He worked steadily from there, amassing dozens of film and TV credits that included Lure of the Wilderness, The Searchers, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, The True Story of Jesse James, Hell to Eternity, Temple Houston, The Longest Day, The Green Hornet, Find a Place to Die and Insight. Hunter died on May 27, 1969.