The very first role that New York-based actor Mark Lenard picked up when he arrived in Hollywood was that of the noble Romulan Commander in Star Trek’s debut of that culture, “Balance of Terror.” Playing Spock’s father Sarek followed a year later in “Journey to Babel”—and over three of the six feature films, the animated series and twice on The Next Generation. And for Star Trek—The Motion Picture he became the first Klingon captain to don the new ridged look and utter what became the full Klingon language.
Born Leonard Rosenson in Chicago in 1924, Lenard was also a fan favorite as Aaron Stempel, the “villain” sawmill owner opposite the Bolt brothers over two seasons of ABC’s Here Comes The Brides, and as Gen. Urkl in simian make-up for the TV version of Planet of the Apes. His entire career included nearly 60 roles.
Lenard fit the Vulcan/Romulan look so well that he was briefly considered as a replacement Vulcan in 1967 when Leonard Nimoy balked at contract negotiations to return for the second season of Star Trek. He ah
Lenard died at age 72 on Nov. 22, 1996, four years after his final TNG appearance, after battling multiple myeloma for several years.