StarTrek.com is deeply saddened to report the passing of Dorothy Catherine “D.C.” Fontana, the legendary writer who brought many of Star Trek’s greatest episodes to life. Fontana passed away peacefully at age 80 on the evening of December 2nd, following a short illness.
As a writer, Fontana is credited with many episodes focusing on Vulcan culture and helped blaze a trail for female writers in sci-fi television. She is the mind behind The Original Series and The Animated Series episodes like “Yesteryear” and “Journey to Babel,” which introduced Spock’s father Sarek and mother Amanda. She co-wrote the Hugo Award nominated The Next Generation episode “Encounter at Farpoint” with Gene Rodenberry, and she continued to write for TNG and Deep Space Nine. Her last produced credit was an episode of webseries Star Trek: New Voyages, starring Walter Koenig.
Fontana’s non-Trek credits include episodes of The Waltons, Bonanza, Babylon 5, and The Six Million Dollar Man, among others. She was nominated for a WGA award for co-writing the episode “Two Percent of Nothing” for Then Came Bronson. Most recently, she worked as a senior lecturer at the American Film Institute, who first reported her death, where she mentored aspiring screenwriters, producers, and directors.
Fontana’s credits to Star Trek cannot be understated, both as a writer of great stories and as a trailblazer for other women. She is survived by her husband, Oscar-winning visual effects cinematographer Dennis Skotak, and her family wishes for memorial donations to be made to the Humane Society, the Best Friends Animal Society, or to the American Film Institute.
We at StarTrek.com send our condolences and support to her family and fans as we honor her legacy on this sad day.