StarTrek.comis saddened to report the death of veteran Star Trek director Winrich Kolbe. Kolbe, who’d been ill for several years, passed away in September at the age of 71, but news of his death had not been made public until now. Born in Germany, Kolbe was an in-demand television director from the 1970’s to the early 2000’s, but he arguably made his greatest mark on the Star Trek franchise, helming a combined 48 episodes of TNG, DS9, Voyager and Enterprise. His most well-regarded episodes included TNG’s “Darmok” and the series finale, “All Good Things…,” DS9’s “Blood Oath” and “The Siege of AR-558,” and Voyager’s “Caretaker” (series pilot) and “Scorpion, Part II.” During the run of Voyager, he and series star Kate Mulgrew dated for three years. He also directed a single episode of Enterprise, “Silent Enemy,” during that show’s first season.Kolbe – known to friends and family as Rick -- retired from directing in 2003, counting among his final credits episodes of such shows as 24, Wolf Lake, Fastlane and Threat Matrix. He later served as a professor of film and television at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia, leaving in 2007 when his health declined. StarTrek.com sends our condolences to Kolbe’s family, friends and colleagues.