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"The Big Bird's Dream": Zum fünften Todestag von DeForest Kelley

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  • "The Big Bird's Dream": Zum fünften Todestag von DeForest Kelley

    Der letzte Freitag war der fünfte Todestag von DeForest Kelley. Am Wochenende ist im wöchentlichen TZN-Newsletter "Daily Trek Weekend" eine Würdigung zum Leben und der Karriere des Pille-Darstellers erschienen.

    Hier der Artikel von TZN-Redakteurin Melanie Brosowski:

    In Erinnerung an eine Legende

    Zum fünften Todestag von DeForest Kelley

    "Er ist nicht tot, solange wir an ihn denken", sagte McCoy zu Kirk, nachdem Spocks Leichnam den Tiefen des Alls übergeben worden war.

    Am Freitag, 11. Juni war der fünfte Todestag von DeForest Kelley. Und doch ist er nicht tot, denn die "Star Trek"-Fans haben ihn nicht vergessen.

    Vor fünf Jahren verlor Kelley im Alter von 79 Jahren im Motion Picture and Television Fund Hospital in Kalifornien den ungleichen Kampf gegen den Krebs. Seine Frau Carolyn war an seiner Seite.

    Jackson DeForest Kelley wurde am 20. Januar 1920 in Atlanta, Georgia geboren. Er war der Sohn von Clara Casey Kelley und Ernest D. Kelley, einem baptistischen Pfarrer, sein Onkel war Arzt. DeForests große Leidenschaft war das Singen, zuerst im Kirchenchor und dann beim Radiosender WSB. Als die Rastlosigkeit ihn packte, zog er zu seinem Onkel nach Long Island, wo er tagsüber einen Fahrstuhl bediente und abends mit seiner Theatertruppe auftrat. 1942 lernte er Carolyn Dowling während einer Aufführung kennen und lieben. Selbst sein Eintritt in die Armee konnte die beiden nicht trennen und so heirateten sie 1945, kurz nachdem Kelley in einem Navy-Trainingsfilm mitgespielt hatte. Bald darauf wurde er von einem Talentsucher von Paramount entdeckt und mit dem Film "Fear in the Night" gab er sein Kino-Debüt.

    Nach einigen Jahren hatte er es satt, immer nur den Bösewicht zu spielen, wie in dem erfolgreichen Western "Last Gunfight at OK Corral". Nachdem er in zwei Pilotfilmen von Gene Roddenberry aufgetreten war ("333 Montgomery" und "Police Story"), die allerdings nie in Serie gingen, erhielt er einen zunächst auf sechs Auftritte befristeten Vertrag für "Star Trek", wo er ursprünglich einen grünblütigen Vulkanier spielen sollte. Letztlich erhielt aber Leonard Nimoy die Rolle und Kelley die des Bordarztes McCoy. Aus den Gastauftritten wurden dann mehr als 70 Folgen, sechs Filme und ein Gastauftritt bei "Star Trek: The Next Generation".

    Nach seinem letzten Auftritt in TNG zog Kelley sich zurück. Er arbeitete zwar nebenbei an ein paar Filmen, TV-Shows und Gedichten, aber sein Herz gehörte von nun an voll und ganz seiner Frau und den Rosen sowie der Schildkröte Myrtle.

    Wer mehr über den wunderbaren Schauspieler wissen will, dem möchte ich das Buch "DeForest Kelley: A Harvest of Memories" von Kristine M. Smith empfehlen.

    The Big Bird's Dream

    A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away
    There lived a big bird nesting on a play.
    He thought if he could hatch it and get it on the air,
    He'd make himself a fortune and build himself a lair.

    The day finally came and the story was born
    He let out a cackle: "No more corn!"
    He flew from his nest with the play in his claw,
    Certain to sell it, for it had no flaw.

    The story he hatched within his yarn
    Took place on a ship as big as a barn.
    Not only that, it was in outer space,
    Far removed from the human race.

    Its crew searched the universe for worlds unknown
    To teach and learn - and not try to own.
    Not only that, they built a new nation
    This time known as The Federation.

    All of this, taking place in the skies
    On a starship known as The Enterprise.
    Now wouldn't you think, with a plot like this,
    The big bird had what couldn't miss?

    Well, he landed in Burbank on Hollywood Way,
    And headed east, to sell his play.
    Things weren't as easy as he thought they'd be -
    Particularly when dealing with NBC.

    The Enterprise crew was one of a kind
    Superb in their work, with good things in mind.
    Different in color and different in race,
    Green, white, yellow - and token black face.

    At first, the black was not to be,
    'Till the big bird screamed at NBC:
    "It's either she or I," he began to yell,
    "Who knows who's gonna ring whose bell?"

    With great reluctance they agreed to say:
    "Okay, fellows, we'll do it his way."
    At a later time, on another day,
    They'd be the first to boast they went that way.

    Most who read it said: "This bird is nuts!"
    But there was one among them possessed with guts.
    "Let's go with this bird, loud and clear -
    He's saying things people should hear.

    "Let's give it a try and hope it will work.
    So spoke the head of the big network.
    So the pilot was made and they all took a look -
    "My God!" one shouted, "he's filmed a book!"

    Another one yelled, "It's too far out!
    I don't understand what it's all about!"
    But the one with the guts had a grin on his face
    Now he was ready to state his case.

    "Far out?" he said, "I liked what I heard,
    And I'm still gonna go with this crazy bird."
    So they made another pilot - with a change here and there,
    And finally, they got it on the air.

    The big bird felt a sense of elation
    After so many days of complete frustration.
    But now he knew the big job was done
    And he was proud of his fine new son.

    One thing was left for the big bird to do:
    Find a name for his dream-come-true.
    He gave a big party so the brass would appear,
    To name this dream he held so dear.

    When the party calmed down and the feeling was mellow,
    The big bird stepped forward to christen this fellow.
    "Lift your glasses," he said out loud,
    "I've got a new baby of which I'm proud!"

    He took an idic from his hand,
    The symbol he'd created for the change in man.
    He placed it tenderly around the small neck
    And, in a mellifluous voice, said: "Star Trek"

    The brass with guts jumped up and down -
    "My God!" he said, "what a sound!
    How did he think of such a name?
    It's commercial as hell - the name of the game!"

    Well, the public loved it - but the Neilson was low
    And they tell the networks what to show.
    The word was out for all to hear:
    "Star Trek" dead - after second year.

    The rest is history, as you surely know,
    For you, the fans, saved the show.
    The millions of letters you sent to the brass
    Simply knocked them on their ass!

    But after one more year they put it away,
    Not knowing it would rise in syndicated play.
    Then came conventions - and letters - and toys,
    Re-runs and ratings and lots of noise.

    Finally the studio was heard to say:
    "We'll remake 'Star Trek' another way."
    "How will we do it?" one of them said,
    "Not as a series, the re-runs aren't dead."

    "Let's do it as a movie, a special or a play -
    For heaven's sake, let's do it some way!
    Precious moments are flying by -
    The actors are aging and soon may die."

    "Are they still available - or should we re-cast?
    Without the originals, how long would it last?
    Go get the big bird - he knows where they are
    And have him remind Spock he's still not a star."

    "We've got to keep their egos down
    In case replacements can't be found."
    So in flew the big bird, ready to squeal,
    Naturally anxious to make a deal.

    "First," he said "we should discuss the star -
    For all of them probably think they are!"
    "Don't be funny," an executive said,
    "If that's the case, the whole thing's dead."

    "What's with Shatner? How does he look?"
    "I don't know - but he's written a book.
    Seems he wanted the world to know
    How he suffered, making that show."

    "What's with Kelley - what's with his life?"
    "He's living in the Valley - with the very same wife!
    I know one thing that's buggin' him,
    He's sick of that line. He's dead, Jim!"

    "Now about Doohan, the one with the brogue,"
    "Well, he bought a motor-coach and hit the road.
    He's grown a beard - it's silver and black,
    And he says he wants to keep it, if he comes back."

    "What about Takei - he flew the damned ship..."
    "Well, he's into politics - a whole new trip.
    He had a job on the Mayor's staff,
    But they couldn't take that crazy laugh!"

    "Okay, okay, what about Nichelle?
    The one you said would ring our bell?"
    "She's working for NASA - goes all over the nation
    Trying to interest women in the space administration."

    "They're using the Enterprise to colonize space
    And they can't seem to do it without the female race.
    She says she's had it in Communications
    And wants to come back in Public Relations."

    "Well, where the hell's Koenig - our young Russian lad?"
    "Oh, he's writing for films - and he's really not bad.
    As a matter of fact, if he can be found,
    He could be the one to get this off the ground!"

    "That just about covers the entire crew...
    Majel's no problem - she's married to you!"
    "Don't you believe it, not on your life!
    I don't make deals with my very own wife."

    "And even though she's married to me,
    She still commands the same high fee.
    And if this show goes, she'll be back, you can bet -
    I've never written a script without her yet."

    "And there's one more actor you've left out
    That I really think we should talk about.
    I know it's something you hate to discuss
    Because it's going to create quite a fuss."

    "I'm referring to Nimoy and what he has to say.
    He's in New York, doing a play.
    He's portraying a doctor and says it's a joy -
    And he might come back if he could play McCoy."

    "McCoy's role?" the executive said,
    "My God, man, he's out of his head!
    Well, I'm telling you, that really takes guts -
    The brass will think we've all gone nuts!"

    "What about Kelley, if Spock plays McCoy?
    He'll just flip if we get another boy."
    The big bird spoke with that smile on his face,
    The one he wears when he's solved a case.

    "Easy, gentlemen, don't worry about that...
    I can fix him in nothing flat.
    So just relax and calm down your fears...
    I'll paint De green - and give him the ears!"

    So that brings us up to where we are today,
    With thousands of people gathered to say
    "'Star Trek' Lives!" - It will not die -
    When will someone make it fly?

    "The Big Bird's Dream" is © 1977 by DeForest Kelley.
    "You don't burn out from going too fast, you burn out from going too slow and getting bored"
    Cliff Burton (1962-1986)
    DVD-Collection | Update 30.01.2007