We have recently lost members of the Star Trek family. Please join Warp Factor Trek in offering our condolences to the families, friends, and fans.
Jack Kehler (1946-2022)
Jack Kehler has passed away at the age of seventy-five. His death was reported on 9th May, but his son Eddie said that he died on 7th May, of complications from leukemia, at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Kehler was a one-time Star Trek guest actor, having played the Boslic freighter captain Jaheel in the first-season Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “Babel”.
Outside of Star Trek, Kehler had numerous supporting roles in various television series and films. His most notable credits include The Dude’s landlord Marty in The Big Lebowski as well other notable roles in films such as Invincible, Pineapple Express, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, Lethal Weapon 4, Waterworld,I Love You to Death, Men in Black II, and Year of the Dragon. His acting credits on television included Hill Street Blues, Hunter, Cagney & Lacey, L.A. Law, Newhart,St. Elsewhere,ER, 24, NYPD Blue, Angel, Mad Men, Monk,Bones, and, most recently, Love, Victor.
Kenneth Welsh (1942 – 2022)
Kenneth Welsh passed away on May 5th, at the age of eighty.
A highly regarded film actor in Canada, he is perhaps best known for his role in Twin Peaks. He also appeared as the Vice President of the United States, Raymond Baker (modeled after then-VP Dick Cheney), in the 2004 disaster film The Day After Tomorrow and as Dr. Hepburn, the father of Katherine Hepburn, in The Aviator.
Naomi Judd (1946 – 2022)
An honorable mention to Naomi Judd, the mother of two-time Star Trek: The Next Generation guest star Ashley Judd. Naomi died of suicide on April 30th in Nashville, Tennessee. She was seventy-six.
Naomi Judd was best known as a singer – one half of the country-music duo The Judds, along with her daughter Wynonna – and died one day before she would have been inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Mike Hagerty (1954 – 2022)
Mike Hagerty passed away on April 29th, at the age of sixty-seven. His death was confirmed by his co-star on the HBO comedy Somebody Somewhere, Bridget Everett.
Hagerty is perhaps best known for the role of Mr. Treeger in the sitcom Friends as well as the used-clothing store owner Rudy in Seinfeld.
Hagerty played two characters in Star Trek, both during Star Trek: The Next Generation. He played the Klingon Larg in the fifth-season episode “Redemption II”. In that episode, Larg and Kurn (Tony Todd) shared a drink with each other in a bar in the capital city on Qo’noS. Two years later, he played the Barkonian blacksmith Skoran in Season 7’s “Thine Own Self”.
David Birney (1939 – 2022)
David Birney passed away on April 27th, after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s Disease. He was eighty-three.
Birney was best known for playing Bernie Steinberg in the short-lived sitcom Bridget Loves Bernie and Dr. Ben Samuels in the 1980s medical drama St. Elsewhere. To Star Trek fans, he was a memorable Romulan who took potshots at Klingons across a table.
Birney played the Romulan Senator Letant in the sixth season finale of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, “Tears of the Prophets”. In a memorable scene that takes place while the Federation Alliance are planning to attack the Dominion in the Chin’toka system, Letant takes shots at the Klingons sitting across the table from him. He even enrages General Martok (J.G. Hertzler) by saying, “Notice the primitive rage in his eye… the uncontrolled brutality. Klingons can be quite entertaining, don’t you agree? I think every Romulan zoo should have a pair.”