Memorial to DeForest Kelley - Dr. Leonard H. McCoy

Dr. Leonard H. McCoy - Click for larger photo
Dr. Leonard H. McCoy - Click for larger photo
Dr. Leonard H. McCoy - Click for larger photo
Dr. Leonard H. McCoy - Click for larger photo
Dr. Leonard H. McCoy - Click for larger photo
Dr. Leonard H. McCoy - Click for larger photo
Dr. Leonard H. McCoy - Click for larger photo
Dr. Leonard H. McCoy - Click for larger photo
Dr. Leonard H. McCoy - Click for larger photo
I'm certainly going to miss my favorite cantankerous doctor, and the wonderful actor who portrayed him, DeForest Kelley.

This page is my small tribute to the enjoyment he gave us through the years, and Dr. McCoy's unfailing reminders of the values of humanity and emotion (tempered with logic).

Wav Files

Angels and ministers of grace, defend us

His brain is gone!

I'm a doctor, not a bricklayer!

He's dead, Jim.

I'm a doctor, not an engineer.

Very impressive!

I'm a doctor, not a mechanic.

Are you out of your Vulcan mind?

What am I, a doctor or a moon shuttle conductor?

From Star Trek Continuum


Mid-level Biography Brief Mode

Final Rank: Admiral, retired
Full Name: Leonard Horatio McCoy, M.D.
Year of birth: 2227
Parents: Mr. and Mrs. David McCoy
Education: University of Mississippi, 2245-49; medical school, 2249-53
Marital status: Divorced
Children: A daughter, Joanna
Quarters: Original Enterprise: 3F 127

Starfleet Career Summary

2366 -- As lieutenant commander, named chief medical officer under Capt. James T. Kirk
2370 -- Retires to private medical practice
2371 -- Returns to duty under Starfleet reactivation clause, promoted to commander as chief medical officer on refit U.S.S. Enterprise for V'Ger mission
2285 -- As Academy medical faculty and training instructor, forced into Genesis mission; detained over leaks regarding secret Genesis Project
2286 -- Charged but cleared with shipmates in theft of U.S.S. Enterprise
2287 -- Returns to active Enterprise service under Kirk
2293 -- Participated in Khitomer peace mission after liberation from Klingon Rura Penthe prison
2364 -- As retired admiral, gave inspection tour of Galaxy-class U.S.S. Enterprise upon departure

Nicknamed 'Bones' by his longtime friend and commander, Captain James T. Kirk, McCoy replaced Mark Piper as chief medical officer in 2266 on the original five-year mission but clearly became the most renowned. By that first year he had already won the commendations of Legion of Honor, awards of valor, and was decorated by Starfleet Surgeons.

His temperament was sometimes argumentative, a cynic's outer crustiness masking deep caring beneath the surface. His "old South" roots led to the old-time physician manner of doctoring, with a Southern accent that was most apparent when under stress. He distrusts transporter technology and travels by shuttlecraft whenever possible.

McCoy was married once and later divorced, a relationship never discussed except for his one daughter, Joanna, who later graduated from nursing school. In the era before ship's counselors, McCoy played his role as psychologist expertly to the hilt - especially for the ship's two senior officers. As such an emotional watchdog he was not afraid to take on his captain, but it was his running battle of wits with Spock which became legendary. Spock showed his true feelings, though, as when inviting McCoy down to Vulcan for his "wedding" and in storing his katra with him before a known suicidal saving of their ship before the Genesis detonation.

McCoy contracted the always-fatal xenopolycythemia and retired from Starfleet in 2369 to spend his remaining days on the asteroid ship, Yonada, and that world's high priestess, Natira - whom he soon married. By exploring Yonada's computers, Spock found a cure for xenopolycythemiaand McCoy left Natira to return to the service. Earlier, McCoy had been infected with the strange 'aging' virus that infected the Gamma Hydra IV landing party.

After the U.S.S. Enterprise's triumphant return from its five-year mission, McCoy retired from Starfleet, grew a beard and went into virtual seclusion with a rural practice, only to be forced back to duty by Kirk and Admiral Nogura when V'Ger threatened Earth in 2371. After that he continued through the years of renewed Enterprise service with Kirk until at least the Khitomer peace talks of 2293, having survived imprisonment with him on trumped-up charges at the Rura Penthe mining prison when he could not revive assassinated Klingon Chancellor Gorkon. Spock's deposit of his katra in 2385 had nearly driven him crazy and landed him in Starfleet detention until the refusion took place, whereupon he delighted in the Vulcan's reeducation process.

As a retired admiral he remained active in his later years, serving at the age of 137 and shuttling aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise-D in 2364 in his role of inspecting medical facilities on new starships.

McCoy was an active practitioner well before his Starfleet days, of course. In 2253, some 12 years before he signed aboard with Kirk, he had developed a neural grafting procedure employing the creation of axonal pathways between the graft and a subject basal ganglia that was still the practice over a century later. He had also been stationed on Capella for a few months and knew the intricate customs of the Ten Tribes there.

StarTrek Continuum

Starfleet Dossier:
DeForest Kelley

The Actor
DeForest Kelley had played villains most of his adult career, usually in Westerns, until Gene Roddenberry plucked him up to play a lab doctor in his short-lived series The Lieutenant. A generation later the world knows him simply as that ol' country doctor, Leonard H. "Bones" McCoy.

The Character
McCoy was not a character in either of the first two pilots and, like Nichelle Nichols' Uhura, was not a member of Kirk's crew until the beginning of regular production. Thus, "De" Kelley first appeared in Starfleet logs for "Corbomite Maneuver," but viewers first saw him in the first one-hour aired, "The Man Trap" -- which by coincidence featured about as much of McCoy's "backstory" -- an old girlfriend -- as we would learn in almost the entire original series.

The Episodes
Despite that, McCoy was featured prominently in several episodes, en route to getting co-starring billing in the opening credits with the coming of Season 2. One might never have guessed it based on his film career, based mostly on a horse or behind the wrong end of the law, but De Kelley made the role his own and made the doctor an equal foil for both his captain and his arch-debate partner, Spock.

Kelley's heaviest episode as McCoy undoubtedly included that with the longest title -- "For the World Is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky" -- as he fell in love with the Yonadan priestess, Natira, after realizing he had less than a year to live. Neither event eventually came to pass, but they clearly played a big part of his life.

Perhaps Kelley's most notable performance came in the classic "City on the Edge of Forever." As the pivotal focus of an accidental change in time, Kelley's bewildered revival from an accidental overdose -- a scene shared with Joan Collins, 1930s social worker Edith Keeler -- is a classic of the role.

But Kelley had his moments throughout the series, because rather than Kirk's heroics or Spock's logic it was often McCoy's skills that saved the day. From saving Spock and Kirk in both "Amok Time" and "Journey to Babel" to his blow for medical diplomacy in "Friday's Child" and medical intelligence in "The Trouble With Tribbles," McCoy was in the thick of what made the U.S.S. Enterprise's voyages legend.

The Movies
De Kelley had several shining moments as McCoy throughout the film series -- and many of the best lines. From his opening grouchfest as a bearded "draftee" with old friend Kirk amid the crew reunion of Star Trek The Motion Picture, to the housing of Spock's katra and a bare bones admission of friendship in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, McCoy has been a character that grew throughout. Kelley's portrayal of McCoy's confrontation with past choices over his dad's final days was a gripping moment in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.

And More...
Kelley has been a favorite of fans ever since the earliest days of conventions, and his poem "The Big Bird's Dream" has been reprinted and recited often. One of his latest appearances was at Huntsville, Ala., for the 30th Anniversary festival, where he shared the stage with his original stars, held his own against the "Big Two" William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, and even out ad libbed Star Trek: Voyager's Bob "EMH Doctor" Picardo, no slouch on the witticisms himself.

Free Star Trek Postcards


McCoy - Cover Story!
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