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Today's column was written by Matt Webb Mitovich.THE FINAL FRONTIER

James Doohan, famous for playing chief engineer (then, later, Captain) Montgomery "Beam me up, Scotty!" Scott in the original Star Trek series and subsequent movies, passed away on Wednesday morning at his Redmond, Wash., home, with his wife, Wende, at his side. The cause of death was Alzheimer's-related pneumonia. He was 85. Born in Canada (a master of dialects, he affected his brogue for Star Trek), Doohan was working as a character actor when he auditioned for Trek in 1966. Although NBC axed the series after three seasons, syndicated repeats led Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty et al to amass scores of fans and thus live on for decades, including in six big-screen adventures. Doohan, a veteran of D-Day, was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame last August (in w

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James Doohan, famous for playing chief engineer (then, later, Captain) Montgomery "Beam me up, Scotty!" Scott in the original Star Trek series and subsequent movies, passed away on Wednesday morning at his Redmond, Wash., home, with his wife, Wende, at his side. The cause of death was Alzheimer's-related pneumonia. He was 85. Born in Canada (a master of dialects, he affected his brogue for Star Trek), Doohan was working as a character actor when he auditioned for Trek in 1966. Although NBC axed the series after three seasons, syndicated repeats led Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty et al to amass scores of fans and thus live on for decades, including in six big-screen adventures. Doohan, a veteran of D-Day, was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame last August (in what he had announced as his final public appearance), and is credited with creating the first broad strokes of Trek's Klingon language (for Star Trek: The Motion Picture).