COARSEGOLD – Longtime Coarsegold resident Grace Lee Whitney has passed away at the age of 85.
Whitney started out as an actress playing Yeoman Janice Rand on the original Star Trek series (TOS) in 1966. Though her career was nearly derailed by addictions to drugs and alcohol, Whitney proudly reclaimed her life, spending decades as a substance abuse counselor in Fresno and Madera.
As Yeoman Janice Rand in eight first-season TOS episodes, Whitney went on to act in TOS features, and on Star Trek: Voyager. A talented actor and singer, her other credits include a stint on Broadway, and films including Some Like It Hot. She appeared on TV shows, among them, The Outer Limits, Death Valley Days, Bonanza, The Rifleman, and Bewitched. In 1998 the grateful addiction survivor published an autobiography, The Longest Trek: My Tour of the Galaxy.
Whitney moved to Coarsegold in 1993 after attending Fresno State. The mother, grandmother, and sober living advocate reportedly died of natural causes on Friday, May 1, in Coarsegold.
Grace Lee Whitney appearing at a science fiction convention in 1980, by Larry D. Moore CC BY-SA 3.0