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'Star Trek' Actor Lawrence Montaigne Has Died At 86

| by Simone Stover

Actor Lawrence Montaigne, best known for his roles in "Star Trek: The Original Series," has passed away at the age of 86. 

Montaigne's daughter, Jessica, says the actor passed away on March 17 in a Henderson, Nevada, hospital, according to The Hollywood Reporter. 

Montaigne was born on Feb. 26, 1931, in Brooklyn, and was raised in Italy, according to the biography on the actor's IMDb page. His first appearance on screen was in an uncredited role in the 1953 film, "The Bandwagon." Montaigne would go on to star many other films, most famously "The Great Escape," which was released in 1963. 

In addition to his film work, Montaigne was also a TV actor who appeared in guest roles in many popular shows during the 1960s. His credits during this time included: "The Man From U.N.C.L.E" (1964), "The Time Tunnel" (1966), and "The Invaders" (1967). He also appeared in two 1966 episodes of "Batman," in which he played a robot called Mr. Glee who was controlled by the Joker. 

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He continued to act consistently until the late 1980s and had two acting credits during the 2000s.  

Although Montaigne had almost 70 acting credits to his name, his most famous roles by far were those he played on "Star Trek." He appeared as the series' first Romulan, Decius, in the 1966 episode "Balance of Terror." The following year he would play the Vulcan, Stonn, in the episode "Amok Time." 

In a 2012 interview with StarTrek.com, Montaigne said that, despite fans' love of Stonn, he did not believe that the character was particularly notable. 

"Funny thing is, at the conventions, people come up to me and tell me how much they loved Stonn," Montaigne said during the interview. "I say, 'What’s to love? The guy stood there and he glared.' For some reason, though, it was a character that people identified with."

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Montaigne would go on to reprise his role as Stonn in the fan mini-series, "Star Trek: Of Gods and Men," which was released in 2007 and directed by Tim Russ.

Montaigne also had another interesting connection to "Star Trek." In the interview, Montaigne revealed that Leonard Nimoy, who famously portrayed the character of Spock, had contemplated leaving "Star Trek" to star in the TV series "Mission: Impossible." Had Nimoy left, Montaigne would most likely have been the actor to replace him. 

In addition to acting, Montaigne earned a Master's Degree from North Texas State University where he later went on to become an Associate Professor and film lecturer. 

According to The Hollywood Reporter, he is survived by his granddaughter, Liliana, in addition to his daughter. 

Sources: The Hollywood Reporter, IMDb (2), StarTrek.com / Photo credit: Star Trek/Twitter

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