Star Trek Actor Skip Homeier Passes Away at 86

Skip Homeier, who was born George Vincent Homeier, passed away on June 25th at the age of 86 after losing his battle with spinal myelopathy. Homeier's career spanned nearly four decades, and he appeared in films such as the 1944 drama 'Tomorrow, the World!' and popular television shows like 'Star Trek'.

The Chicago native began his career at the ripe old age of 11 when he starred on ‘Portia Faces Life,' a 1940's radio show soap opera. The veteran actor also participated in 'dramatic commercial announcements' for various radio shows before moving on to other shows such as ' Wheatena Playhouse' and 'We, the Abbots'.

Homeier's big break came in 1944, when he played the role of Emil, a Hitler youth indoctrinated in Nazi Germany, in the Broadway play, 'Tomorrow, The World!' He later went on to reprise his role in the film version.

The actor at the time was best known for playing the roles of wayward youths and juvenile delinquents, getting regular work until he reached adulthood. Homeier was initially credited as 'Skippy' as a child actor but when he became 18 he changed it to 'Skip'.

He took some time off from performing to attend the University of California in Los Angeles.

After college, the Homeier was able to make the difficult transition from child actor to adult actor. He began taking on roles in war films. Some credits include ‘Halls of Montezuma' (1951) and 'Fixed Bayonets' (1951). While usually in small roles, he was known for playing strong characters, often villains.

In the 1950's, Homeier began making appearances on popular television shows, guest-starring in dramas such as 'Justice', 'Wanted Dead or Alive,' and 'The Post'. He also began appearing in a string of westerns. He appeared in 'The Road to Denver' (1955), 'Dakota Incident'(1956), 'The Burning Hills' (1956) and 'Comanche Station) '1960'.

Homeier was on two episodes of 'Perry Mason', in episodes of shows such as ‘The Adams Family’ and ‘Fantasy Island’, but is best remembered for his role in the original 'Star Trek' series.

In the episode 'Patterns of Force', the starship Enterprise lands on a Nazi-like planet and the crew struggles with ethical issues regarding the 'Prime Directive', which is to not interfere with the development of other civilizations. Homeier plays Deputy Führer Melakon, the de facto leader of the planet.

Because of the Nazi storyline, the episode, which was aired in the U.S. in 1968, was banned in Germany until 1995.

In 1966, Homeier starred in the comedy 'The Ghost and Mr. Chicken' with Don Knotts. His final roles came in 1976's 'Helter Skelter', a movie about the Manson murders, and 1977's 'The Greatest', about the life of boxing legend Muhammed Ali.

Homeier suffered from myelopathy, a degenerative age-related disease that results in damage to the spinal cord. He is survived by his sons, Peter and Michael, from his first marriage to Nancy Van Noorden Field (1951-1962). He is also survived by his current wife, Della, who he married in 1963.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter
Photo: Classic Film/Flickr, Wikimedia, YouTube

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