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Grace Lee Whitney, who played marvelous role of Yeoman Janice Rand during the first season of Star Trek, has died.
Whitney, who reprised her role as Rand in four Star Trek films and in a 1996 episode of Star Trek: Voyager, died on Friday at her California, Coarsegold’s home. She had worked in Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979), followed by appearances in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984), Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986) and, as a lieutenant, in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991).
A native of Ann Arbor, Mich., Whitney landed a job as a teenage singer on a radio station in Detroit and Chicago nightclubs with the likes of Buddy Rich and Billie Holliday. In 1951, she appeared on Broadway in the musical comedy Top Banana, starring Phil Silvers, and also appeared in 1954 movie version as well.
Whitney had played few roles on TV shows such as The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, The Real McCoys, The Outer Limits, Bat Masterson, The Rifleman, Batman (as King Tut’s pretty accomplice) The Outer Limits, and Bewitched. She also did a pilot episode for police story, a drama that never made it to series: it was written by Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, and that led her to being cast as Rand.