Wednesday, July 23, 2014

James Doohan

After World War II, Jimmy Doohan moved to London, Ontario. His goal at the time was to continue his education in the technical field but after hearing a radio drama, he knew he could do better. So he recorded his voice at a local radio station and learned of a drama school in Toronto. While at that school, Jimmy won a two year scholarship to the Neighbourhood Playhouse in New York City. There he studied with people such as Leslie Nielson, Tony Randall and Richard Boone. 

Starting January 12, 1946, Doohan had many roles on CBC radio and would travel between Toronto and New York. He estimated he performed in over 4,000 radio programs and 450 television programs in that period of time. He earned a reputation for his versatility.

In the mid-1950s, Jimmy appeared as forest ranger Timber Tom - the Canadian counterpart to Buffalo Bob -in the Canadian version of Howdy Doody. Ironically, William Shatner - Doohan's Star Trek co-star - was appearing as Ranger Bill in the American version at the same time. Doohan and Shatner both appeared in the Canadian science fiction series, Space Command, in the 1950s. In 1957 and 1958, Jimmy appeared in several episodes of Hawkeye and the Last Mohicans. 
For GM Presents, James played the lead role in the 1956 CBC TV drama, Fly into Danger and in 1960, The Night They Killed Joe Howe. Arthur Hailey rewrote the former into the novel Runway Zero-Eight then adapted to Terror in the Sky.

Among Jimmy Doohan's credits are The Twilight Zone, GE True, Hazel, The Outer Limits, Bewitched, Fantasy Island, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (1964) and Bonanza. The 1962 episode of Bonanza he was in is entitled 'Gift of Water' and one of his co-stars was Majel Barrett who later portrayed Nurse Chapel on Star Trek.

As well, Doohan was an assistant to the president of the United States of America in two episodes of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and has an uncredited role in the 1965 Satan Bug. In 1971, he shared the screen with Richard Harris in the movie,  Man in the Wilderness, filmed in Spain.

Once again, I want to thank Wikipedia for the information on James Doohan. I will tell you more on Friday. I haven't even gotten to his Star Trek days or his personal life.

I hope you find the beauty around you.


  1. James Doohan is a great actor and a credit to the Canadians. I love him in Star Trek and I was a bit stuck on him as the engineer. Well, I guess if I had to be star struck might as well be Scotty. It would be outrageous to be beamed up by him lol.

    1. That's so funny Lee. I didn't know he was born in Vancouver until I started this series.

  2. I got to meet him back about 4 years before his death. He was doing a convention in Tulsa Ok. He was an A list for the event and so he was only required to sign autographs for those people who bought expensive tickets. But, when he found out that the event was a charity for the local boys/girls home he insisted on signing autographs on the regular floor for anyone and would donate the money to the charity. I got to meet him, get his auto, and get a pic with him. He was suffering the after effects of a stroke, but carried on. At one point he was being golf-carted over and stopped the cart as he passed the line. Everyone was watching Scotty as he scanned the line with his eyes. He said, "This line will take me 4 hours, but we don't have 4 hours, so I'll do it for ya in 2." Scotty to the end.

    1. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful story.