Monday, September 9, 2013

Little Known Facts About James Doohan, “Scotty” on Star Trek


James Doohan, Scotty, Star Trek, June Beach, D-Day, WWII, hero
James Doohan, the actor who played “Scotty” on Star Trek, was shot six times by friendly fire while storming Juno beach on D-Day, leaving him permanently injured. Also, both the Klingon language and the Vulcan language were initially developed by Doohan.  Later, these languages were expanded and refined by professional linguists, primarily by Marc Okrand.

Doohan, a Canadian, after leading his men through a mine field on Juno beach and personally taking out two German snipers in the process, eventually took four rounds in one of his legs; one in his hand, which ultimately resulted in him losing his middle finger; and one in the chest.  The shot to the chest would have been fatal except that he had a silver cigarette case there, given to him by his brother, which deflected the bullet.  He would later say that being a smoker actually saved his life.


James Doohan, Scotty, Star Trek, June Beach, D-Day, WWII, hero
Ironically, the shots he took were not fired by the enemy, but rather by an overzealous Canadian gunman.  After his unit was secured in their position for the night, Doohan was crossing between command posts, when a Canadian gunman spotted him and opened fire.

Doohan originally joined the Canadian Forces at the age of 19, eventually being commissioned a Lieutenant in the Royal Canadian Artillery.  D-Day was the first and last action he saw in the war.  After recovering from his injuries, he became a pilot in the Canadian Air Force, but never saw action.  Despite not ever flying in combat, he was once called “the craziest pilot in the Canadian Air Force” when he flew a plane through two telegraph poles after “slaloming” down a mountainside, just to prove it could be done.  This act was not looked upon highly by his superiors, but earned him a reputation among the pilots of the Canadian Air Force.

Contrary to what many people think, Doohan was not Scottish.  He was Canadian.  When he was auditioning for the role of the ship’s engineer, he went over various accents for Gene Roddenberry for the character.  After he finished, Roddenberry asked him which he liked best and he responded: “Well, if you want an engineer, he better be a Scotsman because, in my experience, all the world’s best engineers have been Scottish.”

Source: http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2010/11/the-actor-who-played-scotty-on-star-trek-was-shot-six-times-on-d-day/

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