The answer is Yeoman Leslie Thompson. The question is: Who was the very first female Redshirt to die in an episode of Star Trek: The Original Series? Julia Cobbthe actress who played the doomed farmer in By Any Other Name sounds pleased when she hears these little things.
“It makes sense,” she says in an interview with Heavy on Star Trek, “to be the first woman ever!”
Cobb – whose other credits aloud Internet Movie Database, which included episodes of The Brady Bunch, Fantasy Island, Charles in Charge, Salem’s Lot, TJ Hooker, Days of Our Lives, Whatta Lark, and Teenage Bounty Hunters – launched her acting career with Star Trek: The Original Series. So it was also a personal first.
The crushing death of the yeoman
“I was nervous when I auditioned,” she says. “Nerves in the makeup trailer. Nervous on set. My first job! I was terribly nervous. Back then, before Hi-Def, pancake makeup was almost orange and applied liberally. My hair was pinned up and rounded into a sort of dome on top of my head. I hated looking in the mirror. Watching myself on TV was much easier. And you couldn’t see my knees shaking.”
Luckily, she says, the men in her immediate orbit on the “Star Trek” set eased her fears. These included director Marc Daniels and series directors William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy. Shatner co-starred with Cobb’s father, actor Lee J. Cobb, in the 1957 film The Brothers Karamazov, in which Shatner played Cobb’s son. Years later, in 1975, Daniels directed Julie Cobb and her mother, Helen Beverley, in an episode of “Marcus Welby, MD.” And Cobb knew Nimoy too. At 16, she says, she took acting classes in Los Angeles, with Nimoy as her first teacher. “Marc was awfully sweet,” says Cobb. “Leonard was nice. Bill was especially good to me. It was a great time. Bill and I were aware of the connection to my dad, but I can’t remember how much we talked about it.”
Cobb explains that for her big death scene, Thompson was transformed into a porous cube that took human form and conspired by Hanar (Stewart Moss) on the orders of Rojan (Warren Stevens), the leader of an expedition from the Kelvan Empire to lure Kirk, Spock and the Enterprise to their humble, Earth-like planet. They planned to hijack the ship and use it to return to their home in the Andromeda galaxy, or fly to Earth, kill its inhabitants and colonize the planet. Rojan, while Kirk and Spock watch weakly, crushes the Thompson Cube with his bare hand and declares, “That person is dead.” Kirk – dejected in other ways – falls to his knees, devastated, a member of his crew lost to him to have.
“Shatner’s reaction was the only thing I remember!” Cobb says. “When my daughter Rosemary saw his distress, she quipped, ‘Well, there was definitely a backstory here.'”
Cobb’s mention of her daughter triggers something resembling a Star Trek version of the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon game. Cobb’s performance in Star Trek: The Original Series, Shatner working with Cobb’s father, and Daniels directing Cobb and her mother in Marcus Welby, MD are just the tip of the iceberg. Cobb’s daughter Rosemary Morgan started her own acting career with a character named Piri in the Star Trek: Voyager episode “The Chute” which aired in 1996. Julie Cobb recalls accompanying Rosemary, who was a minor at the time, to the set. Cobb and Morgan, the only mother-daughter actor duo in Star Trek history, made their first conventional appearance together at an official event called Star Trek Las Vegas in 2015. There they met fans, gave autographs and posed for photos.
But the “Star Trek” connections go further. Cobb’s former husband and Rosemary’s former stepfather, with whom Julie Cobb says they are still very close, is James Cromwell. The Oscar-nominated actor has guest-starred on Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Enterprise, and he starred as Zefram Cochrane in the second Next Generation. Feature film Star Trek: First Contact. Finally, Cobb’s former stepson, Jeremy Morgan, worked as a driver on seasons one and two of Star Trek: Picard.
Cobb was married to Trek guest James Cromwell
“It really looks and feels like a family franchise,” says Cobb. “When I got my first TV job on the first season of ‘Star Trek,’ I never imagined that my family would be involved in the franchise for decades. It’s amazing and I’m very grateful for the surprises that life offers us.”
https://heavy.com/entertainment/star-trek/female-redshirt-remembers-crushing-death/ The first female Redshirt to die on Trek remembers her death