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DeForest Kelley

Metro Atlanta
January 20, 1920 - Atlanta, Decatur

Star Trek only ran three years, but you can’t kill it with a phaser. Its characters are immortal as well. They have lived long, and prospered. One of them was DeForest Kelley, born in Atlanta in 1920 and a graduate of Decatur Boys High in 1938.
After a hitch in the Army Air Corps in World War II, he pursued an acting career. Kelley landed a contract with Paramount Studios and appeared in dozens of movies and TV shows. He played so many villains that he worried about being typecast; he finally was, but not as a villain.
His big break came in 1966 when he was cast in a science fiction TV pilot written by Gene Roddenberry called Star Trek. Kelley was Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy during the show’s three-year run, and reprised the role in six feature films, an animated series, and numberless sci-fi conventions. He inspired countless Trekkers to say what he always did: “I’m a doctor!”
The man who’ll be forever known to legions of fans as bones was born in Atlanta on January 20, 1920, Today in Georgia History.

Fast Fact

DeForest Kelley published two books of poetry, The Big Bird's Dream and The Dream Goes On.

Today in Georgia History is a joint collaboration of the Georgia Historical Society & Georgia Public Broadcasting.