William O’Connell actor known for his appearance in Star Trek passes away aged 94

Actor William O’Connell, best known for his many TV appearances in ‘Star Trek’ and ‘The Twilight Zone’, passed away on February 1 aged 94.

No cause of death was stated, but the news was confirmed to Deadline by his friend.

Born on May 12, 1929, in Los Angeles, O’Connell had several acting roles in TV shows and movies from the 1960s and 1970s

Science fiction fans will know him for his memorable appearance in the original ‘Star Trek’ TV show in the 1967 season two episode “Journey to Babel.”

Here he played an Orion agent disguised as an Andorian ambassador called Thelev, with the mission to destroy the famed ship the Enterprise.

This would fail, but he did wound William Shatner’s Captain James T. Kirk with a poison knife, before poisoning himself and setting his ship to self-destruct.

He also appeared in ‘The Twilight Zone,’ a TV show that started in 1959 and ran for five seasons.

‘The Twilight Zone’ was created by Rod Serling, and is an anthology series where characters would deal with unusual events, often described as entering the Twilight Zone.

O’Connell would have a role in the 1966 ‘Batman’ TV show as Mr Perkins.

His other memorable roles included acting opposite friend Clint Eastwood in several films like ‘Paint Your Wagon,’ ‘High Plains Drifter,’ ‘The Outlaw Josey Wales,’ ‘Every Which Way but Loose,’ and its sequel ‘Any Which Way You Can’ in 1980.

He served in the Korean War in the early 1950s as a 1st Lieutenant in the 45th Infantry, and was awarded with several decorations, including the Bronze Star.

The last film he acted in was Father Kearney in the 1991 horror film ‘The Haunted.’

Kieran Burt

My name is Kieran and I am based in the UK. I love writing about all things science fiction and fantasy, particularly Star Wars and Marvel. When I’m not writing or watching anything sci-fi related, you can probably find me exploring the open worlds of alternate lands through my Xbox.

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