R.I.P. David Hedison, captain on Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and ally of James Bond

The actor also starred in the horror classic 'The Fly.' He was 92.

Before David Hedison played Captain Lee Crane on Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, he turned down the role. Hedison had starred in The Lost World, the 1960 big-screen adventure from pioneering sci-fi producer Irwin Allen. One year later, he was reluctant to jump back on a set with Allen for his next motion picture, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. Irwin offered Hedison the role of Crane. Instead, Hedison jumped aboard a Korean War film called Marines, Let's Go. Robert Sterling instead played Crane in the movie.

But Allen would eventually get his man. When Voyage journeyed to television in 1964, Hedison finally stepped into the uniform and the role as the Captain. Of all the sci-fi shows on 1960s television, the underwater adventure Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea is perhaps the most underrated. Not only was it the first TV endeavor of legendary action producer Irwin Allen, who would later create Lost in Space, but it was also his longest-running.

With four seasons to its name, it even outlasted Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek, which managed a mere three.

On the air (and, well, in the seas) in the heart of the 1960s, the series quickly evolved with the times. At first a black-and-white thriller rich with Cold War spy themes, Voyage eventually exploded with color and fantasy plots, bringing in werewolves, aliens, time travel, kaiju monsters and more.

Hedison appeared in all 110 episodes, alongside Richard Basehart, who played Admiral Nelson.

In his early television work, the Rhode Island native was billed as Al Hedison. He was billed as such when he landed the lead role — and turned into an insect — in The Fly (1958), the eerie metamorphosis horror film that spawned a John Carpenter remake decades later.

The following year, NBC forced a name change on the actor, who became known as David when he appeared in the network's espionage series Five Fingers (1959–60).

Speaking of spies, James Bond junkies will recognize Hedison as CIA buddy Felix Leiter in both Live and Let Die (1973) and License to Kill (1989).

Last week, Hedison passed away in Los Angeles, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He was 92.

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TomTerrrific 29 days ago
Trivia: If you look closely at the rank insignia on Crane's collar, he is technically a commander, called Captain by courtesy because he's in command of the ship.

My only gripe about Voyage is that Metv airs it 2 o'clock in the morning, and for some reason my local Metv station pre-empts it and puts on music videos instead! I wish they would move it to Saturday nights instead of the Three Stooges (hint-hint).
stephaniestavropoulos 30 days ago
Trivia Tidbit about The Fly: Over the years fans of not only the movie, but of Vincent Price would comment to him about how good he was portraying the title character. I think Mr. Price said that he wasn't sure how fans kept mixing him up with David, {of course, the actual portrayer,} as having portrayed The Fly. The fans probably go mixed up, because they are used to seeing VP portray hideous/scary characters, and are/were not used to seeing David play these types of roles.
Barry22 1 month ago
RIP, always liked 'Voyage'. And 'The Fly' is a classic. "Help me, Help me"
JoeSHill 1 month ago
Strangely enough, David Hedison also guest-starred on CBS's "THE NEW ADVENTURES OF WONDER WOMAN" in Fall 1977 less than a week after "The submarine Seaview" also guest-starred on "The Bermuda Triangle Crisis" as a super drone submarine called "Stingray" (also the name of the 1963 ITC-Gerry Anderson marination series) RIP, David Hedison!
Wells 1 month ago
Hedison co-starred as Lt. Ware, with Robert Mitchum in the 1957 movie "The Enemy Below". One of the episodes on VTTBOTS was based on that movie.
Jedi723 1 month ago
John Carpenter? I think you spelled, "David Cronenberg," wrong. RIP, Mr. Hedison.
cperrynaples Jedi723 1 month ago
Yes, it was The Thing that Carpenter remade! Great Jeff Goldblum movie,BTW!
TVJunkie 1 month ago
Alas Captain Crane, we hardly knew ye.
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