R.I.P. Eddie Paskey, Lt. Leslie and Star Trek regular

He defied the redshirt curse and appeared in more episodes than Sulu or Chekov.

When you think of a redshirt in Star Trek: The Original Series, the term "series regular" doesn't usually come to mind. Aside from Scotty and Uhura, redshirts are usually known as fodder for whatever extraterrestrial threat the crew is facing this week.

Eddie Paskey was the exception to that rule. The familiar face on Star Trek, who recently passed away at the age of 81, had even more appearances on the show than George Takei (Sulu) or Walter Koenig (Scotty). He appeared in 60 episodes, often uncredited.

Paskey was working at the gas station used by the Desilu Studio when he was plucked to appear on Star Trek. Previously he had appeared as a party guest in The Dick Van Dyke Show and an audience member in a night club in Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C, both uncredited. 

He was with Star Trek from (almost) the very beginning, making his first appearance in the second pilot "Where No Man Has Gone Before". While his character, Lietuenant Leslie, appeared multiple times throughout the series' three-season run, he would also go on to appear as an alien, a security officer, a helmsman, and more. In fact, in "City on the Edge of Forever", considered by many to be the best episode of the series, he was the truck driver who gave Edith Keeler her fatal date with destiny.

The character had a special connection to William Shatner. Shatner specifically chose the name Leslie after his eldest daughter. Paskey would work as a body double for Shatner throughout the show, as well as a hand double for James Doohan, who had lost a finger in World War II.

His defiance of the "redshirt curse" was no accident. Since he was on set so much and knew the scripts well, Paskey would make sure he was somewhere else when the story called for some crew members to die. Lt. Leslie's onscreen death in "Obsession" he explained away by saying McCoy had revived him after the fact. And indeed, in the next episode Lt. Leslie is alive and well.

However, while filming the episode "Is There in Truth No Beauty?" in July of '68, Paskey suffered a bad back injury in a fight scene. To boot, the bright lights of the set gave him unbearable headaches. He retired from acting shortly after for the sake of his health.

He returned to the Star Trek universe in the fan-made series Star Trek New Voyages as Admiral Leslie, the father of his original character Lt. Leslie.

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jacko3 22 months ago
May the Good LORD Bless the Life & Legacy of Eddie Paskey ~ Praise GOD!
PDCougar 33 months ago
Paskey was also one of the original members of the IMF Task Force. He's part of the team in the very first "Mission: Impossible" -- involved in the initial planning meeting and everything .... and uncredited in the episode.
logicgrrl 34 months ago
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
of sun-split clouds,-and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of-wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air....
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark nor ever eagle flew-
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God
RichLorn 34 months ago
"Paskey would work as a body double for Shatner throughout the show, as well as a hand double for James Doohan, who had lost a finger in World War II."

I did not know about James Doohan's finger, but now I'll be obsessed trying to spot that.
MaryMitch RichLorn 34 months ago
They tried to hide it but occasionally you can see it. This article has a picture:

You can also google "James doohan finger" and see pictures of him giving the "Live Long and Prosper" gesture.
In the episode "That Which Survives", Scotty has to reverse polarity on the tool to stop the energy flow to the warp deive engines. Doohan's missing finger is clearly visible.
kimmer 34 months ago
Great story....condolences to family n friends.
JimmyD 34 months ago
Some of the fan made stuff was better than what Paramount could come up with. Maybe not in production value but in creativity.
Sway 34 months ago
RIP Eddie Paskey. Didn't know he was so entwined in Star Trek.
DIGGER1 34 months ago
R.I.P., EDDIE PASKY, A.K.A. "LT. LESLIE"(B.08/20/1939-D.08/17/2021(only three days away from turning "82")).
DannyGrant 34 months ago
Walter Koenig was posted as being Scotty. Walter was Chekov.
SashaPayneDiaz DannyGrant 34 months ago
The MeTV proofreader was on break.....again.
Peter_Falk_Fan 34 months ago
RIP Eddie Paskey. I have a red T-shirt that I shall wear through tomorrow in your honor.

CliffordDeal 34 months ago
Nice story BUT...Scotty was portrayed by James Doohan... Walter Koenig was everyone's favorite Russian scholar, Pavel Chekov..Quote"more appearances on the show than George Takei (Sulu) or Walter Koenig (Scotty). " Unquote.. Ah, OOPsy..
Pacificsun CliffordDeal 34 months ago
That comes from not actually watching the show itself, enough.

I think if they're not interested enough to become Fans like the rest of us (who follow the Show) they ought to take a different assignment.
MrsPhilHarris Pacificsun 34 months ago
There’s probably only one poor guy trying to put it all together.
nd1irish Pacificsun 34 months ago
Gasp, they made a mistake. If I were you I’d demand my money back. Why so angry?
Pacificsun nd1irish 34 months ago
Since you're keeping score and giving feedback, go through the comments originated by Pacificsun. Then count up the compliments, thank yous, appreciation, adding to the stories that have been started, and reminding readers how hard it is to write all the time much less with a deadline! All the compliments apply to your stories as well 😉 so don’t feel underappreciated!

When you come up with those stats, come back and we'll chat about the meaning of angry. Here's the def. which hopefully helps -

nd1irish Pacificsun 34 months ago
Lighten up Francis 😂
F5Twitster Pacificsun 34 months ago
Don't you know that these articles are written in China by the same people who write the instruction manuals for the cheap goods you buy online?
Snickers 34 months ago
hey MeTV, in this story you said Walter Koenig played Scotty. Koenig played Chekov, not Scotty.
Andybandit 34 months ago
How sad. Even though I never heard of him. We have lost a lot of people from MeTV this year.
daDoctah Andybandit 34 months ago
I recognized the name because he was Shatner's double in the episode "The Enemy Within", when the transporter split Kirk into two people, one good and one evil.
Runeshaper 34 months ago
R.I.P. Eddie Paskey AKA Lt. Leslie and many others. Such a cool story and a solid redshirt (-:
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