We’re sad to say it, but it looks like Spock will need to find another bride-to-be. Arlene Martel, a familiar face for sci-fi fans of the 1960s genre classics, has tragically passed away at the age of 78.
Martel had various sci-fi roles in the heyday of the late 1950s and 1960s, but she’s best known as the prospective bride for Leonard Nimoy’s Spock in the classic Sept. 15, 1967, Star Trek episode “Amok Time,” which opened The Original Series’ second season.
The episode is revered as a true classic for the series, and found Spock compelled by pon farr to return to his home planet of Vulcan to mate with his betrothed wife T’Pring. She positively stole the episode every moment she was on screen, and that role would make her a Trek legend for decades to come.
As The Hollywood Reporter notes, Martel was stunned at the lingering Trek fandom that followed her throughout her life, and opened up about it in this excerpt from Tom Lisanti’s 2003 book Drive-in Dream Girls: A Galaxy of B-Movie Starlets of the Sixties:
“I was just so happy to be working and playing a part that was so challenging in terms of what I had done before. I had no idea it would continue to this day. Fans purchase my Star Trek photos at conventions, where I sign autographs. I had no idea that T’Pring would be so memorable to people.”
Though she’s most recognizable for Trek, Martel also popped up twice in The Twilight Zone, including the 1959 episode “What You Need” and the 1961 installment “Twenty Two.” But that wasn’t all: She also leaves behind appearances in The Outer Limits, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., I Dream of Jeannie, The Wild Wild West, Mission Impossible, Bewitched, the Six Million Dollar Man and Battlestar Galactica. There's no way around it — she was a legit icon of the golden age of television.
When word of her passage broke, Nimoy himself took to Twitter to offer his condolences. Rest in peace, and carve out some time for a sci-fi classic rewatch this weekend.
Saying goodbye to T'Pring, Arlene Martel. A lovely talent.— Leonard Nimoy (@TheRealNimoy) August 13, 2014
(Via The Hollywood Reporter)