(written from a Production point of view)
Barry Atwater (16 May 1918 – 24 May 1978; age 60) was the American actor who originated the role of Surak in the Star Trek: The Original Series third season episode "The Savage Curtain". He filmed his scenes between Monday 16 December 1968 and Thursday 19 December 1968 at Desilu Stage 10.
Other television series on which he has made guest appearances include Gunsmoke, The Twilight Zone, Mr. Lucky, Perry Mason, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Wild Wild West, and Mission: Impossible, the latter of which he co-starred with his "Savage Curtain" co-star Leonard Nimoy, as well as fellow Star Trek alumni Michael Ansara, Joanna Cassidy, John Colicos, Erik Holland, Paul Kent, Barbara Luna, Blaisdel Makee, Charles Maxwell, Ed McCready, John McLiam, Charles Napier, Peter Mark Richman, Abraham Sofaer, Rudy Solari, and Jason Wingreen. Atwater and Salome Jens costarred in the "Corpus Earthling" episode of The Outer Limits, in which Robert C. Johnson dubbed the voices of the alien rocks. Atwater was also a regular cast member on the daytime soap opera General Hospital, playing Dr. John Prentice from 1964 through 1967.
Atwater was in three episodes of The F.B.I.: "Death of a Fixer", with fellow Vulcan Lawrence Montaigne; "The Challenge", with Joanne Linville and Fritz Weaver; and "The Mercenary", with Fritz Weaver again, and Celeste Yarnall.
In 1971, he had a role in the TV movie Vanished, with William Shatner, Robert Hooks, and Michael Strong, and the following year, he appeared in the well-known TV movie Kolchak: The Night Stalker, as the vampire Janos Skorzeny, co-starring fellow TOS guest actors Stanley Adams and Elisha Cook.
He had an uncredited role in Alfred Hitchcock's 1956 classic film, The Wrong Man, in which Star Trek actors Charles Cooper, Nehemiah Persoff, and Paul Carr also appeared. The following year, Atwater co-starred with Jeffrey Hunter, Biff Elliot, Frank Overton, Frank Gorshin, Clegg Hoyt, and Jason Wingreen in the Western film The True Story of Jesse James.
Other Trek connections
Additional film and TV projects in which Atwater appeared with other Trek performers include:
- Pork Chop Hill (1959) with Biff Elliot, Paul Comi, and Clarence Williams III
- Sweet Bird of Youth (1962) with Davis Roberts and Trek director Corey Allen
- Captain Newman, M.D. (1963) with James Gregory, Paul Carr, Seamon Glass, and Paul Sorenson
- F.I.S.T. (1978) with Kevin Conway, Ken Lynch, Richard Herd, and Bill Zuckert.