(written from a Production point of view)
Actor Lawrence Montaigne (26 February 1931 – 17 March 2017; age 86) portrayed one of the first Romulans on Star Trek, Decius, in the Star Trek: The Original Series first season episode "Balance of Terror". He later played a Vulcan named Stonn in the second season episode "Amok Time".
Montaigne filmed his scenes as Decius on Wednesday 27 July 1966 and Thursday 28 July 1966 at Desilu Stage 9. He filmed his scenes for "Amok Time" between Wednesday 14 June 1967 and Monday 19 June 1967 at Stage 10.
According to The Making of Star Trek by Stephen E. Whitfield, in the event that if Leonard Nimoy had left the series in the second season, Montaigne was on the list of possible replacement actors. According to Inside Star Trek: The Real Story, Montaigne was the only actor actually considered by the producers (the rest were only employed as a psychological "ploy" against Nimoy and his agent). In 2007, Montaigne returned to the role of Stonn in the fan film Star Trek: Of Gods and Men. In late 2007 Montaigne portrayed Commander Vellar in the pilot episode of the audio series Star Trek: The Continuing Mission.
Life and career
Montaigne was born in Brooklyn, New York, but raised in Rome, Italy. He began his career as a dancer, before turning to acting. A former United States Marine, Montaigne has appeared in many other television shows in addition to Star Trek. He and Joan Marshall played husband and wife in two episodes of Dr. Kildare in 1966. He later appeared in two episodes of The Time Tunnel, a science fiction series which starred fellow Star Trek alumni James Darren, Lee Meriwether, and Whit Bissell. One of these episodes, "Massacre" was directed by Murray Golden, written by Carey Wilber and featured Paul Comi, Bruce Mars and Perry Lopez. The other, "Idol of Death" co-starred Anthony Caruso and Peter Brocco. In 1967, he was seen as Mr. Glee, a robot controlled by The Joker, in two episodes of Batman, "The Joker's Last Laugh" and "The Joker's Epitaph." Both of these episodes co-starred Phyllis Douglas.
Other television shows on which Montaigne has appeared include The Invaders (including an episode directed by Joseph Sargent), Twelve O'Clock High (starring Robert Lansing), The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (including a 1967 episode with William Marshall), Bonanza (in an episode directed by Leo Penn and co-starring Kenneth Tobey), Hawaii Five-O (in an episode directed by Michael O'Herlihy and co-starring Monte Markham and Madlyn Rhue), McCloud (starring Diana Muldaur, in an episode with Teri Garr), and Mission: Impossible, the latter of which, like the original Star Trek, was originally produced by Desilu. He appeared in It Takes A Thief (episode: Turnabout) with Steve Ihnat, Ralph Maurer and Malachi Throne (who was a regular). He appeared in two episodes of Mission: Impossible, one with Nehemiah Persoff and another with Lee Delano and Leon Russom. Montaigne has also appeared in multiple episodes of The F.B.I., working with series regular Stephen Brooks as well as Barry Atwater, William Boyett, Joseph Campanella, Anthony Caruso, Don Keefer, Barbara Luna, Scott Marlowe, Joan Marshall, William Sargent, and William Shatner. He also appeared in an episode of Perry Mason with Whit Bissell.
Perhaps Montaigne's most notable film role is that of POW Haynes in the acclaimed 1963 film The Great Escape, along with Jud Taylor. Taylor later directed Montaigne in a 1965 episode of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and in the 1984 made-for-TV movie License to Kill. Montaigne's other feature film credits include 1965's Synamon (featuring fellow TOS guest stars Barbara Luna and Richard Evans), 1968's The Power (again working with Nehemiah Persoff), 1975's Escape to Witch Mountain (with Rex Holman), 1975's Framed (featuring the late Brock Peters), and 1981's Deadly Blessing (with Michael Berryman and narrated by Percy Rodriguez). He also appeared in the 1974 made-for-TV movie The Underground Man with Judith Anderson.
Montaigne retired from acting following his role in the 1988 drama film Dakota, which also featured Herta Ware, though he came out of retirement in 2007 for the aforementioned fan productions Star Trek: Of Gods and Men and Star Trek: The Continuing Mission. For several years, Montaigne taught at various schools in California and taught drama part-time at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas.
"Of all the films, television and theatre I've done," Montaigne noted, "I can honestly say that the things I'm most remembered for are the two roles I created on Star Trek: Decius in 'Balance of Terror' and Stonn in 'Amok Time'." Accordingly, he wrote an autobiography entitled "A Vulcan Odyssey".