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Madlyn Rhue (3 October 193516 December 2003; age 68), born Madeline Solomon, was a prolific character actress who played Lieutenant Marla McGivers in the Star Trek: The Original Series first season episode "Space Seed". She filmed her scenes between Friday 16 December 1966 and Thursday 22 December 1966 at Desilu Stage 9 and Stage 10.

Rhue was slated to reprise her role as Marla McGivers in the 1982 film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, and McGivers scenes had actually already been written for two early script drafts, not only as Khan's wife and confidant, but most notably as the helmsman of the commandeered USS Reliant. [1] However, Rhue was in 1977 diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) and was reportedly eventually having to use a cane, then crutches, and finally a wheelchair. This was, according to Harve Bennett, what kept McGivers from appearing in The Wrath of Khan. When Bennett and/or Director Nicholas Meyer discovered Rhue's condition, which at the time she was trying to keep private despite still being mobile and not showing symptoms, they wrote McGivers out of the film, feeling it would be unfair to recast the role. (Set Phasers to Stun: 50 Years of Star Trek; [2]) The oft-reported by MS brought on infirmity being the assumed reason for Bennet/Meyer to eliminate Rhue from the film, has long since been debunked as a myth, as Rhue's condition had at that particular point in time not yet progressed far enough to immobilize her. She did appear between 1982 and 1985 without assistance on an episode of Diff'rent Strokes which aired three days before Khan commenced principal photography, besides being seen standing and walking in her recurring role on the series Fame. [3] The part originally intended for Rhue, was largely taken over by Judson Scott in his role as Joachim.

Career[]

Rhue made over a hundred appearances on television. Besides her one-time guest spot on Star Trek, she appeared on such programs as Have Gun – Will Travel, The Untouchables, Gunsmoke, Hawaii Five-O, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Mission: Impossible (which, like Star Trek, was produced by Desilu, but was on CBS), Kolchak: The Night Stalker (featuring John Fiedler), and Starsky & Hutch (starring David Soul), among many others. She was also a regular on Executive Suite, on which she co-starred with fellow Star Trek alumni Sharon Acker, Richard Cox, Leigh J. McCloskey, Paul Lambert, Percy Rodriguez, Mitch Ryan, and William Smithers.

In a 1960 episode of Bonanza Rhue played the wife of her "Space Seed" co-star, Ricardo Montalban. Original Series actor Anthony Caruso also appeared in that episode. After Star Trek, Rhue and Montalban reunited a second time for an episode of Montalban's Fantasy Island.

She also appeared in a number of films, including Operation Petticoat (1959, co-starring Robert Gist), A Majority of One (1961, with George Takei), It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963), He Rides Tall (1964, with George Murdock), and Stand Up and Be Counted (1972, with Gary Lockwood and Michael Ansara).

After her MS diagnosis, she appeared in such shows as Quincy, M.E. (with Robert Ito and Garry Walberg), CHiPs (with Michael Dorn), and the aforementioned Fantasy Island. She accepted regular roles in Days of Our Lives and Fame, which co-starred Eric Pierpoint, Graham Jarvis, and Dick Miller. Afterwards, she moved on to a series called Houston Knights, which only lasted one season (1987-1988). Despite her worsening disability, Rhue continued to perform on television, albeit eventually in roles that did not require her to stand up or walk. She went on to have a recurring role on Murder, She Wrote, on which she made her final on-screen appearance in 1996, although her health had already forced her to retire three years earlier.

Madlyn Rhue passed away on 16 December 2003, due to her multiple sclerosis coupled with pneumonia and heart failure, aged 68, and was cremated.

External links[]

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