Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)

Maurishka Tagliaferro (born July 1941; age 79) is an actress who appeared as "Yeoman Zahra" in the Star Trek: The Original Series first season episode "Operation -- Annihilate!", credited only as Maurishka. She filmed her scenes on Wednesday 15 February 1967 on location at the TRW Space and Defense Park, Tuesday 14 February 1967, Thursday 16 February 1967 and Friday 17 February 1967 at Desilu Stage 9. She was incorrectly identified in numerous references, such as the Star Trek Encyclopedia and Star Trek Concordance, as Maurishka Taliaferro.

Born in French Morocco, Maurishka, who speaks six languages, moved to New York in the early 1960s, where she started out as a model and later appeared in television commercials. (Frieda Zylstra, "Maurishka Knows Foods of Middle East", Chicago Tribune, 22 November 1968, Section 2, p. 14.) One of her earliest acting roles, under the stage name Maurishka Ferro, was as a slave girl for eight performances in the play "Mandingo" at the Lyceum Theatre in New York. (Hobe Morrison, ''Mandingo' Greeted As Vulgar, Shoddy', The Record [Hackensack, NJ], 23 May 1961, p. 47.; John Chapman, 'Tone Is Splended in 'Mandingo,' A Rough, Absorbing Melodrama', Daily News [New York, NY], 24 May 1961, p. 17.)

Later that year she appeared in the play "A Man Around the House", at the famous Bucks County Playhouse, a theater that was often a starting point for many performers careers and test bed for potential Broadway plays. ('3d New Play To Open at Bucks Co.', Courier-Post [Camden, NJ], 3 August 1961, p. 14; 'The Curtain Rises', The Morning Call [Allentown, PA], 6 August 1961, p. A-2)

After he first stint in acting, she moved on, in early 1962, to a career dancing, joining the West Indian dancers, known as the Afro-Beats, for a regular gig at the "Fun Room" at Hotel De La Salle in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Advertisement, The Gazette [Montreal, Que], 25 January 1962, p. 10.) By late Summer 1963, Mauriska was one of the stars of the "International Calypso Revue", performing at the Blue Angel Night Club in Chicago. ('Cabaret Calendar', Chicago Tribune, 22 September 1963, p. 118.)

Her transition to Hollywood was, in part, made due to her skills as a dancer, appearing in 1964-65 on Shivaree and Hollywood a Go-Go. [1]

In 1966, she was signed to play a harem girl in the Universal film, The King's Pirate (1967), with William Glover, Torin Thatcher, Tania Lemani, Chuck Couch, Bill Couch, Loren Janes, Charlie Picerni, and Ronald R. Rondell, as well as with work by matte painter Albert Whitlock. ('Movie Call Sheet', The Los Angeles Times, 22 November 1966, Part IV, p. 11.)

Her first television appearance, two months before appearing on Star Trek, was on the series The Rat Patrol (1967), featuring Abraham Sofaer, Nick Dimitri, and stuntman Budd Albright. By November 1968, she had additionally appeared in episodes of Naked City (which ended in 1963) and It Takes A Thief. (Frieda Zylstra, 'Maurishka Knows Foods of Middle East', Chicago Tribune, 22 November 1968, Section 2, p. 14.)

On 3 August 1968, Maurishka was crowned as "Miss Press Club" of the Greater Los Angeles Press Club (an honor once previously bestowed up Marilyn Monroe). ("Ten Beauties Seeking Title of Miss Press Club", Valley News [Van Nuys, CA], 2 Aug 1968, p. 40; 'New Press Club Queen Selected', Valley News [Van Nuys, CA], 4 Aug 1968, p. 6.)

The same year she was credited in the Elvis Presley feature Stay Away, Joe (1968), with Dave Cadiente and stunt persons Carol Daniels and Ron Stein, and later in an uncredited appearance in the Fred Astaire film, Finian's Rainbow (1968), with fellow uncredited actors Jimmy Fields, Carey Foster and Vince Howard. In 1969, she made a single uncredited film appearance in Justine, featuring Abraham Sofaer, Michael Dunn, Eli Behar, George Sawaya, and Felix Silla. Her final on-screen appearance was in the 1970 film The Red, White and Black, featuring TOS stuntman Bobby Clark.

In 1970, she began writing a working draft for a screenplay titled The well upholstered ghetto. [2]

In 1972, she published a limited first edition book of poetry titled Knowing Is A Sometime Friend, which notes of the author, "In addition to her acting career, singing, dancing and studying the occult sciences; she also writes screenplays. Directing films and learning how to fly are among the many things she plans for the future."

From 1999, until as recent as 2019, "Mother" Maurishka Tagliaferro has been the principal officer of the religious non-profit, Carmels of Gethsemane, located in Los Angeles.[3]

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