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Sally Claire Kellerman (2 June 193724 February 2022; age 84) was an American actress who portrayed Elizabeth Dehner in the Star Trek: The Original Series first season episode "Where No Man Has Gone Before". She was born in Long Beach, California, and was an actor for nearly sixty years.

She is best remembered for portraying Major Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan in Robert Altman's acclaimed 1970 film MASH, in which she co-starred with fellow Star Trek performers Rene Auberjonois, John Schuck and Fred Williamson. Later that same year, she again appeared with Auberjonois and Schuck in Altman's Brewster McCloud, also starring William Windom and Bert Remsen. She would co-star with Auberjonois yet again in the 1976 comedy The Big Bus, which also featured Vic Tayback.

Biography

Kellerman was born in Long Beach, California and grew up in the same state. She was raised as a member of the Christian Science church.

When she was at Los Angeles City College, she appeared in a production of John Osborne's play Look Back in Anger staged by Jeff Corey and featuring classmates including Dean Stockwell and Jack Nicholson. Her first film role was in Reform School Girl (1957) - she would appear onscreen regularly from then into the 2010s.

In 1964, Kellerman played Judith Bellero, the manipulative and ruthless wife of Richard Bellero (played by Martin Landau), in an episode of The Outer Limits entitled "The Bellero Shield". The following year, she appeared in the Canadian series Seaway with her future Star Trek co-star Gary Lockwood.

She co-starred with Jeff Corey in the 1968 thiller The Boston Strangler, Corey being her former drama teacher at LA City College.

In 1970, she had her best known role as Major Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan in Robert Altman's acclaimed 1970 film MASH. This was later adapted into one of the most successful and longest running sitcoms of the 1970s, but with Loretta Swit playing the role of "Hot Lips" instead. The film was nominated for five Academy Awards.

In 1976 she appeared in Welcome To LA with Keith Carradine.

Star Trek

Kellerman played Elizabeth Dehner in the Star Trek: The Original Series first season episode "Where No Man Has Gone Before". On the fifth day of filming the episode, Friday, 23 July 1965, a swarm of bees attacked the set, causing delay in filming, and injuries to William Shatner and Kellerman, who were both stung by the bees. (Inside Star Trek: The Real Story, p 83)

Unlike Gary Lockwood, Sally Kellerman had no problems with the silver contact lenses required for the role of Dr. Dehner. (Inside Star Trek: The Real Story, p. 80) She did, however, have a problem with Dehner's uniform. Due to embarrassment over the fact that the tight costume was particularly close-fitting around her crotch area, Kellerman was given a "space clipboard" prop that she held close to her, covering up the problem, and was shot from the waist up, whenever possible. Also, because she at first speculated that women of the future would not wear brassieres, she initially suggested that Dehner not wear one, but James Goldstone persuaded the actress to change her mind. (Inside Star Trek: The Real Story, pp. 83-84) Kellerman ultimately thought she looked somewhat "pudgy" in the costume. She stated, "You know, I never had to wear anything like this before." (Starfleet Access for "Where No Man Has Gone Before", TOS Season 1 Blu-ray special features)

Director James Goldstone was involved in casting the part of Dr. Dehner. He remembered, "We read a number of other actresses for the role [....] I, along with Gene [Roddenberry] and whoever else, did cast Sally, but again, Sally went with [Mitchell actor] Gary [Lockwood] beautifully. There was a marvelous kind of physicality to her." (The Star Trek Interview Book, p. 106) Dr. Dehner's biographical readout on the episode listed her height as 5'2", given that Kellerman stood 5'10" tall, Dehner's height listing is very much off the mark.

In 1978, she was among the many Star Trek performers who had roles in the epic mini-series Centennial. Also starring in this series were Michael Ansara, Henry Darrow, Cliff DeYoung, Robert DoQui, Robert Easton, Brian Keith, Stephen McHattie, Nick Ramus, Clive Revill, Steve Sandor, James Sloyan, Morgan Woodward, and Anthony Zerbe.

Other work

Her role as the mother in 1980's Foxes was critically acclaimed; she starred alongside Jodie Foster.

In 1986, she starred in the Rodney Dangerfield comedy Back to School, which also featured Star Trek: Deep Space Nine star Terry Farrell, Star Trek: Voyager star Robert Picardo, DS9 guest actress Adrienne Barbeau and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home star Phil Rubenstein. Kellerman would reunite with director Robert Altman after twenty years for the acclaimed 1992 film The Player, in which she and Rene Auberjonois appeared as themselves, as did Paul Dooley, Louise Fletcher, Terri Garr, Malcolm McDowell, Bert Remsen, and Ray Walston. (Whoopi Goldberg and Dean Stockwell also starred in the film.) Two years later, Kellerman appeared in Altman's Prêt-à-Porter (Ready to Wear), along with Teri Garr.

Kellerman's sensual voice was often heard in TV commercials. She also provided voices for the animated features The Mouse and His Child (1977) and Happily Ever After (1990, with Malcolm McDowell and Frank Welker). Kellerman also lent her voice to the director's cut of Brian Hegeland's Payback (1999), playing "Bronson," the faceless boss of a New York City crime syndicate. Other Trek performers who appeared in the film included Gregg Henry, John Glover, and Jeff Imada.

She also released a couple of albums: Roll with the Feelin' in 1972 and Sally in 2009.

Later life

Her acting career continued throughout the 2000s and 2010s, including playing Marc Maron's bohemian mother in the series Maron (2013). Her autobiography Read My Lips: Stories of a Hollywood Life was published in the same year.

In 2014, her role in the Young and the Restless earned her an Emmy nomination. [1]

Her last appearance was in a 2021 episode of the animated series Sammy.

She suffered from dementia towards the end of her life. Her death drew tributes from a number of her fellow performers, including William Shatner who wrote on Twitter that he was "sending condolences to the family of Sally Kellerman".[2]

Writer Mark Strauss wrote: “Captain's log, Star date 1313.8. Add to official losses, Doctor Elizabeth Dehner. Be it noted she gave her life in performance of her duty... Farewell, Sally Kellerman."

Other Trek connections

Additional projects in which Kellerman appeared with other Star Trek performers include:

External links

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