(written from a Production point of view)
Winrich "Rick" Ernst Rudolf Kolbe (9 November 1940 – September 2012; age 71) was a German national born in the Netherlands (during its occupation in World War II), who had worked on all four Star Trek spin-off series of the Rick Berman era.
A character listed in a piece of background signage in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Up The Long Ladder", Captain Winrich Kolbe, was named after him. The Next Generation series' finale, "All Good Things..." co-earned Kolbe a Hugo award.
Though at the time still married, Kolbe made the tabloids when he started dating the recently divorced Captain Kathryn Janeway actress Kate Mulgrew during the early seasons of Star Trek: Voyager, a relationship that ended when Mulgrew became engaged to her future second husband. (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine issue 6, p. 39; )
Kolbe became an US citizen when he moved to the USA to study architecture, but ended up being drafted during the Vietnam War, in which he served as an artillery spotter in the US Army.
After his service in the US Army, Kolbe started directing for the television series Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries and moved on to episodes of Battlestar Galactica (1978), Sword of Justice, and The Weavers, followed by The Rockford Files, Knight Rider, and Scarecrow and Mrs. King for Warner Bros. In 1987 Kolbe and his family moved to Boston, Massachusetts, where he directed Spenser: For Hire, followed by its spin-off A Man Called Hawk, starring Avery Brooks.
Other directing credits include CHiPs, Voyagers!, Millennium, Angel, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, 24 (earning him a 2002 OFTA Television Award nomination, his second and last motion picture award consideration), and the remake of The Twilight Zone (2002).
Later years and death
From 2003 to 2007, Kolbe was a professor of Film and Television at the Savannah College of Art and Design. Around March 2007, he resigned and returned to California with his family for health reasons.
Star Trek credits
Star Trek awards
Though Winrich Kolbe had been a long-time serving director on many episodes of the Star Trek television series, his work eventually only netted him one Star Trek award.
Kolbe received the following Hugo Award in the category Best Dramatic Presentation
- 1995 Hugo Award for the episode TNG: "All Good Things...", shared with Brannon Braga and Ron D. Moore
Star Trek interviews
- TNG Season 7 DVD special feature "The Making of "All Good Things..." Year Seven" ("On Location"), interviewed on 21 March 1994
- VOY Season 1 DVD special feature On Location with the Kazons, interviewed on 28 September 1994
- "Rick Kolbe - Interpreter for "Darmok", The Official Star Trek: The Next Generation Magazine issue 21, pp. 30-35, interviewed by Ian Spelling