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William Morgan Sheppard death: Star Trek and Doctor Who actor dies aged 86

The Independent logo The Independent 07/01/2019 Clarisse Loughrey
William Morgan Sheppard wearing glasses posing for the camera © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited

British actor and voice actor William Morgan Sheppard has died aged 86.

He is best-known for his work on Star Trek across the years, playing the Rura Penth commandant in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, the chief Vulcan Science Council minister in 2009’s Star Trek, Data’s “grandfather” Ira Graves in The Next Generation episode “The Schizoid Man,” and as Quatai in the Star Trek: Voyager episode “Bliss.”

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He appeared in the opening episode of series six of Doctor Who, in an episode titled “The Impossible Astronaut”. In it, he played the older version of the character Canton Everett Delaware III, while his son, Mark Sheppard, played the younger version.


The two also starred as older and younger versions of the same character on NCIS.

In a statement posted on Instagram, his son said: “We went to spend some time with my father today. Though he couldn’t speak, we held hands, he laughed and was so happy to see us. We left and came home.

“A good day. He was rushed to hospital and passed at 6:30pm, my mother by his side. I am so grateful that he didn’t have to suffer any longer. Thank you for all your kind thoughts, love and prayers.”

Born in 1932, Sheppard graduated from RADA (the Royal Academy Drama of Art) in 1958, before serving 12 years as an associate artist with the Royal Shakespeare Company and appearing in Broadway productions of Marat/Sade and Sherlock Holmes.

Other roles include Blank Reg on the TV series Max Headroom and Confederate general Isaac Trimble in the films Gettysburg and Gods and Generals.

He also played two different roles on the series Babylon 5, the soul hunter in the episode of the same name and Narn war leader G’Sten, an uncle of main character G’Kar, in “The Long Twilight Struggle”.

Related: Celebs we lost in 2018 [Wonderwall International]

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