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Written by / 3/10/2014 / No comments / , , ,

BEVERLY WASHBURN TIMELESS INTERVIEW ON 'STAR TREK'

Beverly Washburn Interview
BEVERLY WASHBURN, from a child actress to an adult starlet, appeared in projects ranging from OLD YELLER to SPIDER BABY, and always gave wonderful performances including a guest spot as Lt. Arlene Galway in the STAR TREK episode THE DEADLY YEARS, which is very memorable as she, and the crew, age rapidly...

You're beamed onto an unknown planet, which means you won't last long...

Or if you’re wearing a red shirt, you’re doomed. And I wasn’t even wearing a red shirt, I was wearing a blue outfit, and I still croaked. But at least I got to die, later, aboard the Enterprise, in Captain Kirk’s arms, which wasn’t a total loss, I guess. It’s just so amazing to me that it’s still going strong after all these years, especially because, you know, it wasn’t even on TV that long. I think it was only on three seasons. And it wasn’t even that popular while it was on, but afterwards the fans kept it going and then it became huge and it’s still going, which is amazing.

Beverly Washburn
But yeah, so I ended up dying. I was supposed to be the youngest crew member and so apparently the younger you are, the quicker you age. And then they all look like they were gonna die of old age, but of course they found the cure. But too late for me… It was a really fun show to do.

Nimoy & Washburn
How did this part in STAR TREK come about?

Well I went on the audition... I had to read for the role. And then they asked me if I was claustrophobic, because they had to make a plaster cast of my face. And I had to breathe through a straw for like four hours, while it dried...

And then after they had the plaster cast, from that they made a rubber mask, and then they put that on and then all the makeup on top of that. So it was pretty grueling and tedious. I said I didn’t… That I wasn’t claustrophobic and it should be fine… So I never knew if I got the part because I went along with that proceeded or they like the way I read.

Mirror, Mirror
But anyway, I did it and it was so long ago that the makeup back then was certainly not as good as it is now. And it was a procedure where they put it on with spirit gum, and so, after the end of the day, they had to take it off. And that took two hours, just to get it off. So it was pretty intense but it was worth it. It was fun to be part of STAR TREK and I had no idea at the time that it would be such a huge phenomenon, like all over the world.

And I’ve done a few STAR TREK conventions and the Trekkies and Trekkers are just the most amazing fans, you know, they come dressed up and there’s been a couple of conventions that have been outdoors, and they even bring their dogs will be dressed up in Trekkie outfits, it’s pretty cute.

I like it when some of the fans remember some of my dialog. I didn’t really have a large role, but it was a good role. And there’s this one seen where I come in and look in the mirror and say, “That’s a stupid place to hang a mirror.” Which is pretty funny: I’m sure they’re just gonna happen to have a mirror right there, but… it’s okay, it was TV. So fans will just walk up to me and say, “Well that’s a stupid place to hang a mirror.”

On the wall...
When did you first realize how big STAR TREK had become?

I guess I would say about twenty years ago, my husband and I had moved to Dallas, and they were putting on a big convention in Los Angeles. And somehow they tracked me down to see if I’d appear at a convention, and ironically I was supposed to be in L.A. that weekend...

So I said, “Yeah, I would be happy to.” So they said, “Bring lots of pictures because the fans will be there and wanting your autograph.” And I really didn’t know what to expect, so I brought like a hundred pictures. And was thinking: “Oh my God, I’ll never use these up.”

But when I got there, it was outdoors, and they had a table. And as I was picking out my pictures and putting them on the table – I didn’t even have a chance to set them all up... And people were there wanting to buy the picture from that episode, “The Deadly Years,” and I was supposed to be there for two days. And in less than an hour I sold out. I was living in Dallas, so I couldn’t even go back the next day, because I didn’t have any more pictures.

Beverly Washburn
And there was a guy sitting at the next table, and they were lined up. He was all in costume and everything. And they were lined up to buy his pictures too and so I… I was talking to him and asked, “What character did you play?” And he said, “Oh I was just an extra.” [Laughing] It’s like, “What?” And they still were buying his picture too because he was in full makeup, and he had photos from the scenes, and they really liked that. Even though he didn’t have any lines but… I mean they’re just… The STAR TREK fans are just amazing – they really want to collect all that stuff!

PIT STOP, which centers on Figure-8 racing, is my personal favorite Jack Hill film… And I loved your character...

Well I’m normally blonde, although my hair is now reddish, and you know, because I just met you last week, but… Typically I’m blonde, as a child and all that.

Beverly in PIT STOP
So when I got cast, Dick Davalos and I had the same color hair. And so Jack had asked me if I would consider darkening my hair, because he thought visually on screen we would look better as opposites, rather than both of us blending with the same hair color. And since I was the woman, it kind of made sense that I would be the one dying my hair.

So they sent me to some little beauty shop, and they dyed my hair that dark color. And back then – you know, this was a hundred years ago – they didn’t have the right chemicals like they do now. And all my hair fell out. And so they had no choice except to just cut it all off – and that’s why it’s so short. And it was right after that that I got the part in STAR TREK. Because a lot of people said, “Why is your hair that way – did they do that specifically?” But it’s because I had just finished PIT STOP and so my hair was dark because of… playing opposite Dick. And it was short because it had all fallen out... So that’s the story.
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