James Doohan - Actor Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything

James Doohan - Actor

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Ah canna hold her, Captain! She's breaking up!

With the unerring skill that had them casting Sean Connery as a Spaniard and Christophe Lambert as a Scotsman in Highlander, it is no surprise that the casting directors of America, faced with the task of finding Montgomery Scott of Edinburgh, Scotland, hired a Canuck of Irish extraction.

James Montgomery Doohan was born on 3 March, 1920 in, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. His acting career began at the age of 15 when he appeared as Robin Hood at the Varieté School in Sarnia, Ontario. He left home aged 19 and enrolled in the Royal Canadian Artillery where he was rapidly promoted, scoring exceptionally high marks in examinations. He fought in the D-day landings and was wounded, losing a finger. He finished the war as a Pilot Observer and became known as 'the craziest pilot in the Canadian Air Force'.

In 1946 he won a scholarship at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York, where he trained over the next three years alongside such luminaries as Leslie Nielsen. For the next eight years he worked in both America and Canada, appearing in some 4000 radio shows, 400 TV shows and many plays. His experience is diverse, encompassing everything from Star Trek to Shakespeare, and he was generally acknowledged to be Canada's busiest actor.

Eight years later he moved to Hollywood, where he worked on over 100 movies and television series. In 1966 he started his unforgettable role as 'Scotty' in Star Trek, a role which he has reprised several times in films since. This has undoubtedly changed the course of his career, not least by making him a household name - speaking engagements alone have taken him to several hundred US cities. Since Star Trek, with its myriad reprises, he has continued to work as an actor, most recently appearing in The Duke (1999).

In 1993 he moved with his wife Wendy and his two sons, Eric and Thomas, to Washington State. He was reported to have become a father again during 2000, aged 79.

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