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Director Joseph Pevney dies at 96

Best known for work on 'Star Trek'

Joseph Pevney, who directed some of the best-loved episodes of the original “Star Trek” television series, has died. He was 96.

Pevney, died May 18 at his home in Palm Desert, said his wife, Margo.

Pevney directed 14 episodes of the 1960s series, including “The City on the Edge of Forever,” in which Capt. Kirk and Spock travel back in time to the Depression, and “The Trouble With Tribbles,” in which the starship Enterprise is infested with cute, furry critters.

Pevney loved the series, said his son, Jay.

“He was surprised at the longevity of it because it was not a popular series at the time; it hit its real popularity (in syndication) after it was over,” he said.

Pevney directed with precision and was highly organized “but he was very relaxed — in fact, jovial — in the way he directed,” said George Takei, who played Sulu. “I enjoyed working with him.”

Born Sept. 15, 1911, in New York, Pevney was a youngster when he began his entertainment career as a soprano in vaudeville. For about a decade in the 1930s and ’40s, he acted in or directed Broadway productions.

After World War II Army service, Pevney came to Los Angeles. He made his movie acting debut playing a killer in 1946’s “Nocturne.” He made several other film noir appearances but then turned to directing with 1950’s “Shakedown.”

Pevney went on to direct more than 35 films and in the 1960s turned to television, directing dozens of episodes of series such as “Wagon Train,” “Fantasy Island,” “The Incredible Hulk” and “Trapper John, M.D.”

He retired in 1985.

In addition to his wife and son Jay, Pevney is survived by a daughter, Jan Pevney Holt, son Joel, two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

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