Known for sci-fi roles in film and on TV

Actor Warren Stevens, who appeared in films including “Forbidden Planet” and “The Barefoot Contessa” and in numerous TV shows ranging from the original “Star Trek” to “ER,” died in Sherman Oaks, Calif., of respiratory failure complicated by COPD, on Tuesday, March 27. He was 92.

Stevens was one of the stars of the 1956-57 NBC series “Tales of the 77th Bengal Lancers” and of the 1969-70 NBC series “Bracken’s World,” set at a fictional Hollywood studio, but his career in television was defined by guest starring roles in dozens and dozens of series, from Westerns such as “Wagon Train,” “Have Gun — Will Travel,” “Gunsmoke” and “Bonanza” to sci-fiers including both the original and 1980s version of “The Twilight Zone,” “Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea,” “Land of the Giants” and “Star Trek” to crime or spy dramas including “The Untouchables,” “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.,” “Mission: Impossible” and “Ironside.” He also guested on “MASH” and made his final TV appearance in a 2006 episode of “ER.”

Stevens first appeared on the smallscreen in three episodes of the very early anthology series “Actor’s Studio” in 1948-49 and earned his first film credit on 1951’s “The Frogmen,” starring Richard Widmark and Dana Andrews. The actor appeared in seven films in 1952, including the Humphrey Bogart newspaper film “Deadline — U.S.A.,” in which he had a significant supporting role as a reporter.

He appeared with Bogart again in 1954’s “The Barefoot Contessa” and was the fourth lead in 1956 sci-fi classic “Forbidden Planet,” playing the doctor, Lt. “Doc”‘ Ostrow. Later film credits include Norman Jewison’s “40 Pounds of Trouble,” with Tony Curtis and Suzanne Pleshette; 1966 Lana Turner weepie “Madame X”; and 1983 Burt Reynolds starrer “Stroker Ace.”

Born in Clark’s Summit, Penn., Stevens attended the Naval Academy but left before graduating due to problems with his vision, though he later served as a pilot in the U.S. Army Air Corps during WWII. He developed his interest in acting while at Annapolis and did summer stock before entering the service during the war. After WWII he returned to summer stock, worked in radio and joined the Actors Studio in New York. He made his Broadway debut in “Galileo,” which had a brief run in 1947, and appeared in several other plays on the Rialto. His small but important role in “Detective Story,” which later became a film, led to a contract at 20th Century Fox.

Stevens is survived by his wife of 43 years, Barbara Fletcher Stevens and sons Adam Fletcher and Mathew Dodd Stevens, as well as a third son, Laurence Blakeslee Stevens, with his first wife, Susan Huntington Stevens.

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