Jim Mees, ‘Star Trek’ Series Set Decorator, Dies at 57

Jim Mees, 'Star Trek' Series Set

Designer also worked on 'Bones,' 'Gilmore Girls,' '90210'

Jim Mees, an Emmy-winning set designer best known for his work on the “Star Trek” TV series, died March 29 at his home in Selinsgrove, Pa. after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 57.

Born in Mahopac, N.Y.,  he befriended textile designer Vera at age 12, whom he credited with inspiring his pursuit of a design career. A Gotham native, Mees relocated to Los Angeles in the 1970s to pursue his design career.

Mees got his start in 1982 on the “All in the Family” spinoff “Gloria” starring Sally Struthers.

In his 30-year career, Mees worked on more than a dozen television shows, spending a total of 14 years on the intergalactic sets of “Star Trek” with “The Next Generation,” “Voyager” and “Star Trek: Enterprise.” He received five Emmy nominations for his work with those futuristic sets.

He also worked on the sitcoms “One Day at a Time,” “The Jeffersons,” “Who’s the Boss?,” “Valerie” and “Perfect Strangers” as well as on the dramas “Vanished,” “Gilmore Girls,” “Cold Case,” “Women’s Murder Club,” “90210,” “Private Practice” and most recently, “Bones.”

Mees shared an Emmy with production designer Richard D. James for art direction of the 1990 “Next Generation” episode “Sins of the Father,” which gave the audience the first glimpse of the Klingon home world. He also designed live shows for the Beach Boys, Earth, Wind and Fire, Chicago and Diana Ross, and designed the sets for the feature films “Second Serve” and “Maniac.”

In the mid-1990s, Mees taught set design and decoration at the Watkins Institute of Art in Nashville, Tenn.
He is survived by his life partner Dr. Michael Smyth, his mother, Helen, and his siblings Sherene, Kathy and Dan.

Donations may be made to  Lambda Legal (lambdalegal.org).

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  1. Robert key says:

    I was in charge of the Drapery department at Paramount where I had the pleasure to work with Jim on all three of the Star Trek series. Jim had the vision and the talent to bring his sets to life. He was truly amazing. Jim was the type of person that his talents just rubbed off on you, which made me better at my job. His talent and vision will be missed but he will be missed so much more. God bless and rest in peace Jim.

  2. I knew Jim for over 30 years. He was one of the sweetest and kindest man I have ever known in this industry..and that says alot for this industry. God bless you, Jim, RIP.

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