Walter “Matt” Jefferies, art director who designed the original USS Enterprise for Gene Roddenberry’s legendary TV series “Star Trek” and one of three Hollywood art/production designer brothers, died July 21 in Los Angeles of congestive heart failure. He was 81.
Lebanon, Pa., native served in the National Guard before WWII, then the Army during the war in England, Africa and Italy. He was awarded the Bronze Star and Air Medal.
After the war, he started working as an artist for Erco Inc., then became an illustrator for the Library of Congress in 1949. He became a freelance aviation illustrator in 1953. Four years later, he segued to become a set designer at Warner Bros. and went on to become an art director. Credits include “Love, American Style,” “Little House on the Prairie,” “Dallas” and, of course, “Star Trek.”
On June 20 of this year, he was honored with a tribute on the Paramount lot and shown a tribute to his designing the first Enterprise that will appear on the soon-to-be-released “Star Trek — Generations” DVD.
He was a member of the Intl. Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees locals 847 (set designers and model builders) and 876 (art directors).
He is survived by his wife, Mary Ann Jefferies; and two brothers, production designer John and Richard. Another brother, Philip, also a production designer, died in 1987.
Services will be held 11 a.m. Aug. 2 at Saint Charles Catholic Church, 10800 Moorpark St., North Hollywood.
Donations may be made to the Motion Picture and Television Fund, 23388 Mulholland Dr., Woodland Hills, CA 91364.