One of my favorite moments of visiting ‘Trekonderoga’ recently was the meeting most delightful and friendly actor David Frankham, who memorably played the ill-fated Larry Marvick from TOS episode Is There in Truth No Beauty? David and his friend, (actor, illustrator, writer and composer) Jonathan David Dixon, came all the way from New Mexico to be at the con, and what a treat for all of us!
Not too long ago, David’s sleek grey black and burgundy suit from Star Trek was sold at auction, and who should have bought it, but James Cawley, the mastermind and operator of The Star Trek Original Set Tour in Ticonderoga! James invited David to join in this year’s convention and David was all in. Especially if he got to wear his costume again just once! He even slimmed down 18 lbs to fit into it again! (Gee, how many senior actors can fit into a costume they wore 51 years ago?) I applaud David on his ambition and as you can see, he looks marvelous here! (Miranda, you fool!) James posted this fantastic picture of David! He said it felt a little surreal to be on the set in costume, but what a thrill!
I had friended David on Facebook about a year ago when I read a lovely article he wrote about being a boy in England during World War II. I had told him of my Father’s Army service which had taken him to England, and also (of course) that I was a Trekkie. I’d been following him ever since, and when I found out he was coming to my home state, I had to be there!
David did not disappoint. Waiting out front of The Star Trek Original Series tour with my son Matt and my friends Bobbie and Bill, I was wearing my Miranda Jones costume, and when David emerged from their car, and I hear a voice say ‘There she is!” and Bill caught this fun pic of us meeting: David said “Miranda!” and I think I said something like “I’m back Larry!” We shared a big hug; it was joy at first sight.
We visited in the parking lot for a short while before he went in, and he kindly let us take some pictures with him. And David has special method of having his picture taken; he had us bow our heads while Jonathan counted to three then pop his head up with a big ‘surprised’ smile, we cracked up a lot over that, but hey, it works!
Top Row: Meeting David, Wait a minute! 2nd Row: Jonathan Dixon Davis, David, and my son Matt having a good laugh and posing, David with our friend Bill, 3rd Row: David and Bobbie “count 3” while a Redshirt gives a perfect photo-bomb!, David and Bobbie, David and Me!
Later we visited a bit again while waiting for his presentation (see below) . The eager fans got to enjoy David recall his life in Movies and TV, and he has has a long and remarkably charmed career! From being a Host/Interviewer at the BBC, to movies like Ten Who Dared and the voice of Sgt. Tibbs in 101 Dalmations, to Classic TV like The Outer Limits and The Beverly Hillbillies, David has seen it all. David recalled many of his adventures, and of course we all couldn’t wait to hear of his time on Star Trek!
He admitted that up until recently he had never watched the full episode of Truth… only watching until his character Larry died! But he did watch the full episode recently and told us he really enjoyed the performances by Leonard Nimoy and Diana Muldaur, whom he noted were very professional and a delight to work with. He also mentioned that when he first came on the set, George Takei, in costume as Sulu, greeted him on the bridge set with a handshake and said “Hello David, Welcome to the Enterprise!” He said he had never had a lovelier welcome on any other series.
He reveled in telling his recollections and delightedly referred to friend Jonathan as his “external memory drive” to give him a hint when he needed it, but for a man of 93, David is as lucid as we all hope to be at that age! Best of all, he is still working in the business, his most recent project being the incredible stop action animation short film House of Seven Gables, where he voiced the narrator (who looks remarkably like him!) and Jonathan wrote the music for and also voiced the character of Mr. Holgrave. And if you’d like to read more about David, there is an excellent autobiography Which One Was David? by David Frankham and Jim Hollifield.
David’s talk just lit up the room. What a great pleasure to meet and hear him (with his lovely British accent, I might add 🙂 ) And David it was a pleasure to finally meet you and I really hope you can come back next year! ( Lunch on me!) God Bless You, Live Long and Prosper, and looking forward to your next adventure! love, Therese 🙂