Here’s the next in my series of familiar faces you may recall from Star Trek in some of their other ventures. This time, Bible epics! This past week saw lots of Easter-themed movies on TV, and Trek extras were all over these.
First and foremost: King of Kings (1961) which starred Captain Pike himself, Jeffrey Hunter, as The Christ. Hollywood always picks a beautiful man to play the Savior, and Jeff was one of the most beautiful! The camera loves his sky blue eyes. Yet this Jesus must be highly fastidious, as he apparently shaves his armpits! Alas, despite his remarkable easiness on the eyes, Hunter’s Jesus just isn’t as passionate as I hoped he’d be, and comes off a little dull. He needs a phaser rifle or something…
Then, in another great epic made just a few years later, you can’t swing a dead tribble without hitting someone who guest-starred on Star Trek; it’s The Greatest Story Ever told (1965) which starred Max Von Sydow as Jesus, and a cast of thousands that boasted at least a dozen cameos of A-list stars of the time (Claude Rains, Jose Ferrer, John Wayne,Donald Pleasance, Ed Wynn, Roddy McDowall, Sidney Poitier, Dorothy McGuire) and a host of actors who would become famous for their TV Roles (Telly Savalas, Martin Landau, and David McCallum). …Greatest Story was far superior to King of Kings, and it’s one of my favorite tellings of the passion of Christ*. But get a load of how many familiar faces you’ll see here:
First, one of the three kings is…Sarek!
Mark Lenard as Balthazaar and Sarek.
2) Advisor Aben to Herod is…Ayelborne!
John Abbott as Aben and Ayelborne.
3) An old man who holds Jesus’ hands at the temple is..Dr. Robert Johnson!
Felix Locher as Old Man and Dr. Robert Johnson
4) One of Herod’s Centurions is…Kang!
Michael Ansara as Centurion and Kang.
5) Another Centurion is…the Klingon Lieutenant from Errand of Mercy!
Victor Ludin as Centurion and Klingon Lieutenant.
6) Alexander, an informant of the Sanhedrin is…. Commissioner Ferris!
John Crawford as Alexander and Commissioner Ferris.
7) The sad woman a the gate watching the trial of Jesus is… T’Pau!
Celia Lovsky as Woman at Gate and T’Pau.
8) An old man who defends Jesus is also a survivor of Talos IV!…
Leonard Mundie as Jesus defender and Talos IV survivor.
9) Joseph of Arimathea is…The Thasian from Charlie X
Abraham Sofaer as Joseph of Arimathea and Thasian
*my favorite version of The Passion is 1978’s Jesus of Nazareth
10) And finally, a shout out to David McCallum, who plays Judas here. Of course McCallum is famously known as Ilia Kuriakin from The Man From U.N.C.L.E., and Ducky on NCIS, and yeah, he was (sadly) never on Trek, but he is within one degree of Star Trek by being married at the time to Jill Ireland, who played Leila in This Side of Paradise! (And both Nimoy and Shatner appeared together in one episode of U.N.C.L.E.!) So here’s some McCallum for all you fangirls – He’s so beautiful here; what a fine young man.
David McCallum as Judas (*Sigh!*)