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!
2) Advisor Aben to Herod is…Ayelborne!
3) An old man who holds Jesus’ hands at the temple is..Dr. Robert Johnson!
4) One of Herod’s Centurions is…Kang!
5) Another Centurion is…the Klingon Lieutenant from Errand of Mercy!
6) Alexander, an informant of the Sanhedrin is…. Commissioner Ferris!
7) The sad woman a the gate watching the trial of Jesus is… T’Pau!
8) An old man who defends Jesus is also a survivor of Talos IV!…
9) Joseph of Arimathea is…The Thasian from Charlie X
*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.