I was just watching the marvelous To Kill a Mockingbird recently, such a beautiful film, and one of my forever favorites. Gregory Peck as Atticus is one of my all time heroes, and the entire movie was perfectly cast.
For those of you unfamiliar with it, To Kill a Mockingbird recalls the tale of young Scout Finch (Mary Badham) growing up in Alabama during the Depression, her father Atticus is a trial lawyer. When Atticus is called upon to defend a black man accused of rape, we see the tale unfold through Scout’s eyes. It’s a tale of prejudice and suspicion, but also a tale of the simple wonders of childhood, and how Scout learns compassion and tolerance. I cannot recommend it enough. (And as for the new prequel, Go Set a Watchman –– at first I was eager to read it, but now not so much as Atticus has been recast late in his life as a bigot…Can’t bring myself to read it–Yet.)
Anyway, it may seem trivial to point all the actors here who also appeared on Star Trek, but it just goes to show how caring the casting directors of Trek took great care to hire the best character actors. Enjoy.
First of all, Atticus’ friend and Sheriff of the town, Heck Tate, is played by Frank Overton, who TOS fans recognize as Elias Sandoval from This Side of Paradise:
Scout’s summertime friend Dill Harris is played by a tiny John Megna, who would grow quite a bit a mere three years later to play the nasty ‘Bonk Bonk!” boy in Miri:
The father of the mysterious neighbor Boo Radley is played by veteran actor Richard Hall, who was also Goro in The Paradise Syndrome.
At the trial, Judge Taylor is Paul Fix, who’d be Dr. Mark Piper in Where No Man Has Gone Before.
Atticus’ opponent, Prosecutor Mr. Gilmer is played perfectly by the versatile William Windom, who cemented his Trek fame as Commodore Decker in The Doomsday Machine.
And finally, although he wasn’t in the original series, the poor defendant, Tom Robinson, is played with heartbreaking anguish by Brock Peters. Peters would later have prominent roles in Star Trek IV (Voyage Home) and Star Trek VI (Undiscovered Country) as Admiral Cartwright and in Star Trek Deep Space Nine as Joseph Sisko, the father of Commander Sisko 🙂