It hasn’t been a week since the loss of Leonard Nimoy and, while fans are still reeling from Mr. Nimoy’s passing, another Star Trek legend, Harve Bennett has lost his life. Bennett’s death came a couple days prior to the passing of Mr. Nimoy, but the announcement came late. Harve was 84 at the time of his passing, which was caused by complications due to a fall, according to The New York Times.
Harve Bennett’s name is most familiar to Trek fans, because he produced four Star Trek motion pictures: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Start Trek IV: The Voyage Home, and Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. Harve’s success came to him long before he ever stepped forward to helm so many Star Trek films.
As a child, born Harve Fischman, Bennett received fame on The Whiz Kids, a popular 1940s radio show. The premise of The Whiz Kids was to test a panel of children with questions sent in by listeners. Questions such as “Would a bathtub drain quicker if you continue to sit in the tub after pulling the plug?” and “If you dug a hole from Denver to sea level and jumped in, how long would it take you to hit bottom?” were common on the program and new contestants were always available to entertain listeners, but Harve was invited back time and again.
The Whiz Kids only accepted children up to the age of 16 and Harve was no exception. Many of the former contestants faded into obscurity, but it seemed that Harve was destined to continue on in a successful show business career. Deadline reports that long before Bennett’s success with Star Trek, he had a hand in several television hits. Among his most celebrated projects, Harve co-created Mod Squad and worked as executive producer on The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman.
Harve moved on to Columbia Pictures Television, as his projects with ABC and CBS came to completion, and worked on a number of projects. One of the most notable of those projects was a TV movie entitled A Woman Called Golda, memorable because it would be Ingrid Bergman’s final role, casting her alongside Leonard Nimoy.
When Bennett was chosen for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, he prepared for the project that would team him with director Nicholas Meyer by watching each and every episode of the original Star Trek series. The result was a film that many long time fans still regard as the best Star Trek film to ever hit the big screen.
The Big Bang Theory paid tribute to Leonard Nimoy upon the news of his passing. Read about that story on Inquisitr as well.