This tribute page was created for late DeForest Kelley's 86th birthday, January 20th, 2006. The original Hebrew page contains Kelley's biography, pictures, links, interviews with Kristine M. Smith & Terry Lee Rioux who wrote books about Kelley, and the "I'm a doctor not a…" quote list, with sound files for each quote. The list is brought here on an English version, and is the only list with all of McCoy's sound files, and the only one with the other doctors' sound files as well.
Both interviews and the pictures are down here too.
- The list is based on Memory Alpha's list, with one or two additions.
- The McCoy sound files were collected from these sites:
- All the non-McCoy sound files were made by Lenin972.
The Corbomite Maneuver
"What am I, a doctor or a moon-shuttle conductor?"
The Devil in the Dark
"I'm a doctor, not a bricklayer."
The City on the Edge of Forever
"I'm a surgeon, not a psychiatrist."
"Look, I'm a doctor, not an escalator."
"I'm a doctor, not an engineer."
"I'm not a scientist or a physicist, Mr. Spock…"
The Doomsday Machine
"I'm a doctor, not a mechanic."
Return to Tomorrow
"I will not peddle flesh! I am a physician!"
The Deadly Years
"I'm not a magician, Spock, just an old country doctor."
"I'm a doctor, not a coal miner."
"I'm a doctor, not a botanist."
Trials and Tribble-ations
"I'm a doctor, not a historian."
"I'm a doctor, not a voyeur."
"I'm a doctor, not a performer."
Basics, Part II
"I'm a doctor, not a counter-insurgent."
"I'm a doctor, not a bartender."
Future's End, Part II
"I'm a doctor, not a database."
"I'm a doctor, not a peeping Tom."
"I'm a doctor, not a battery."
"I'm a doctor, not a dragon-slayer."
Flesh and Blood, Part II
"I'm a doctor, not an engineer."
"I'm a doctor, not a zoo-keeper."
EMH: “I shouldn’t have to remind you, I’m a doctor…”
Torres: “… Not an engineer, right.”
The Swarm (Zimmerman Hologram)
“I have pointed out over and over, I am a diagnostic tool, not an engineer.”
First Contact (Enterprise E's EMH)
"I'm a doctor, not a doorstop."
Message in a Bottle (EMH Mark II)
"I'm a doctor, not a commando."
"I'm a physician, not an engineer."
A short interview we had with Kristine M. Smith, who wrote the book A Harvest of Memories about her time with DeForest Kelley:
Starbase972: When and why did you become a DeForest Kelley fan? What "caught" you?
Kris: I loved the character McCoy and thought he was the most interesting of all of them. He had a lot of power on that ship (he could put Spock and Kirk into a hospital bed if he felt they were mentally unstable!). I had also seen him as a cowboy for years in Westerns. But it was actually after I met him that I really became a HUGE fan. He was a remarkable human being, filled with a kind of love (not self-serving, but others-serving) that is seldom seen or experienced in this world.
Starbase972: When did you meet him for the first time?
Kris: May 4, 1968 during the Wenatchee, Washington Apple Blossom Festival Parade. De and Carolyn (his wife) were slated to be in the parade, so I drove over to watch him go by! That's ALL I expected! But by great good fortune, before the parade went off on its way, I happened to have parked my car in a lot near the hotel where the Kelleys were staying! When I spotted the car that would be carrying them in the parade (his name and STAR TREK were emblazoned on it), I decided to hang around until he came out and got into it. When he and Carolyn came out, that's when several fans and I were able to meet him and spend a few minutes with him, and THAT's the moment I became his fan for life. Many actors are very full of themselves and they don't often "see/really experience" their fans when they are with them. De was very appreciative of his fans and spent the time to let us know we were appreciated. He was genuinely kind, thoughtful, and in touch with his fans, as he was with all the people he met. It had taken him a long time (he had been an actor in Hollywood since 1946!) to become an "overnight sensation" when STAR TREK finally came into his life. He was always the humble, appreciative type, but his success was long overdue and so he relished it!
Starbase972: How did you become close to him and his wife over the years?
Kris: It was an evolutionary process. He launched my writing career shortly after I met him and wrote an article about him (he submitted it to a New York publisher and they wanted it as a special Christmas-edition story for their publication), and encouraged me to keep writing. We corresponded for a number of years after 1986 when we re-connected in person during the 20th anniversary of STAR TREK. When I moved to Hollywood in 1989, De and Carolyn and I became close friends; they helped me in a lot of ways, encouraged me, opened doors for me in Hollywood, and the like. The entire wonderful story is in my book DeFOREST KELLEY: A HARVEST OF MEMORIES My Life and Times with a Remarkable Gentleman Actor (please read the reviews at Amazon.com in the US, but order directly from www.authorhouse.com to get a significant discount on the book.)
Starbase972: What do you remember most from the time you spent with DeForest Kelley?
Kris: His kindness, sense of humor, wisdom, and concern for people.
Starbase972: He loved meeting his fans at conventions, right? Can you tell us about him and his fans?
Kris: Awww, yes! He loved his fans and they loved him. Of the major TREK stars, he was the most accessible. He read every fan letter he ever received, and responded to most of them very personally. He called fans who were sick in the hospital, even spent some time with a ten year old terminally ill boy in a Denver hospital because the boy wanted to meet "Dr. McCoy", so De flew from Los Angeles and stayed with him for an entire weekend. He was a lovely, lovely man with a heart of gold. How he ever managed to portray cold-blooded, gleeful murderers in all those Westerns is a mystery to everyone who knew him.
Starbase972: You once said on an interview that it is possible DeForest Kelley "kept you around" because you weren't talking about Star Trek. It's understandable how an actor won't talk a lot about Trek, but how can a fan hold his curiosity and questions for an actor he loved so much?
Kris: I truly never had any questions that I "held back" from him re: STAR TREK. (Perhaps I'm just not the curious type. I feel that questions can be intrusive, so I rarely ask any.) I enjoyed talking to him about his cowboy roles, and he loved talking about them, but what I learned about his TREK roles happened without my asking a direct question. Answers would just come out in conversations about other things.
Starbase972: How much of DeForest Kelley got inside Dr. McCoy?
Kris: McCoy was 100% DeForest Kelley — all but the irascible, quick-tempered part, which was art and craft, not native — but DeForest Kelley was so much larger and better than McCoy that while Kelley could "contain" McCoy, McCoy would not be able to "contain" Kelley. Kelley was the "sea" in which McCoy bobbed about!
Starbase972: Did he like the character he portrayed?
Starbase972: When and why did you start writing your book?
Kris: I wrote the book six months after De passed away (January-March 2000), just after I had stopped caring for Mrs. Kelley following De's passing in June 1999 and just before I returned to work at Warner Bros. Studios. I wrote it because he gave me permission to tell the story of my association with him and because I knew there were a lot of fans with a lot of questions about him (and about his final battle against cancer) that no one else would be able to answer. I wanted his fans to know what kind of man he was and how bravely he faced his final frontier. Fans have written to thank me for confirming for them every intuition they ever had about DeForest Kelley being one of Hollywood's (and the earth's) truly "good guys" off-screen and on.
Starbase972: Thank you very much, Kris.
Kris: Thanks for the opportunity to share my knowledge of De with you and with his other fans in Israel! It is an honor and a pleasure!
L'Chaim! Happy Hannukah… and have a wonderful, prosperous, safe new year!
A short interview we had with Terry Lee Rioux, who wrote the book From Sawdust to Stardust, DeForest Kelley's biography.
Starbase972: Were you a DeForest Kelley fan? How did you become his biography writer?
Terry: I was a Star Trek fan as a child – and I remember clearly how unusual Kelley/McCoy was – his voice, the way he moved. At some point I recall wishing he was my grandfather. So as the years passed I noticed anything that had to do with him. Eventually I went to a convention and met his fan club people and Kris Smith. We kept up a casual correspondence – until Kelley passed away – and then I learned that Kris had been his caregiver, that he had given permission for her to write his story – and there I was just finishing my masters in history and biography. About 90 days after he died I flew out to Los Angeles and met with Kris and Mrs. Kelley. Kris decided to do her memoir and I focused on Kelley's life story. The result is the book and I am very grateful to be the one to do it.
Starbase972: He was the only TOS actor who didn't write his own biography. Why?
Terry: Kelley was a most unassuming man, very quiet and very deep. The idea of writing about himself was really never an option – and the idea of having a 'hired gun' or ghost writer was really unappealing. The other actors had their reasons for doing what they did, Kelley would just explain that he wouldn’t do his, because, he'd have to clean the garage to get to all the stuff. Fact is the garage was perfect and he had packed away neatly a lot of what he wanted someone to tell people, a lot of what he wanted remembered.
Starbase972: Since you did all the work after Kelley already passed away, was it hard to gather all the facts and details? Did you have to "excavate" documents, photos etc.?
Terry: In a way he directed the research by leaving me so much to follow up on. He was very accurate in his stories and I found confirmation in interviews and archives. Mrs. Kelley supplied the old time friends who held a lot of the memories so it was exciting tracking them down and getting to know them.
Starbase972: Was he happy with his Dr. McCoy character and its development over the years?
Terry: Kelley believed he could have done a lot more with his character during the first series run. That third year he was getting set up to take his place as an equal with the other two 'stars' but as you know there was no fourth season. Then rather than launching a new phase of his career Star Trek typecast him. By the time the films came along we see a lot more of Kelley in McCoy and I think he enjoyed bringing his character along.
Terry: What gave him the most pleasure was knowing that so many had gone into the medical fields because of him. Many wrote him of their intentions, and that meant a lot – then a decade later they might write him again, to say they had become doctors, nurses, therapists, veterinarians – all types of healing arts. That was, for him, his greatest accomplishment.
Starbase972: What was the most important thing you found out about him during your work, that you didn't already know?
Terry: While he had no violence in him and no desire to prove himself as a fighting man he did sign up for Officer's Candidate School during WWII but was drafted before the school came up. He became an air traffic controller in Roswell New Mexico and then transferred to Hollywood to help make movies for the war effort. His strength was a different kind of manliness. It was the courage of an artist, determination and persistence made him successful, but it was his spiritual introspection and wisdom that made him a wonder to all who knew him. And I think I couldn’t have known how much that was true until I followed his story right through his last moments – and that is why I felt I had to include those pages – to let everyone else know what a strong and giving man he was.
Now we are coming up on his 86th birthday? He's been gone since 1999 – and here we are still wondering and talking about him – still missing him. How about that?
Starbase972: Thank you very much, Terry.
About Starbase972 (English)
This tribute page and the Hebrew original one were written and created by subatoi.
The following pictures were part of the biography:
Kelley's first movie – "Fear In The Night"
DeForest Kelley on several non-Trek roles:
TOS' cast and Gene Roddenberry with the space shuttle Enterprise.
McCoy on The Animated Series
DeForest Kelley on The Next Generation's Pilot – Encounter at Farpoint.
DeForest Kelley's star on The Walk of Fame, his signature & hands, and a Golden Boot Award (Kelley received one after his death).
Kelley's death on "Yediot Aharonot" on '99; Flowers over his star on his death day