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The James Doohan Farewell Convention & Tribute

The James Doohan Farewell
Star TrekTM Convention & Tribute

August 27th-30th 2004  -  at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel



James Doohan gets his name sent to Pluto

January 19, 2006

We've just got word from Chris Doohan that James Doohan's name was sent on DVD (along with many others), on the New Horizons launch today.

This rocket is the fastest rocket in history. It will reach the moons orbit in only 9 hours, then slingshot itself towards Jupiter. It won't reach Pluto for nine years. After probing Pluto and it's moons, it will fly into through Kuiper belt and eventually out of the Solar System.

God's speed, Jimmy.

Thanks for the Love Jimmy

James Doohan: March 3, 1920 - July 20, 2005

We are greatly saddened by the loss of a great actor and wonderful friend.

We are honored that we were a part of his farewell tribute, and were able to honor him while he was with us.


Very limited, exclusive autographed merchandise

still available in the Planet Xpo Ticket Office



Farewell Mister Scott

post-convention report by Ruby Moon-Houldson


A wonderful journey -- that’s what thousands of Star Trek fans experienced this past August when they attended PlanetXpo’s "Beam Me Up, Scotty...One Last Time" James Doohan Tribute. It was a very special and successful event. Fans traveled to CA from all over the world in order to bid James Doohan a fond and loving farewell. New friends, good times, wonderful memories, fabulous stories, exclusive collector’s items, never to be forgotten moments with the stars -- that is just a small sample of what took place in Hollywood, CA during the Tribute weekend celebration.

                       

One highlight of the Sunday afternoon program was the Grand Finale in the large ballroom in which there was standing room only. Video presentations depicting Doohan and other Trek casts members, filled viewer’s eyes with tears while eliciting smiles upon their faces and generating great applause from about the room. Even the future (Roddenberry's vision) and the past came together when Doohan and other Star Trek cast members joined former Astronaut Neil Armstrong on stage. Armstrong then proceeded to congratulate Doohan on his life-long successes.

It was a wondrous weekend that will be forever engrained in the memories of all those who attended. The event was held in the heart of Hollywood at the beautiful Renaissance Hotel. The Star-Studded Banquet -- Scotty’s Star Party, was an instant hit with all in attendance in that several Trek stars mingled with the crowd and even sat at the dining tables throughout the room and shared a fabulous meal with their fans. Doohan’s son, Chris, and his band rocked the house and later Tim Russ joined in on the festivities. To be in attendance at such a gathering was the chance of a lifetime.

                       

Despite Doohan’s failing health he was in good spirits and joined in the celebration, speaking with fans and sitting for pictures. He was all smiles and one could see that he was grateful to his loving fans for their support. Even while being wheeled about he took the time to reach out and shake hands with his fans.

Throughout the weekend three generations of fans gathered together and spoke of the impact that Doohan’s character had on their lives. Even Star Trek cast members related stories of Doohan’s influence upon their lives, with an exceptionally touching tale related by Nichelle Nichols.

                       

George Takei graciously stood in for Doohan during the events that took place at the Hollywood Entertainment Museum, where fans took a tour of the facility. Grace Lee Whitney even joined a tour group and lent her knowledge on the subject of "Hollywood and movie making."

James Doohan received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on August 31, 2004. Again, fans from all over the world joined in the festivities, as well as several Hollywood Stars and an abundance of television and newspaper reporters in congratulating Doohan on his great achievement.

                       

After the star presentation, a private reception was held in the Hollywood Museum where a lunch buffet was laid out on the original "Cheers" set. Stars, producers, agents, Doohan’s family, friends, and special guests were present. Once more, stories about Doohan were shared and a toast was given in honor of James Doohan. The ‘cream de le cream’ of the afternoon was dessert being offered on the ‘Next Generation Bridge’. Pictures galore, friendships shared, and laughter filling the air was the atmosphere that emanated throughout the Hollywood Museum as James Doohan and his lifelong accomplishments was the mainstream of discussion.

James Doohan will forever be a "Miracle Worker," to everyone around the world. We thank him for giving his all and most importantly, for giving of himself.

                       


Convention Report: Doohan's Farewell

mirrored from StarTrek.com

Doohan's Farewell

It may appear sad on the surface that the event was billed as the actor's final public appearance, his farewell to the fans, but the mood was certainly not a sad one. In fact, it was quite a joyful occasion, a unique opportunity to bid a happy retirement to a man who has meant so much to so many through his work and through his personality.

James Doohan has been a fixture on the Star Trek convention scene since the phenomenon emerged in the early 1970s. During most of the last 30 years, he has graced almost every event he's been invited to, around the world, in venues large and small without discrimination. But this past weekend he was in the heart of Hollywood, just a couple of miles north of the studio that made him a household name.

James Doohan

Shatner and Doohan

Doohan with Master of Ceremonies: Marc B. Lee

Doohan with Planet Xpo Producer, Sky Conway

At the Renaissance Hotel in the Hollywood & Highland complex, home of the Kodak Theater where the Oscars are now held every year, convention organizer Planet Xpo staged an event called "Beam Me Up Scotty ... One Last Time," the James Doohan Farewell Star Trek Convention & Tribute. The con was postponed from earlier in the year in order to coincide with the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce presentation of Doohan's star on Hollywood Blvd. on August 31. The 84-year-old Doohan has been in such fragile health lately that every fan making plans to attend could not help but wonder, "Will he make it?" Well, just try to keep him away.

Jimmy (we think it's okay to call him Jimmy) was there at the convention's kickoff party Friday night, where he visited with family, friends, colleagues and fans while his son Chris Doohan performed with his rock band The Muddflapps. Chris — the youngest of four from Doohan's first marriage (his twin brother Monty is eight minutes older) — led the fundraising effort for Jimmy's Hollywood star. Other musical performers that night included Tim Russ and Chase Masterson. Danny Bonaduce — whose wife Gretchen sings in Chris' band — was in the house, and he stepped up to introduce another performer, one whose presence throughout the weekend gave the affair a unique Scottish flavor. "Johnny Bagpipes," as he calls himself, doubles as both a bagpipe player and a stand-up comic, and he was quite a hit with the crowd. (It's hard not to be funny when you wear a kilt in public.) Mr. Bagpipes is from British Columbia, the Canadian province where Jimmy was born.

Saturday morning, the opening session of the convention was a tribute to the profession Jimmy's character "Scotty" epitomized — engineering. The topic was the privatization of spaceflight, conducted by officers from the X Prize Foundation, the organization using a $10 million prize to promote innovation in that field. Leading the panel was X Prize founder Dr. Peter Diamandis and supporter Dr. Harry Kloor. Kloor is a scientist and also a writer who contributed to several episodes of Star Trek: Voyager. Speaking of Voyager, another speaker on that panel was Dick Rutan, pilot of the experimental plane of that name that circled the globe in 1986 non-stop without refueling. Rutan received a hero's welcome from the audience. Following that panel, the design of fictional spacecraft was the topic of a session with former Star Trek senior designer Rick Sternbach.

Much of the weekend was conducted like a regular Trek convention, but with an emphasis on Original Series cast members and their individual tributes to Jimmy. Walter Koenig, Nichelle Nichols, Grace Lee Whitney and Barbara Luna all appeared on stage on Saturday.

"It's an honor to be here, and it's extremely touching," Koenig started. "Touching because of the love that has come to embrace the occasion by all the fans, the great affection you've given him. And once again proving that Star Trek fans are quite unique. They are the diagram that Gene [Roddenberry] had in mind when he was conceiving a one-world kind of community, people of all ethnicities and races and religions working together. We have folks here from all over the world, and they come with one thing in mind: to honor an actor who was part of that representation of community and fellowship and goodwill. So it ennobles Jimmy and it ennobles you, because you all have such great heart, and I am very touched."

"I have said many, many times over the last [mumble] years," Nichols began to the audience's laughter, "what a pleasure it is to be before the fandom of Star Trek, the best people in the world. But this occasion — whew! — is such an auspicious and wonderful and heartening moment in my life, because this is a man I love so very, very much." She went on to say that while her relationship with Jimmy has always been loving, it has not always been smooth. "Because, he has little patience with whatever he doesn't feel like being patient with. 'Uh, Nichelle! You're late!'" she recounted with a gruff voice. "He is the most wonderfully irascible man I've ever met."

"From one old engineer to another"

Neil Armstrong

Astronaut & Star Trek Fan

Keynote Speech

with Nichelle Nichols and James Doohan

Grand Finale

with Master of Ceremonies: Marc B. Lee

The formal banquet Saturday night was a benefit for the Fisher Center for Alzheimer's Research Foundation. Emceed by Koenig, speakers included Nichols, Wil Wheaton, Eugene W. Roddenberry Jr., Jimmy's wife Wende, plus a special presentation by Cowboys for Kids, Jimmy's favorite charity. Chase Masterson returned from a convention in Sacramento to sing another song for Jimmy, and Robert O'Reilly and J.G. Hertzler presented Jimmy with various Klingon artifacts to honor him for inventing the Klingon language for "Star Trek: The Motion Picture." Garrett Wang was also among the 600 dinner guests.

But aside from Jimmy himself, no one stirred up as much excitement that night as Neil Armstrong, the first human to step onto the Moon, who made a rare public appearance to serve as keynote speaker. "This evening is really an honor for me," Armstrong began. "It reminds me that I am indeed remarkably fortunate. I have ridden on 13 different rocket engines, and had the privilege of commanding three different types of spacecraft, traveling as fast as 25,000 miles an hour. Candidly, and unfortunately, all of those were primitive — none of them had warp drive. The Enterprise was about 100,000 times as fast as anything I ever flew. Our crafts did not even have the ability to leave our solar system. Lucky for those Klingons!

"Not having a transporter was a significant disadvantage. The method we used to descend from orbit to the surface of an alien world, uhh, worked," the astronaut continued to the crowd's laughter, "but it would've been far more efficient and far less traumatic if we could just be beamed down. I'm hoping for my next command, to be given a Federation starship. When I get that command, I would like to have a crew like Captain James T. Kirk had: Spock, Chekov and Uhura, Dr. McCoy, Sulu, and the others we all remember.

"Now, I have a confession to make. I am an engineer. And if I get that command, I want a Chief Engineering officer like—" he took on a Scottish lilt— "Montgomery Scott. Because I know Scotty will get the job done, and do it right. Even if I often hear him say, 'But Caeptain, I dunna have enough time!' So from one old engineer to another, thanks Scotty."

Sunday, the featured speakers again stuck with the classic cast. George Takei, who serves on the Alzheimer's Association Advisory Board, praised Jimmy's courage in his fight against the debilitating disease. He invited the fans to join the fight against the ailment, which afflicts over 4 million people, by walking in the Alzheimer's Association Memory Walk held annually across the United States. (For more information about the Memory Walk or Alzheimer's disease, contact the Alzheimer's Association at 800/272-3900, or visit www.alz.org.)

During the events in the main ballroom, there was also quite a bit of activity upstairs. There was a reunion among the entire living principal cast of Star Trek — William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Nichols, Takei, Koenig, and of course, Doohan — in the Photo Op room to give fans a final opportunity to have their picture taken with the entire group.

"It's been marvelous, really marvelous"

Shortly after that, Jimmy joined his family for a formal press conference with the national media. He was flanked by his wife Wende, his grown daughters Larkin and Deirdre, and son Chris. They did most of the talking, but Jimmy managed a few words for the press.

How is he feeling these days? "I feel great," Jimmy said. Is he enjoying all the attention? "Yes." Favorite memories from his Star Trek experience? "All I can tell you is, it's been marvelous, really marvelous."

Asked if the family ever sits down to watch old Star Trek episodes, Wende responded, "You know, we just put 'Star Trek IV' on because that's my personal favorite, and one of Jimmy's, and it was a lot of fun to see that. Sarah [Jimmy and Wende's four-year-old] was absolutely ecstatic, because she really hasn't seen of lot of Jimmy on TV, and she just walked into the room and she recognized him and said, 'Daddy! Daddy!' She kept running over and grabbing Jimmy and saying, 'That's you! That's you!' Just in case he didn't know."

Speaking about his convention-going experiences over the years, Jimmy said, "It's very nice to look out at over 15 to 20 thousand people. That's an audience." Asked if he had a lasting thought or wish to give to the fans, he replied, "Well, keep on doin' it."

"It's a goodbye but also a celebration"

Nimoy and Shatner

#1 Vulcan

Takei, Nichols, & Koenig

Harry Kloor and Wil Wheaton

Garrett Wang and Michael David Ward

Pat Ward, Nichelle Nichols, Sky Conway, Neil Armstrong, and Tracy Lee Conway

Later that afternoon Shatner and Nimoy took the stage in the ballroom together, reminiscing about Doohan and engaging in their usual playful banter. Shatner recalled working with Doohan in Canada when they were both doing radio shows in Toronto. "Jimmy Doohan was a well-known radio personality. What he dealt with most of all was dialects and voices. He was famous for them. And when I came down here, and they were casting for Star Trek, if I remember correctly — which I'm not at all sure — I suggested Jimmy Doohan." Nimoy interjected, "Did you really? Good for you! You suggested him for the role of Scotty?" "That's my...recollection," Shatner said in a self-deprecating manner. "Does Jimmy know that?" Shatner replied, "I hadn't told him yet. I was waiting until now!"

It was impossible not to acknowledge the well-documented reports of animosity between Shatner and Doohan over the years, but the pair on stage did so with a great deal of humor. "There's always this legend that Jimmy didn't like you," Nimoy broached to a big "Whoa!" from the audience. "You know," Shatner conceded, "Jimmy went around and said nasty things about me, but I know he didn't mean it. I have no idea why he said those mean things. Do you?" "I don't know, you're a very nice guy. Never forget that," Nimoy replied with a little tongue in cheek. Reiterating some things he expressed in the pair's "Mind Meld" DVD, Shatner said, "I have no idea why those guys were angry." Nimoy added, "I don't think it's true. I think he loves you." "Yeah — now!" Shatner laughed.

Earlier in the day in the Photo Op room, in fact, Shatner and Doohan did have a cordial conversation. Nimoy visited with Doohan subsequently, and — as Nimoy recounted on stage — Jimmy said to him, "I'm doing all right. Bill is here, and he's behaving himself."

Taking a more serious tone, Shatner and Nimoy both had high praise for their colleague's work ethic. "He had enormous professionalism," Shatner said. "They trained us well in Canada — be there at 9:00, you're there at 9:00, and you know your lines. It's remarkable how few actors there are, even back then, that had Jimmy's professionalism." Nimoy added, "He always went right to the core of the scene, and delivered what was necessary from his character."

They each noted that the weekend was a "bittersweet" experience, especially after losing DeForest Kelley five years ago. "It's a goodbye but it's also a celebration of Jimmy and a very, very long and wonderful career," Nimoy said. Shatner remarked that Doohan has had a fabulous life — "Not that it's over." He can still see plenty of life in Jimmy, especially when he holds his little girl Sarah.

On other topics, Shatner talked a bit about Boston Legal, the new show he's starring in this fall. He revealed that Rene Auberjonois from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine has been written into the show with a recurring role. Also, Shatner spoke about his discussions with Paramount regarding a possible appearance on Star Trek: Enterprise. "I came up with a story, and I met with everybody ... So I said, here's the story, and they said, 'Great story!' And I said, 'Here's how much money I want.' They said, 'Great story!' And that's where it's at now — I want too much money for it."

Nimoy closed the appearance by saying, "We truly have enjoyed being with you. And, we wish for Jimmy Doohan to live very long and be very prosperous. And the same to you."

The "Grand Finale" of the weekend was basically a chance for Jimmy to appear on stage one last time before the fans (but without speaking). With a ballroom packed beyond Fire Marshall standards (sadly, the room was locked down and many people had to be turned away), he was rolled in from backstage and helped to his feet by two of his sons, Montgomery and Thomas, and they helped him walk to the chair in center stage. Behind him, leading the applause were Majel Barrett Roddenberry, Grace Lee Whitney, Koenig, Takei and Nichols. Neil Armstrong also came on stage to honor the man of the hour. The ovation was thunderous, and Jimmy took it all in with a touching smile.


Additional Links:


A Tribute to James Doohan: Scotty a reference

A tribute to James Doohan: scotty a reference

In conjunction with the author, Ruby Moon-Houldson, a special presentation was made to James Doohan of A Tribute to James Doohan: Scotty a reference. For more information about the book visit Ruby Moon-Houldson's web page

The book is available in electronic or printed format from Author house.


Guest Attendance

James Doohan

James Montgomery Doohan

Portrays Montgomery "Scotty" Scott

James Doohan is best known to Star Trek fans as Scotty ("Montgomery Scott"), the chief engineer aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise, in the original Star Trek series.

Full bio>>

William Shatner Leonard Nimoy
Nichelle Nichols George Takei Walter Koenig Majel Roddenberry Grace Lee Whitney

Additional guests>>


Lost & Found

The following photos were left behind. If you know who belongs to them please contact us.


Sponsors

Brought to you by our incredible sponsors: Planet X Studios, The X-Prize Foundation, The Official Star Trek Fan Club, Art Asylum, Lightspeed Fine Art, The Renaissance Hollywood Hotel and artist Michael David Ward. We heartily thank them all!





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