Saturday, May 08, 2010

Amazing Grace

I recently found a batch of misplaced photo albums, which I hadn't seen since moving house in 2000. One album had this lone Polaroid shot, taken by me, among a lot of science fiction media convention photos and newspaper clippings from the 1980s.

Grace Lee Whitney, Yeoman Janice Rand of the original "Star Trek" television series, was at a Brisbane ST convention a few weeks after "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" premiered here. She hadn't already seen the movie, because she was a little distressed she hadn't been invited back after "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" (as Transporter Chief Rand), but she knew the fans would ask her what she thought of the film, so she went to a local screening with the con committee.

At the convention, I was essentially representing the Sydney club for some national convention decision-making and was lucky enough to be at GLW's table for the con banquet - and she bought champagne for the whole table, but drank only mineral water herself.

Grace Lee Whitney
GLW in 1982, Sydney.

For her return trip to the US, she had to pass through Sydney and I offered to organise to pick her up from the domestic terminal and get her across to the international terminal in time for her flight (above).

Years later, in an interview with "Starlog" magazine, she discussed her amazing ups and terrible downs of her showbiz career - and credited her wonderful experiences with the Aussie fans at that convention with her decision to go teetotal. We had no idea we were seeing Grace's new beginning at the time! (Either that or she was so appalled by Aussies that we drove her from the drink!)

Grace at Conquest
Grace is carried off by alien fan Scott Sullivan at ConQuest '82, a few days earlier.
Photo by Australasian Post's Clair Jolliffe.

(Sorry about the vertical lines from the 80s-era photo album.)

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