StarTrek.com is saddened to report the passing of Stewart Moss, a veteran actor, writer and director who twice guest starred on Star Trek: The Original Series. Moss, who played Joe Tormolen in “The Naked Time” and Hanar in “By Any Other Name," died of a heart attack in September, though word of his death has just now been made public. He was 79 and would have turned 80 today, November 27.
Moss's life and career intersected with everyone from Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne, Alfred Hitchcock and Frank Sinatra to Rock Hudson, Robin Williams, Hugh Hefner and more than a few Playboy Playmates, that last fact courtesy of his directing shows for the then-fledgling Playboy Channel, as well as Marianne McAndrew, his wife of 50 years.
As an actor, Moss counted among his film and TV credits Raise the Titanic, Topaz, In Harm's Way, The Bat People (with his wife), The Missiles of October, Hogan's Heroes, Bonanza: The Return, Mannix, Quincy, Ironside, Cagney and Lacey, Rockford Files, T.J. Hooker, The Six Million Dollar Man, Perry Mason, Punky Brewster and The Fall Guy. He also acted in a total of 64 stage productions on Broadway, off-Broadway, regionally and in dinner theater.
On Star Trek, Moss portrayed two very different characters. As Tormolen in "The Naked Time," he was the Starfleet officer who pulled a knife — a butter knife — on Sulu and Riley, and died after falling on it.
Later, in "By Any Other Name," his character Hanar was part of an alien species, the Kelvan, that assumed human form to commandeer the Enterprise. StarTrek.com spoke to Moss in 2015, when he released his autobiography, My Trek. He clearly preferred the second of his two Trek experiences.
"We started out as very pale, almost whitish in complexion and stiff, somewhat robotic," Moss recalled of the Kelvan in our interview. "As the story went on, we became more human-looking and behaving, which eventually did us in. As an actor, the progression in playing Hanar was interesting to deal with. As I remember it, I worked through the entire shooting of “By Any Other Name” and only three days on “The Naked Time,” but the latter was my best experience. It was a juicier part. I had scenes with Bill, Leonard and DeForest Kelley, who was my favorite Star Trek cast member."
As that 2015 interview concluded, Moss marveled at the fact that Star Trek remained a part of his life nearly 50 years on. "The whole Star Trek phenomenon is mind-blowing," he said. "Who would’ve thunk that almost 50 years later it’s still going strong? I haven’t done any conventions in six years, but I get a request now and then in the mail from fans from all over the world asking for an autograph, to which I happily comply. All in all, being a part of the Star Trek world is something of which many actor friends of mine, who have more impressive resumes, are envious."
Please join StarTrek.com in offering our condolences to Moss's family, friends, colleagues and fans.