is deeply saddened to report that Dorothy Catherine (D.C.) Fontana passed away peacefully yesterday evening, December 2, at the age of 80 following a brief illness.

D.C Fontana
Dorothy C. Fontana, 1939-2019

Most recently employed as a senior lecturer at the American Film Institute, Ms. Fontana taught and mentored many classes of aspiring screenwriters, producers and directors by sharing a lifetime of expertise, craft, heart and integrity.

D.C. Fontana gained global notoriety for her writing and story editing on the 1960’s science fiction television series Star Trek, as well as the 1970’s animated series, which she also associate produced. Her work on Star Trek blazed a trail for women writers not only in television, but science fiction as well. Her well-known screen credit kept the secret of her gender from most fans until they saw a picture of her in Stephen Whitfield’s The Making of Star Trek, long considered by Trek fans to be the “bible” of classic Trek fandom.

It was Fontana who created Mr. Spock’s childhood history, including the story Yesteryear from Star Trek: The Animated Series, which was later accepted as canon. It was also Fontana who created the characters of Sarek and Amanda, Spock’s human mother and vulcan father, and laid the foundation for the ascension of one of the most famous internally conflicted characters in modern media.

She co-wrote the Hugo Award nominated The Next Generation episode “Encounter at Farpoint” with Gene Rodenberry, and she continued to write for TNG and Deep Space Nine. Her last produced credit was an episode of webseries Star Trek: New Voyages, starring Walter Koenig. 

For decades, Ms. Fontana was an ardent and active member of the Writers Guild of America West, and served on its board of directors for two terms.

She was born in New Jersey in 1939, and is survived by her husband, Oscar-winning visual effects cinematographer Dennis Skotak.

If you would like to make a memorial donation, the family suggests the Humane Society, Best Friends Animal Society, or the American Film Institute.


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