Edward Paskey was born on August 20, 1939, in Felton, Delaware. His family moved to California when he was child. He became an actor in 1966. He died August 17, 2021 mere days before his 82nd birthday. Eddie Paskey appeared on Star Trek: The Original Series in 57 of its 79 episodes, usually as an unnamed and uncredited crewman, but sometimes as Lieutenant Leslie.
Versatile, Paskey wore Command yellow, Engineering red, and Science blue depending on the needs of the episode. Paskey only had four speaking roles on Star Trek, once as Lieutenant Ryan and three times as Lieutenant Leslie. He also worked as a stand-in for William Shatner. Occasionally, he worked as a hand double for James Doohan, who lost a finger in World War II. Paskey only achieved screen credit twice, in “The Alternate Factor” and “This Side of Paradise.” He appeared as a brig guard, as a helmsman, as a bridge engineer, as a medical assistant, whatever was needed.
Because Paskey was usually on the set as an extra playing a generic crewman, he said:
“I was very careful to be somewhere else when the script called for someone to die. Because I was on the set all the time I knew what was in the script. I didn’t want something to happen to my character because that would have put me out of the show.” Ironically, his character died in “Obsession” and then was revived off screen. He was the first Star Trek character to die and come back to life.
Paskey suffered from cluster headaches, which the set lights triggered. He retired from acting partway through the third season. After a Vulcan nerve pinch had him fall against a railing in one episode, Paskey re-aggravated an old back injury. He retired from acting because of his back and the cluster headaches.
Paskey appeared in Star Trek New Voyages: Phase Two in 2004 as Admiral Leslie, Lt. Leslie’s father. His first television appearance was in the medical drama, Ben Casey in 1965. Paskey’s final appearance was as himself in the documentary To Be Takei in 2014.
Edward Paskey is survived by his wife, Judy and their four children. To them, we quote the Vulcan condolence, “We grieve with thee.”
Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as short stories in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress #30”, “Supernatural Colorado”, “Barbarian Crowns”, “Cat Tails””Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on SCIFI.radio’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions, Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.