Grace Lee Whitney, Star Trek’s Yeoman Rand, Dies At 85

The family of Grace Lee Whitney, who played Yeoman Janice Rand on Star Trek, has confirmed the actress died over the weekend at the age of 85 in Coarsegold, California

Whitney, a recovering alcoholic, has spent the last 35 years helping others with addiction problems. Her family credits her with having helped thousands of people successfully complete 12-step addiction programs.

“Grace experienced 35 years of sobriety through continuous fellowship with others and through God and Jesus,” her family told NBC News.

Born Mary Ann Chase in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 1930, Whitney was raised by an adoptive family. After several years of dancing with big bands, she began auditioning and was eventually cast as Yeoman Rand on Star Trek.

Until recent years, she was a regular at the annual Las Vegas Star Trek Convention.

We here at offer our condolences to Whitney’s family, friends and fans.

Whitney at the 2011 Las Vegas convention
Whitney at the 2011 Las Vegas convention

12 Comments Join the Conversation →

  • Condolences to her family.

  • Paulita Gilberto

    She had a small but important role. She was a Messianic Jewess in real life. Beautiful person.

    • Cabo 5150

      That relatively small role was going to be so much more, but sadly, I think we all know how it panned out due to unfortunate circumstance. R.I.P., Grace.

      I had to Google Messianic Jewess, never heard of that belief system before.

      • Paulita Gilberto

        Ever hear of Jews for Jesus? The Christian Church was birthed in Jerusalem in the Upper Room & was considered a sect of Judaism until a few centuries ago. Mary, the twelve Disciples and followers of Jesus at that time were all Jewish as was Jesus Himself.

        • Cabo 5150

          Wow, you’ve obviously taken offense where none was intended. Your rude, sarcastic, passive aggressive reply is totally unwarranted frankly.

          I had genuinely never heard or read the term “Messianic Jewess”, and truly had to research it as stated – nothing more, nothing less.

          I am an atheist and have absolutely no religious agenda here – my comment was not a slight on that belief system. I can’t imagine how it could possibly be interpreted as such?

          Taking offense can be a learned behaviour (not necessarily you), and many religions have used it as a form or coercion to silence (or worse) even the mildest of debate reference their beliefs throughout history.

          Once again, I was merely posting a genuine R.I.P. to GLW on an open discussion forum, and learned something new about her religious belief system in the process. I am just stunned you’ve responded to me in this manner.

          • Paulita Gilberto

            I wasn’t offended at all, just telling you what I know about Messianic Jews. Usually when someone expresses ignorance, they genuinely want to know. Sorry. You are the one taking offence where none was intended.

          • Cabo 5150

            No, I wasn’t offended.

            But I have personally encountered many with deeply held religious convictions whose lives are totally informed by, and revolve around, their completely evidentially unsupported (sometimes hateful) supernatural beliefs.

            I’ve witnessed this with many different religions, all claiming the exclusivity of their “absolute truth”. Same arguments, different myths.

            I’ve found some often get extremely upset and exhibit passive aggression if I’m not aware of the machinations and tenents of their religion – and gasp – dare to take the logical, “null hypothesis”, default position of non-belief.

            Perhaps both our posts are/were “lost in translation” as it were, but your initial reply did read as condescending and rude to me. I will accept your explanation, however, and hope you will do the same with mine now we have both clarified our positions.

            All the best. LLAP.

          • milojthatch

            I’m not saying it can’t go the other way, but in my experience the touchiest people I know are atheists. There was no reason to go into a long tired about how religious people annoy you, now was there? And yet you did. Why? Think about it.

          • Cabo 5150

            Your grammar doesn’t make sense, milo. A “long tired”? I can assure you I was feeling quite alert and awake when I wrote my post. I don’t know, perhaps you meant “tirade”, and just didn’t know how to spell it?

            I never used the word “annoy”, I was merely relating personal anecdotal experience reference *some*, note the use of that word, religious people I’ve encountered. My response was perfectly valid within the context of my exchange with Paulita – and was made with respect and decorum.

            Do not make sweeping presuppositional statements about my feelings when you have absolutely nothing to base it on. That’s deliberately inflammatory and bordering on trolling.

          • milojthatch

            “Passive aggressive reply?”

            Excuse me for butting in, but I didn’t read it that way. Paulita was explaining Messianic Jewess. Perhaps it was you Cabo who was a bit touchy? Could be…

          • Cabo 5150

            I did read it that way.

            But as I’ve already posted, both Paulita and I have clarified our respective positions and moved on. Perhaps you should do the same, milo.

    • milojthatch

      That’s really interesting. Everything I’ve read about her painted her to be a wonderful person. Sad I never got to meet her.