DeForest Kelley Would Be 99 Today

DeForest Kelley would be 99 today if he were still alive.


What can I say about him that hasn’t already been said by me or somebody else?


I guess I’ll simply reprint something I wrote three years ago, since it will be new to people who have joined me since then…


5 Reasons Why You Should Be Talking About DeForest Kelley Again


Reason #5: Millions of today’s #StarTrek fans weren’t alive when #DeForestKelley became the first Dr. McCoy and may not know a thing about him or why his memory is so clear and dear to you. (My 12 year old grandniece had no clue until about two weeks ago when she asked me “Who is that man that takes up a whole wall in your hallway?”)


Reason #4: Many of today’s entertainment icons are untouchable, unapproachable, largely unavailable commodities, not comfortable, relational types. By sharing the DeForest Kelley you admired and loved (and still do!) with family and friends, they’ll learn about what true engagement and warmth looks like and may start embracing role models that ennoble others, as De always did, so they’ll go forth to contribute in powerful, legacy-building ways, as so many of De’s fans have done.


Reason #3: The world has become increasingly vulgar, mean-spirited and intolerant. By watching DeForest Kelley interviews on YouTube, your friends and family will get a sense of what masterful, engaging, attractive refinement looks like. They will love De and may decide to emulate his conduct. Those who do will contribute to the peace and charm of their environments and help make the world a better place.


Reason #2: DeForest Kelley was a funny, faithful, fantastic guy. People who have never been exposed to De are missing out, pure and simple. How would your life be different had DeForest Kelley not influenced you? That’s what too many others are missing out on until you introduce them to him.


Reason #1: 2016 is #StarTrek’s 50th anniversary. If not now, when will you have a better opportunity to remember the REAL McCoy to your friends and family—the man who embodied everything that a good man is expected to be: the husband of one woman from marriage to death, an endearing comrade, a devoted friend.  If you think Dr. McCoy was a healer, you’re right. But DeForest Kelley beat McCoy seven ways from Sunday as a healer. Who in your life needs to encounter De so he can heal them of their inner doubts about their “worthiness” to take up space and air?


If you need more facts and anecdotes to bolster your claim that DeForest Kelley was the full meal deal, please buy DeForest Kelley Up Close and Personal, A Harvest of Memories from the Fan Who Knew Him Best at Amazon. After reading it, you can pass it along to your family and friends—if you can bear to part with it—or you can suggest that they get their own copies after sharing yours for a few minutes. If Up Close and Personal doesn’t give you the feeling that you know DeForest Kelley’s essence to its core, I’ll be surprised. Helping fans get to know DeForest Kelley as well as I did was my aim in writing it—and the vast majority of people who have read it reported back to me that I succeeded beyond my wildest dreams. Their emails, letters and reviews have been heart-warming.


Kristine M. Smith is an author and freelance copywriter whose decades’-long friendship with Carolyn and DeForest Kelley changed the trajectory of her life. A greatly-enhanced edition of Kris’s 2001 Kelley title—renamed DeForest Kelley Up Close and Personal, A Harvest of Memories from the Fan Who Knew Him Bestdebuted at Amazon on January 8, 2016 just in time for the kickoff to Star Trek’s 50th anniversary. Email Kris at She will be available for virtual DeForest Kelley interviews throughout 2019-2020 (June 11, 2019 is the 20th anniversary of De’s passing; January 20, 2020 is the 100th anniversary of De’s birth . To book her for local or national convention appearances, use the same email address.)


If you were impacted by the career, kindness, or concern of DeForest Kelley, please reach out to Kris if you haven’t already. She is compiling the second edition of her e-book, The Enduring Legacy of DeForest Kelley: Actor, Healer, Friend and would love to consider including your story in it. THE DEADLINE IS MARCH 30, 2019. The second edition will debut on the 20th anniversary of De’s passing.


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