DC Fontana, ‘Star Trek’ Writer, Dies at 80

Longtime “Trek” scribe responsible for crafting Vulcan history, writing “The Next Generation” pilot

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D.C. Fontana, a longtime writer for various “Star Trek” series, has died. She was 80.

According to the official Star Trek website, Fontana died on Monday after a short illness.

Fontana is credited for writing many episodes of the original “Star Trek” series and was essential to creating the backstory and culture of Spock’s Vulcan heritage. Her credits include episodes like “Yesteryear” and “Journey to Babel,” which introduced Spock’s father Sarek and mother Amanda. She also co-wrote the Hugo Nominated “Next Generation” pilot “Encounter at Farpoint” with “Star Trek” creator Gene Rodenberry. She also wrote episodes for “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.”

William Shatner, who portrayed Capt. Kirk on the original series, called Fontana a “pioneer” whose “work will continue to influence for generations to come.”

Her last produced credit was an episode of the webseries “Star Trek: New Voyages,” starring Walter Koenig.

Fontana’s other credits include episodes of “The Waltons,” “Bonanza,” “Babylon 5,” and “The Six Million Dollar Man.” She was nominated for a WGA award for co-writing the episode “Two Percent of Nothing” for “Then Came Bronson.” Most recently, she worked as a senior lecturer at the American Film Institute.

Fontana is survived by her husband, Oscar-winning visual effects cinematographer Dennis Skotak, and her family wishes for memorial donations to be made to the Humane Society, the Best Friends Animal Society, or to the American Film Institute.