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October 7, 2015

TV Obits: Sowards, Di Sesso, Nearing, Downing

by Bob Sassone, posted Jul 18th 2007 4:01PM

Star Trek IIA roundup of TV people from in front of the camera and behind the scenes who have passed away.

  • Jack B. Sowards: He was a television and film writer who wrote for Bonanza, Peyton Place, Daniel Boone, The Streets of San Francisco, Barnaby Jones, Hagen, The Bold Ones, B.L. Stryker, and Star Trek: TNG. He also wrote the big screen movie Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. He died in Valley Village, CA at age 78.
  • General Wayne A. Downing: He was a news analyst for NBC News for many years and former leader of the U.S. Military's Special Operations Command. He died on July 17 at age 67. Here is background on Downing's career, and Brian Williams has a remembrance of Downing here.

  • Moe Di Sesso: He was an animal trainer who worked on several TV shows, including Seinfeld, Murphy Brown, The Bionic Woman, Green Acres, Rin Tin Tin, Will and Grace and Third Rock From The Sun. He also trained the rats in the movies Willard and Ben, and trained Sandy the Dog in Annie. He died in Newhall, CA at age 83.

  • Vivienne Nearing: She was one of the contestants charged with perjury for lying about her involvement in the qui show scandals in the 1950s (she later told the truth). She beat champion Charles Van Doren on the show Twenty-One, and then it was discovered contestants were given the answers beforehand. She died of cancer in East Hampton, NY at age 81.

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Uhm, yeah, maybe he was billed with writing it, but I'm pretty sure Nicholas Meyer did most of the actual work.

July 18 2007 at 7:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


July 18 2007 at 6:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Sowards is arguably the savior of the Star Trek franchise -- if it hadn't been for his excellent writing, I doubt that we'd have seen further films or the continuing television series that followed.

July 18 2007 at 5:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Just seeing the cover of Wrath of Khan stirs up nothing bu tgood memories. I don't think there is one member of my college fraternity who could not quote multiple lines from this film. My personal fave..

a) the needs of the many outweight the needs of the few, or the one.


c) From Hell's heart, I stab at thee. For hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee.

got to love that last one....ricardo at his finest hour..

July 18 2007 at 4:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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