Grace Lee Whitney, the actress, who came to prominence with her role on Star Trek’s original run, has died. She was 85. The actress played Captain Kirk’s assistant, Yeoman Janice Rand in the first eight episodes before being written out of the series. In her 1998 autobiography The Longest Trek: My Tour of the Galaxy, she wrote that her acting career largely came to an end and she became an alcoholic.

Grace Lee Whitney
After her battle with addiction, Whitney managed to reclaim her career.

Whitney, who was open and honest about her past struggles with addiction, died of natural causes at her home in he central California town of Coarsegold, about 80 kilometres north of Fresno, her son Jonathan Dweck said on Sunday, according to CBC.

Years after she developed her addiction, Whitney managed to clean up, return to her Star Trek role and reclaim her career, with the help of Star Trek co-star Leonard Nimoy, who played Spock on the infamous show. She returned for the movie franchise, reprising her role in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.

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Dweck said his mother would have liked to be remembered more as a successful survivor of addiction than for her Star Trek fame. She dedicated the last 35 years of her life helping people with addiction problems, some of whom she met at Star Trek conventions, he said.