We've got even more sad news to pass along this week as veteran actress and soap opera star Marj Dusay has passed away. Apart from her work on soap operas like Guiding Light and All My Children, Dusay is also known for her memorable roles in the original Star Trek series and the 1977 movie MacArthur. Though the circumstances of her passing aren't clear, Dusay's death was confirmed by her stepdaughter, Elizabeth Perine, in a Facebook post. "She was quite a woman and had quite a grand life," Perine says of Dusay. She was 83 years old.
As Marjorie Ellen Pivonka Mahoney, Dusay was born in Kansas on Feb. 20, 1936. She married her first husband, John Dusay, in 1955, with whom she had a son and daughter. After the couple divorced in the early '60s, Dusay found success performing improv comedy in Los Angeles, leading to the start of her career as an entertainer. By 1967, she had begun working on television by appearing on classic shows like Cimarron Strip and Blondie. Dusay was also cast in various movies early on in her career as well, such as Elvis Presley's Clambake and the 1968 movie Sweet November.
One of Dusay's breakout roles during this time came in the first episode of the third and final season of Star Trek. In the episode, titled "Spock's Brain," Dusay plays an alien named Kara who literally steals Spock's brain from the Enterprise and takes it to her home planet, leaving it up to Captain Kirk to get the organ back into the Vulcan's head. The memorable ending of the episode sees Kara and Kirk coming to a compromise just in time to save Spock's life. The appearance has made Dusay a fan favorite with Trekkies at Star Trek conventions, and the actress often attended these events to meet with fans, take pictures, and sign autographs.
Dusay would find her place in soap operas when she debuted in the medium in 1983 on the CBS series Capitol, replacing Carolyn Jones in the role of Myrna Clegg. A major part of the show, the role earned Dusay two Soap Opera Digest Supporting Actress nominations. She would follow this up by replacing Shirley Ann Field as Pamela Pepperidge Capwell Conrad on Santa Barbara, then later appearing as the villainous Vanessa Bennett on All My Children. Perhaps her most popular soap opera role of all is Alexandra Spaulding in The Guiding Light, which managed to get Dusay nominated for an Outstanding Lead Actress Daytime Emmy Award. Dusay played the part off and on from 1993 until the series finale in 2009, with her character given a happy ending.
With so many movie and TV credits brought to life over the course of her career, Dusay has ensured her legacy will live on forever, and she'll definitely be missed by her fans. Still, those who knew Dusay best are suffering from this loss most of all, and our thoughts are with Dusay's family and close friends at this time. May she rest in peace. This news comes to us from The Hollywood Reporter.