Veteran Character Actor Lee Bergere Dies

The Associated Press
Thursday, February 1, 2007; 9:54 PM

BRENTWOOD, N.H. -- Veteran character actor Lee Bergere, who appeared in more than 200 television shows, including an original "Star Trek" episode in which he played Abraham Lincoln, has died. He was 88.

Bergere died Wednesday at the Colonial Poplin Nursing and Rehabilitation Facility in Fremont, his daughter said. He had been living in New Hampshire for more than a decade.

During his 60-year career, Bergere also was known as Joseph, the head of the household on "Dynasty." He had roles in "North and South," "Falcon Crest," "Hot L Baltimore," and "Incident at Vichy."

He was one of those popular character actors in which "everybody knew his face, but nobody really knew his name," said his daughter, Mimi Bergere.

In the 1966 "Star Trek" episode, called "The Savage Curtain," he incited a fan following from Trekkies. "He still gets many, many fan letters about the show. It's incredible," she said.

In that episode, Captain Kirk meets his childhood hero, Lincoln, and they go to a planet to fight off Ghengis Khan.

Bergere also had a rich stage career, appearing in "Man of La Mancha" as the villain, the Duke, for its premiere in Los Angeles in 1967. He also played Quixote and other characters in the show in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York through the years.

"With that show, something happened to him spiritually; it changed him," Mimi Bergere said. "He strived to live the kind of life that Don Quixote lived, always striving for that unreachable star, never giving up."

Bergere began his career in 1936 as understudy to Danny Kaye in the Broadway production of "Lady in the Dark," with Gertrude Lawrence. His television debut was with James Dean in the live production of "Thunder on Sycamore Street."

A World War II veteran, Bergere was in charge of entertainment services for soldiers serving in North Africa.

In addition to his daughter, Bergere is survived by a grandson and a nephew.

© 2007 The Associated Press