Janice Rand – Courtesy of CBS
Michigan – Grace Lee Whitney
After being born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, actress Grace Lee Whitney would first begin her career in entertainment as a “girl singer”. In her teens, she would appear on the radio, moving on to opening up for Billie Holiday in Chicago. From there, she would transition into taking up acting in movies and on TV.
Whitney’s on screen career blossoms in the 1950s. She is able to capture several film roles, including the original House of Wax horror film. At some point, she was noticed in the 1960s by Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry. Liking what he saw, Roddenberry would cast her as Yeoman Janice Rand, a role which she would devote herself to for the rest of her career.
The rest of Whitney’s acting performances are relating to Star Trek. She plays Rand additionally in some of the Star Trek feature films, with The Search for Spock revealing her promotion to Commander. Her final role was playing Rand one more time in Tim Russ’s unofficial Star Trek film Star Trek: Of Gods and Men.
Whitney had been a regular on the convention scene for decades, showing a strong love for her fans. She sadly passed away in 2015 at the age of 85.