Though Grace Lee Whitney, who would have turned 91 today, only appeared in eight episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series and four of the continuing movies as Janice Rand, she had a dedicated fan base, including Leonard Nimoy. And as much as she loved being known for Star Trek, she wanted to be known for something more, according to her son, Jonathan Dweck, who spoke to ABC News after his mother’s death back in 2015.
After her time on The Original Series ended, Whitney struggled with alcoholism for many years. She goes into more detail about her addiction in her 1998 autobiography “The Longest Trek: My Tour of the Galaxy.” She eventually sought treatment, and Dweck said she would have wanted to be remembered more “as a successful survivor of addiction than for her “Star Trek” fame.” He added that his mother had dedicated the last 35 years of her life to helping people with addiction problems. And some of those people, she had met at Star Trek conventions.
"“Over time, she became appreciative of her short time on ‘Star Trek’ because she developed meaningful relationships with the fans, Leonard Nimoy and other cast members.”"
Whitney did return to the Star Trek universe in 2007, appearing in a fan fiction film, Of Gods and Men. She also appeared in the 2011 documentary by William Shatner, The Captains, which was her final onscreen appearance. And though she passed away in 2015, she will never be forgotten by fans who will always see her as the first leading lady of Star Trek: The Original Series.