Kathryn Hays, who portrayed The Empath on Star Trek: The Original Series, dies at 87

American Actress Kathryn Hays, 01.05.1967. (Photo by Avalon/Getty Images)
American Actress Kathryn Hays, 01.05.1967. (Photo by Avalon/Getty Images) /

Kathryn Hays played the silent character in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode “The Empath.” 

Kathryn Hays, who passed away on March 25th at the age of 87 as reported by Deadline, played the scheming Kim Sullivan on As The World Turns for thirty-eight years until the series was cancelled in 2010. It was the role for which she was most known…except to Trekkies.

To us, she was the silent, tortured character from the third season episode of Star Trek: The Original Series, “The Empath,” which has been consistently ranked as one of the best Spock-centric episodes of the third season. Hays brought the character to life beautifully even without dialogue. She conveyed the pain she absorbed through her facial expressions as well as the dilemna of restoring a dying Dr. McCoy to health by taking on his injuries herself. Thanks to her, it was a wonderfully performed episode.

Kathryn Hays only appeared in one episode of Star Trek.

Some actors can leave a lasting impression with one scene or one episode, and Mays managed to do that with her one-time appearance on Star Trek. Her performance earned her an Emmy nomination, and for the actress, who was interviewed in 2010 by We Love Soaps TV, the part came at the right time in her life.

"I had a crisis in my life.  It was a physical crisis, and had emotional turmoil.  I either had to pull it together or I don’t know what.  And that role came to me just at that time.  It was down to the wire for me to get a grip and pull it together, and it did happen."

We offer our sincerest condolences to Kathryn Mays’ family, including her daughter and son-in-law Sherri and Bob Mancusi, her three grandchildren, and her great-grandson.

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