Another major blow has come today for fans of the Star Trek franchise as writer/producer Harve Bennett has passed away. Bennett passed away yesterday in Oregon at the age of 84. No word as to the cause of his death.
The producer helped guide four of Paramount’s Star Trek movies in the 1980s and produced TV series Mod Squad, The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman.
After executive stints at ABC and CBS and co-creating Mod Squad, Bennett had a hand in creating or producing some of the most iconic sci-fi series on TV including serving as exec producer on both The Six Million Dollar Man (he voiced the opening credits, according to Bennett) and The Bionic Woman.
Bennett also produced such television shows as The Invisible Man, Gemini Man, Salvage 1, The Powers of Matthew Star and Time Trax among others.
Bennett then moved to Columbia Pictures Television as a TV producer where his shows included Salvage 1, the miniseries The Jesse Owens Story and A Woman Called Golda, which was Ingrid Bergman’s final role and which co-starred Nimoy. Such creds led Bennett to the Star Trek movie franchise, eventually teaming with director Nicholas Meyer on the second movie in the series, Star Trek: The Wrath Of Khan — which featured the death of Nimoy’s character Spock. The pic’s success sealed the franchise’s place and led to Bennett producing Star Treks III, IV and V.
“He was a remarkable man and he was unpretentious and self-effacing. I don’t think there would be a Star Trek franchise without him. He rescued it. He’s endangered of being lost in the shuffle, but he’s the guy who figured it out,” said Meyer, who worked with Bennett on Wrath Of Khan and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.
The Chicago-born Bennett appeared frequently as a child on the radio game show Quiz Kids, and after graduating from UCLA’s film school he served in the Army in the Korean War. After he got out he became one of CBS’ youngest executives. Eventually moving to ABC, he shifted into programming, becoming VP Daytime Programming and eventually VP Programming under Leonard Goldberg.
Harve Bennett was a pioneer in the genre of Science Fiction television and film and he will be greatly missed. His contributions to the genre will never be forgotten and he will live on through his many TV shows and films for all of eternity.
All of us here at Horror Society would like to offer our sincere condolences to Mr. Bennett’s family and friends. May you rest in peace!
Harve Bennett 1930-2015