Lezlie Dalton – Drea in “Star Trek : By Any Other Name”

Here in Ontario the Pandemic is continuing to rage on.  At this point two of my extended family members have contracted the virus.  One of them never had more than a mild sniffle, but the other who has chronic health conditions has been suffering terribly.  A friend of mine in England evidently contracted the UK mutation from his wife and says he has never felt worse. 

At this point we are forbidden from leaving our houses for anything other than food, work, or medical appointments and anyone who can work from home must work from home.

So obviously I don’t leave the house much.  However, I do check the mailbox every day and today I got another response to my pandemic hobby of sending Star Trek fanmail.

Today the response was from Lezlie Dalton who played Drea in the season three episode “By Any Other Name”.  This was a strange episode about a group of shapeshifting and teleporting aliens who take over the Enterprise and turn most of the crew into Styrofoam cubes before Captain Kirk, Dr. McCoy and Scotty teach them about emotions by giving them drugs, kissing them, and plying them with whisky. 

Like I said, it’s a weird episode. 

Lezlie was originally from Massachusetts and Star Trek appears to have been one of her first television acting jobs.  After Trek she appeared regularly with Dean Martin on a show called “Golddiggers” in the 1960s and early 70s.  During the mid-70s she did occasional guest work before landing a long term role as Elizabeth Grainville Spaulding on the soap opera “Guiding Light”, appearing between 1977 and 1981. 

I have casual familiarity with that show as a watched it intermittently before its cancellation.  From what I can see online her character was married to the villain Alan Spaulding and adopted his son Philip, and was evidently the namesake for his daughter Lizzie.  She did a guest spot on the long running soap “Search for Tomorrow” in 1983 and then appears to have retired from television acting.

While I am not certain what she has been up to over the past few decades it has evidently kept her busy. 

The letter I received from her explains that she has been travelling in and out of her home in New York and has recently returned to find an enormous pile of mail from Trekkies.  As you can see from the letter she was clearly aware that the pile has become jumbled.  The first photo I received is one that I sent her.  It is a behind the scene image rescued from a piece of discarded film by the archivist Gerald Gurian.  The second one, a smaller image, is not one that I sent her, so hopefully another Trekkie doesn’t end up disappointed.    

It’s nice that even after 50 years she is receptive to fan letters, especially when they pile up on her desk in her absence.  Whatever she is up to now, I hope she is happy and knows that her performance and career is still appreciated. 

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