Sheldon Collins – Tough Kid in “Star Trek : A Piece of the Action”

After starting this hobby of contacting actors from the original Star Trek series, I have focused mostly on the people who are older.  For that reason, I haven’t attempted to contact very many of the child actors who worked on the show, who are now in their late 60s. 

The first one I attempted was Sheldon Collins.

The now Dr. Sheldon Gollomb worked as a child actor in the mid to late 1960s, appearing in various shows like the soap opera Guiding Light, sit coms like “I Dream of Jeannie” and “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and the sci-fi series “Time Tunnel”.  His most prominent role was a recurring performance as Arnold Bailey, a local boy from Mayberry, in “The Andy Griffith Show”.

He was reportedly a fan of Star Trek when he was cast in the Season Two episode “A Piece of the Action”.  This is one of the silly episodes of Star Trek, but its one of the better ones.  Captain Kirk and crew visit a planet that was last visited by the federation a century ago.  In the previous visit the landing party left behind a book on Chicago gangsters of the 1930s, and the planet whose population are strong emulators reinvented their society around gangland Chicago with districts controlled by Al Capone style mobsters surrounded by gun molls and henchmen with machine guns.  

At one point in the show Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock need a distraction and a local boy, played by Sheldon, offers to provide this in exchange for cutting him on the score…or getting “a piece of the action”. 

This was his only appearance on Star Trek and following a guest appearance on a 1972 television show he completely retired from acting at the age of 17. 

He studied biology at California State University earning a Bachelors Degree, and his interest in biology and physiology let him to study dentistry, earning a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Iowa.

Now age 66 Dr. Golomb works as a dentist in Colorado.  An interview in 1995 explains that Dr. Golomb aged out of child acting roles and grew disillusioned watching his peers burn out and become bitter.  His academic success proved the route into a new career.  The same interview describes Dr. Golomb’s office as displaying autographed photos from various co-stars from his acting days.   

The website for his dental office makes no secret of Dr. Golomb’s past in the entertainment industry, and even says he is still a big fan of Star Trek.

I have no idea the volume of mail he receives from nostalgic television watchers.  I mailed this autograph request to his office in June, and received them back in March, although its likely the COVID-19 Pandemic slowed down non-essential correspondence from a medical practitioner. 

Dr. Golomb moved on from Star Trek and acting, and by all accounts has been very successful, and I hope he wasn’t upset by the intrusion of my letter to his dental office.  Hopefully it was a reminder that his work from many years ago is still enjoyed. 

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