|Played by:||Gene Dynarski|
Ben Childress was the leader of a group of three lithium miners who worked Rigel XII around the 2260s. Fantastically rich, as was any successful lithium miner at that time, Childress was self-assured, almost overconfident. Despite his wealth, he lived in a small, simple pressure dome.
In 2266, the USS Enterprise was forced to divert to Rigel XII to replace its lithium crystals. Prior to Kirk's offical contact, Harcourt Mudd contacted Childress and arranged his own deal: Mudd's women, if the miners liked them, and Mudd's freedom in exchange for the crystals. Childress, and his partner Herm Gossett visited Kirk in his quarters to present these terms. What Childress did not know then was that Mudd had given his women the Venus drug to enhance their appeal.
Kirk started to remind Childress just how far away from civilization he and his partners were, but Childress' reply was interrupted by the arrival of Mudd's women, who quickly enchanted Childress and Gossett. Despite Mudd's having kept his word, Kirk had difficulty securing the crystals; Childress had the upper hand and knew it. After a series of events that culminated in the revelation of the Venus drug, a chastened Childress provided the required crystals. (TOS: "Mudd's Women")