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Larry Dobkin

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Lawrence Dobkin

...as Kell

Gender: Male
Date of birth: 16 September 1919
Place of birth: New York, New York
Date of death: 28 October 2002
Place of death: Los Angeles, California
Roles: Director (TOS: "Charlie X")
Character(s): Ambassador Kell

Lawrence Dobkin (16 September 191928 October 2002; age 83) was an Emmy-nominated actor, television director, and occasional writer and producer who directed one episode of Star Trek: The Original Series, the first season's "Charlie X". Twenty-five years later (credited as Larry Dobkin), he guest-starred as Ambassador Kell in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Mind's Eye". He is the only person to have both directed an episode of the original series and to later appear on a Star Trek spin-off. In addition, Dobkin, Richard Compton and Andrew Robinson are the only three non-regular performers to have both appeared in and directed Star Trek. Dobkin filmed his scenes for "The Mind's Eye" between Wednesday 20 March 1991 and Thursday 28 March 1991 on Paramount Stage 8, 9, and 16.

Hailing from New York, New York, Dobkin voiced characters on numerous network radio plays from the 1940s through the 1960s. Perhaps most notable of these was The Saint, for which he played the title character's sidekick, cab driver Louie. He made his feature film debut in the 1949 drama Not Wanted, starring Leo Penn, who directed the TOS episode "The Enemy Within". Since then, he has amassed over 150 film and television appearances.

Some of Dobkin's early film credits include Twelve O'Clock High (co-starring Kenneth Tobey), D.O.A., and an uncredited role in the science fiction classic The Day the Earth Stood Still, directed by Robert Wise (who later directed Star Trek: The Motion Picture). He made uncredited appearances in many other films throughout the 1950s, including the classics Angels in the Outfield, Red Skies of Montana (starring Jeffrey Hunter), Them! (which also featured an uncredited Leonard Nimoy), Sweet Smell of Success (also with John Fiedler), and Alfred Hitchock's North by Northwest (co-starring Stanley Adams, Bill Catching, Robert Ellenstein and Ken Lynch). However, Dobkin did have a credited supporting role in films like Above and Beyond, Illegal (starring DeForest Kelley), The Defiant Ones (co-starring Theodore Bikel and Whit Bissell), and Cecille B. DeMille's epic Biblical classic, The Ten Commandments.

Dobkin's later film work include major roles in 1962's Geronimo (with John Anderson) and The Cabinet of Caligari and a supporting role in the 1970 Academy Award-winning Patton (co-starring Michael Strong). He later played Patton himself in the 1988 mini-series War and Remembrance, co-starring Ian Abercrombie, Steven Berkoff, Richard Lineback, Byron Morrow, Glenn Morshower, George Murdock, Charles Napier, John Rhys-Davies, and William Schallert. His last film was the 1991 science fiction/fantasy cult favorite Beastmaster 2: Through the Portal of Time, co-starring with James Avery.

It was during the mid-1950s that Dobkin began shifting his attention more towards television. Throughout the 1950s and '60s, he made multiple appearances on programs such as I Love Lucy, Space Patrol, Studio 57, Gunsmoke, Have Gun – Will Travel, and The Untouchables. In addition, he was the narrator on the ABC crime drama Naked City during the show's entire run (1958-1963). In 1968, he received an Emmy Award nomination for his performance in the CBS Playhouse production of Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, which co-starred fellow TOS guest actor Warren Stevens.

Dobkin's later television acting credits include an episode of Mission: Impossible (working with Leonard Nimoy, Robert DoQui, Rex Holman, and Jason Wingreen), the pilot for The Streets of San Francisco, and episodes of such shows as Hawaii Five-O, Knight Rider, MacGyver, Night Court, Profiler, The Practice, and NYPD Blue. He also had recurring roles on L.A. Law (starring Corbin Bernsen and Larry Drake) and Melrose Place, playing a judge on both.

Dobkin began directing television programs in 1958. Besides Star Trek, the numerous shows he worked on as a director include The Rifleman, 77 Sunset Strip, The Munsters, The Andy Griffith Show, Emergency!, Barnaby Jones, Cannon, The Waltons, Dallas, Charlie's Angels, and the Ricardo Montalban series Fantasy Island. Dobkin retired from directing in 1985, but continued acting until his death from heart failure in 2002. Both of Dobkin's twin daughters followed their father into television. Kaela, among other projects, appeared on the short-lived Melrose Place spin-off Models, Inc. working routinely with Star Trek: Voyager star Robert Beltran, and Kristin became a writer, writing a CSI: Crime Scene Investigation episode that guest-starred Megan Gallagher, Ellen Geer and Ed Lauter.

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