(written from a Production point of view)
|Birth name:||Leonard Rosenson|
|Date of birth:||15 October 1924|
|Place of birth:||Chicago, Illinois, USA|
|Date of death:||22 November 1996|
|Place of death:||Manhattan|
|Character(s):||Sarek; Romulan Commander; Klingon Captain|
|... as Romulan Commander|
|... as Klingon Captain|
Mark Lenard (15 October 1924 – 22 November 1996; age 72) was an American actor best known for his role as Vulcan Ambassador Sarek, the father of Spock. He first played Sarek in the second season Star Trek episode "Journey to Babel". He resumed the role in three of the Star Trek films (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country) and on Star Trek: The Next Generation in the episodes "Sarek" and "Unification I". He also voiced the role in the 1973 animated series episode "Yesteryear"
Before he was cast as Sarek, Lenard played the first major Romulan character seen on Star Trek, that being the Romulan Commander in the original series episode "Balance of Terror". As such, Lenard is often credited as being the first ever Romulan to appear in Star Trek; however, by strict order of screen appearance, that honor falls to Lawrence Montaigne as Decius, who appeared seconds before Lenard but was wearing a helmet covering his Romulan ears. Lenard was the first Romulan to be fully seen with Vulcan-type ears. Lenard filmed his scenes for "Balance of Terror" on Wednesday 27 July 1966 and Thursday 28 July 1966 at Desilu Stage 9.
Lenard and Montaigne were at one point considered as a replacement for Spock had Leonard Nimoy not returned for the second season of Star Trek: The Original Series if contract negotiations had fallen through.   Lenard was also the first choice to portray Abraham Lincoln in "The Savage Curtain", but was unavailable due to a regular role on the series Here Come the Brides. 
Lenard also became the first actor to play a Klingon with forehead ridges (and the first to speak the Klingon language) when he appeared as the Klingon Captain of the IKS Amar in Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Lenard had actually requested to reprise his role as Sarek for this film, but when his request was declined, he was offered the role of the Klingon captain instead.
In 1991 Lenard appeared for the last time as Sarek in the Star Trek: The Next Generation fifth season episode "Unification I". He arrived on Monday 23 September 1991 in Los Angeles and the transportation department picked him up at the airport. On the next day, Tuesday 24 September 1991, he had a wardrobe fitting at 9:00 a.m. and was picked up at his hotel at 8:30 a.m. Lenard finally filmed his scenes on Wednesday 25 September 1991 at Paramount Stage 16, was picked up at the hotel at 5:15 a.m., had a make up call at 5:30 a.m. and a set call at 8:30 a.m.
Lenard worked with Ken Penders to write a comic story titles "The Lessons of Life" that was to be published by DC Comics as a prestige hardcover graphic novel tied in with the release of the Sarek novel from Pocket Books. This project died, but led to Lenard writing "Blood & Honor", a Star Trek: Deep Space Nine comic released in 1995, where the son of his Romulan character from "Balance of Terror" met a descendant of James T. Kirk's on Deep Space 9. 
Early life and stage career
Lenard was born Leonard Rosenson in Chicago, Illinois. He graduated from high school in 1941, when he was only 16 years old. He then enrolled in the University of Michigan as a literature major. He was a veteran of the Second World War, joining the US Army in 1943 and becoming a paratrooper in Europe. He rose rapidly through the enlisted ranks until he was discharged as a Technical Sergeant in 1946.
During his military service, Lenard was chosen for a lead role in an Army presentation of Volpone to tour throughout Europe. This was his first acting experience. After being discharged, Lenard traveled Europe and considered joining the foreign service. Ultimately, however, he moved to New York and attended the New School in the hopes of becoming a writer.
While in New York, Lenard accepted the lead role in an off-Broadway production of James Joyce's play Exiles. Afterward, he decided to become an actor. He returned to the University of Michigan and received a Master's Degree in Theatre and Speech. He then returned to New York to pursue a career as a Broadway actor.
He made his Broadway debut in 1957 as an understudy for actors Philip Abbott and William Smithers in Carson McCullers' play The Square Root of Wonderful. He returned to the Broadway stage in 1959 for a production of William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing. Graham Jarvis was also a part of this production.
In 1962, he was performing in a play called We Take the Town, but this production closed before it could make it to Broadway. Lenard also performed in plays from such noted authors as Henrik Ibsen and Anton Chekov and earned several awards for his work.
Lenard met his future wife, Ann Amouri, in an acting class. They later toured together in a road company production of A Far Country, in which Lenard portrayed Dr. Sigmund Freud. Lenard and Amouri married in 1960, ultimately having two children, daughters Roberta and Catherine. 
Early television career
In 1959, while still in New York, Lenard began taking on television roles. He became a main cast member on the CBS soap opera Search for Tomorrow, taking over the role of Nathan Walsh. This role had previously been played by four other actors, including Richard Derr and Frank Overton.
After his part on Search for Tomorrow came to an end in 1960, Lenard portrayed Rochefort in a TV movie version of The Three Musketeers, also airing on CBS. One of his co-stars in this production was fellow Star Trek alum John Colicos, who played Porthos.
In 1961, Lenard acted with Christopher Plummer in The DuPont Show of the Month production of The Prisoner of Zenda. This was followed by appearances on such shows as The Defenders, Lamp Unto My Feet, and The Nurses. During the 1964-65 television season, he became a regular on the NBC soap opera Another World, portraying Dr. Ernest Gregory.
Los Angeles: 1966-1970
Lenard traveled to Los Angeles, California, to seek more acting opportunities. He made his feature film debut in the 1965 biblical epic The Greatest Story Ever Told, in which he played Balthazar. Nehemiah Persoff also had a role in this film.
In 1966, Lenard and his family permanently moved to Los Angeles. A month later, Lenard was cast as the Romulan Commander in the Star Trek episode "Balance of Terror". The director of that episode, Vincent McEveety, subsequently directed Lenard in episodes of the western shows Gunsmoke and Cimarron Strip.
Between 1966 and 1970, Lenard guest-starred in four episodes of Mission: Impossible. Like Star Trek, this series was produced by Desilu. Incidentally, one of the episodes Lenard appeared in was called "Trek." Among the performers he worked with on Mission: Impossible were Percy Rodriguez and Lenard's on-screen Star Trek son, Leonard Nimoy.
Lenard also managed to acquire roles on such television series as Jericho (with Malachi Throne), The Iron Horse (with Don Keefer), Felony Squad (with Vic Tayback), The Wild Wild West (directed by Marvin Chomsky), Judd for the Defense (with Perry Lopez), It Takes a Thief (with Peter Brocco and Malachi Throne), and Insight (with Diana Muldaur). In addition, he appeared in his second film, the 1968 western Hang 'Em High, along with Jonathan Lippe, Paul Sorensen, and Bill Zuckert.
From 1968 through 1970, Lenard was a regular on the comedy-adventure series Here Come the Brides. On this series, Lenard portrayed sawmill owner Aaron Stempel, the business rival of the show's protagonists, the three Bolt brothers. Two of the Bolt brothers were played by fellow Star Trek guest actors Robert Brown and David Soul.
In the decade that followed his role on Here Come the Brides, Lenard guest-starred on such series as Search (directed by Russ Mayberry), Mannix (with James B. Sikking and Kenneth Tobey), The Magician (with Ian Wolfe and Anthony Zerbe), How the West Was Won (with Kim Cattrall, Fionnula Flanagan, Rex Holman, and Roy Jenson and directed by Joseph Pevney), and The Incredible Hulk (with Stanley Kamel). He also appeared in three episodes of Hawaii Five-O (having previously appeared on the show in 1969), including two episodes directed by Michael O'Herlihy. (One episode featured Malachi Throne and Nehemiah Persoff.}
Lenard portrayed General Urko, the head of the gorilla military class, in the short-lived Planet of the Apes television series which aired on CBS from September through December 1974. His character on this show took orders from Dr. Zaius, who was played by Booth Colman. The series was photographed by Jerry Finnerman and included directors Ralph Senensky, John Meredyth Lucas and Don McDougall. In 1979, Lenard played the evil Emperor Thorval in NBC's science-fiction/western serial Cliffhangers: The Secret Empire. Thorval's aide, Hator, was played by fellow Star Trek alum David Opatoshu.
Lenard had supporting roles in the made-for-television movies Outrage (1973) and Getting Married (1978). Aforementioned Star Trek alumni James B. Sikking and Nehemiah Persoff as well as Don Stark and Jason Wingreen also had roles in the former production, while Christopher McDonald and Vic Tayback were seen in the latter. In addition, Lenard played the lead role in the 1975 film Noon Sunday and had a small role in the Academy Award-winning comedy film Annie Hall. The latter also featured John Glover and Tracey Walter.
In 1981, Lenard guest-starred on the popular science fiction series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century as Ambassador Duvoe in the episodes "Journey to Oasis: Part 1" and "Part 2". Felix Silla also appeared in these episodes as Odee-x; Paul Carr was a regular on the series at the time, playing Lieutenant Devlin.
Later life and career
Outside of his appearances in the Star Trek films and on Star Trek: The Next Generation, Lenard did little else in film and television during the 1980s and 1990s. He spent much of his time teaching acting in New York City, commuting back and forth between the east and west coasts.
For the most part, Lenard had moved on to voice-over work. He was well known as the spokesman for the Saab automobile company in the 1980s. He recorded numerous radio commercials for the company, most of which were taped in New York. When his contract with Saab ended in the early 1990s, Lenard became the national spokesman for Zenith watches. He also lent his voice to local and national commercials for many other companies, in addition to supplying narration and commentary for such television networks as PBS, The Learning Channel, and the Discovery Channel.
Lenard did continue making occasional acting appearances, however. He guest-starred in an episode of the short-lived science fiction series Otherworld in 1985, directed by Richard Compton. Jonathan Banks was a regular on this series. Lenard also had a supporting role in the 1990 film The Radicals, which was filmed in Europe (primarily France) and which co-starred Christopher Neame. This film's music was composed by Tim Simonec.
During the early 1990s, Lenard toured throughout the country with Star Trek regular Walter Koenig in the two-man play The Boys of Autumn. In this play, Lenard and Koenig portrayed Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer, respectively, who meet for the first time in 50 years as old men. Lenard and Koenig also worked together in the short play Actors.
Lenard made his final screen appearance on the television drama series In the Heat of the Night in the 1993 episode "Legacy". In this episode, Lenard played Horace Sloan, Jr., a wealthy man who intends on giving his estate to Candace Sloan, the descendant of a black sharecropper who worked on the land decades before. This plan does not sit well with Horace Sloan's greedy son, Lamar, the heir to the family estate. Candace was played by Next Generation guest star Renée Jones, while Star Trek: Deep Space Nine guest actor Edward Laurence Albert played Lamar. TNG/DS9 guest star Katherine Moffat played Horace's daughter and Lamar's sister, Amy.
Illness and death
In October 1995, Lenard, then living in Manhattan, complained of a pain in his ribs, but an X-ray revealed nothing of consequence. In December of that year, Lenard began experiencing fatigue and chronic back pain. After a series of medical tests and examinations, it was discovered that Lenard was anemic. Following a bone marrow biopsy, Lenard was diagnosed with multiple myeloma.
Lenard was initially given a prognosis of at least several years with plasmapheresis and chemotherapy, despite the fact that his disease was already at Stage III. By March 1996, however, Lenard's prognosis had worsened. He had continual bouts of pneumonia and became malnourished and, ultimately, the disease attacked his liver and kidneys. Lenard died of kidney failure at the New York University Hospital in Manhattan on 22 November 1996 (the same day Star Trek: First Contact opened in the US) at the age of 72. He was survived by Ann, his wife of 36 years, and their two daughters.
Star Trek credits
- TOS: "Journey to Babel"
- TAS: "Yesteryear"
- Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
- Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
- Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
Voice acting credits
Star Trek interviews
- "Sarek Speaks", The Official Star Trek: The Next Generation Magazine Vol. 14, p. 28, interviewed by David McDonnell