(written from a Production point of view)
John Wheeler (born 20 June 1930; age 86) is an actor who made his major television debut played Tellarite ambassador Gav in "Journey to Babel", a second season episode of Star Trek: The Original Series. He filmed his scenes on Friday 22 September 1967 and Monday 25 September 1967 at Desilu Stage 9. Since then, he has appeared on many other television shows and several feature film.
His first TV role following his Star Trek appearance was that of a bartender in a 1968 episode of the Western series Bonanza which also featured fellow Trek guest actor George Murdock. The following year, Wheeler appeared with fellow TOS guest actor Vic Tayback on an episode of The Outsider. He also appeared with Frank Corsentino and Skip Homeier on Then Came Bronson that same year. His other TV credits include Green Acres, The Brady Bunch, The Odd Couple (working alongside Stanley Adams, Bill Quinn, and Garry Walberg), Mission: Impossible, Adam-12 (in an episode with Peter Brocco and Nehemiah Persoff), Love, American Style (including one episode with William Windom), Happy Days (with Ed Begley, Jr.), Gunsmoke, The Rockford Files, The Golden Girls, Night Court (starring John Larroquette and also guest-starring Gregory Itzin), and ER. He also co-starred with Star Trek: Deep Space Nine regular Armin Shimerman in an episode of Good Grief, starring Wendy Schaal.
In 1979, Wheeler appeared in the TV special The Wild Wild West Revisted along with Rene Auberjonois and Skip Homeier. In 1991, Wheeler played I Love Lucy actor William Frawley in the telefilm Lucy & Desi: Before the Laughter. Co-starring in this movie were Don Keefer and Alan Oppenheimer. Previous TV movie credits include With This Ring (with Jon Lormer), Kate Bliss and the Ticker Tape Kid (with Richard Herd), and the infamous Rescue from Gilligan's Island (featuring Vincent Schiavelli), all airing in 1978.
In film, Wheeler made his debut with a bit part in the 1968 Elvis Presley picture Live a Little, Love a Little, in which he appeared (uncredited) as a workman alongside Paul Sorenson (the film also starring fellow TOS guest performer Celeste Yarnall). This was followed with roles in Sweet Charity (1969, with Ricardo Montalban, Ben Vereen, and Lance LeGault), Support Your Local Gunfighter (1971), Mame (1974, with Lucille Ball, Bruce Davison, and Barbara Bosson), Bad Georgia Road (1977, with Gary Lockwood), Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978, with Keith Carradine and Carel Struycken), The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again (1979, with Kenneth Mars, John Arndt, Rex Holman, Ed McCready, Robert Pine, and Nick Ramus), Banzai Runner (1987, starring Dean Stockwell and Biff Yeager), and Cold Steel (1987, with Jonathan Banks and Anne Haney). Wheeler can also be seen portraying a lawyer in 1974's Big Bad Mama, starring his TOS co-star William Shatner, and as a reporter in the hit 1995 film Apollo 13. Among his co-stars in the latter were fellow Star Trek alumni David Andrews, Googy Gress, Max Grodénchik, Clint Howard, Brian Markinson, Andy Milder, Steve Rankin, and Bruce Wright.