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Millicent Wise

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Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)

Millicent Franklin Wise née Cohen (15 June 192431 August 2010; age 86) was the second wife of director Robert Wise. She appeared as an Enterprise crewmember who was gathered for Kirk's briefing of the V'ger threat in Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

Millicent Wise has gained somewhat of a standing in Star Trek fandom, as she and her father, ardent Trekkies, were credited by them with bringing back Spock performer Leonard Nimoy to reprise his role in the Star Trek live-action franchise. Nimoy had up to that point in time refused to reprise his role as Spock, officially for the reason that he did not wanted to commit to the rigors of a weekly show, as the Motion Picture's immediate predecessor, Star Trek: Phase II, was originally intended to be. However, there was an unofficial reason as well, Nimoy had since the end of the Original Series been involved in a conflict with the studio over residual amenities of the use of his likeness on merchandise, for which neither he, nor his co-stars, ever did receive any financial compensation. As her husband had explained, when he was brought aboard the Motion Picture, in no small measure enticed to do so by his wife and father-in-law,

"At the same time, while I didn't know much about Star Trek, my wife, Millicent, and her father were absolutely devoted to the show, so when I brought the script, and they saw that Spock wasn't in it at all, they both practically yelled, "Hey, what's this? You can't POSSIBLY do Star Trek without Spock! It just won't work, because he and Captain Kirk have such a thing going." The next time I went into the studio, I said to Michael and Jeffrey, "I'm ready to commit to this picture, BUT you just can't do it without Spock. He's so identified with the series that I think there would be a real hole in the film without him." They agreed with me almost immediately, and they told me they'd been thinking the same way. So, we sort of all decided to take a shot at bringing Leonard on board."[1] (Star Trek Movie Memories, 1995, pp. 87-88)
Up to that point the studio had steadfastly refused to give in, but now, on Wise's insistence, the studio caved and the conflict which had dragged for a decade was resolved within a week. (Star Trek Phase II: The Lost Series, p. 77) Millicent was rewarded for her input with her cameo as one of the Enterprise crewmembers, gathered for the briefing scene on the recreation deck of the refit-USS Enterprise, were she appeared alongside a multitude of other Star Trek fans. Her only stepchild, son Robert Allen Wise, also served on her husband's movie as assistant cameramen. [1]

Born in New York City as Millicent Cohen, she went through life under the surname of her first husband. Millicent Franklin, mother of a married daughter (Return to Tomorrow - The Filming of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, p. 55), was married to Robert Wise on 29 January 1977 and remained together until Robert Wise's death in 2005. [2] Millicent Wise died on 31 August 2010 at Cedar Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. [3]

FootnoteEdit

  1. Robert Wise again related this story seven years later to Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 8, but the editors in transcribing the interview turned his father-in-law into a daughter. Wise did not have a (natural) daughter but only a single son, Robert Allen Wise. On the other hand, Wise related the same story in a contemporary account, published in the reference book Return to Tomorrow - The Filming of Star Trek: The Motion Picture (p. 55), in which he stated that it were his wife, her daughter and son-in-law who were the Trekkies. Nevertheless, wife Millicent has remained the one constant in every version.

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