(written from a Production point of view)
Viola Kates Stimpson (25 October 1906 – 14 January 2008; age 101) was the actress who played the tour lady who pointed out a possible reason for George and Gracie's whale song in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. She often played women credited simply as "Old Woman" or "Old Lady".
Stimpson began acting in film and television in the late 1970s. She made guest appearance on such popular television programs as The Bionic Woman (with Daniel Zacapa), The Fall Guy (with Vince Deadrick, Jr.), St. Elsewhere (with Chad Allen, Ed Begley, Jr., Ellen Bry, Ed Lauter, Norman Lloyd, Jennifer Savidge, and Kavi Raz), Simon & Simon (with Parley Baer, Darleen Carr, and Kenneth Mars), Highway to Heaven (with Ed Bakey), Max Headroom (with Matt Frewer and Charles Rocket), Growing Pains (with Andrew Koenig), Murder, She Wrote (with Dennis Madalone), ER (two episodes, one in 1995 and another in 1997), and Seinfeld (starring Jason Alexander).
Her television movie credits include 1982's Desperate Lives (co-starring Jennifer Parsons, Clayton Rohner, and William Windom), 1992's Revenge of the Nerds III: The Next Generation (with Clancy Brown, Bernie Casey, James Cromwell, Brian Tochi, and Sean Whalen), and 1998's Thirst (co-starring Casey Biggs and Ken Jenkins).
In addition to Star Trek IV, Stimpson can also be seen in such films as Graduation Day (1981, with Michael Pataki), The Woman in Red (1984, with Deborah May), Into the Night (1985, with Bruce McGill), Stewardess School (1986, with Brett Cullen, Bill Erwin, Paddi Edwards and Richard Lineback), and Nutty Professor II: The Klumps (2000, featuring Nikki Cox and Charles Napier).
Stimpson passed away on 14 January 2008 at the age of 101. She was the longest lived Star Trek actor until surpassed by Ellen Albertini Dow and the first one to reach the age of 100. The second one was Dow, who turned 100 on 16 November 2013, and the third was Olaf Pooley, who turned 100 on 13 March 2014.
Other Trek connections Edit
- Dream On! (1981 film, with Bill Erwin)
- Stingray episode "Orange Blossom" (1986, directed by Rob Bowman and co-starring Stewart Moss)
- Silhouette (1990 TV movie, with Nancy Parsons)
- Fire in the Dark (1991 TV movie, with Ray Wise)
- The Story Lady (1991 TV movie, with Ed Begley, Jr.)
- Squanderers (1996 film, with Cole McKay, Ronald F. Hoiseck, and Kyla Kuhner)
- Brooklyn South episode "Don't You Be My Valentine" (1998, with James B. Sikking and Titus Welliver)
- That's Life episode "When Good Ideas Go Bad" (2000, with Paul Sorvino)