'Star Trek' actress Grace Lee Whitney dies at 85

By Aileen Graef Follow @AileenGraef Contact the Author   |   May 4, 2015 at 9:56 AM

LOS ANGELES, May 4 (UPI) -- Grace Lee Whitney of Star Trek died Friday at the age of 85 in her home in Coarsegold, Calif.

Whitney played Capt. Kirk's assistant Janice Rand during the first season of the original Star Trek series in 1966. She returned to the franchise in 1979 as part of the film Star Trek: The Motion Picture and titled her autobiography The Longest Trek. She made her last appearance as Rand in the 1991 Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.

She was dropped from the original show due to drug and alcohol abuse. After getting sober, Whitney dedicated her time to helping those with addictions. She was credited with helping thousands through the 12-step addiction recovery program. Her family said she would rather be remembered as a "survivor of addiction" than the Star Trek actress.

"Grace experienced 35 years of sobriety through continuous fellowship with others and through God and Jesus," her family told NBC News.

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