There’s a smattering of shock running through the geeky fandom of Star Trek, namely due to a violent shooting allegedly committed by former playmate and Star Trek guest star, Angela Dorian. There are conflicting reports out as of now. WooebNews reports that she show her husband, Bruce Rathgeb, while The Daily News reports him only as “her lover”. Still others merely said that she allegedly shot her boyfriend. This misinformation might be due to the speed at which the news was discovered. Either way, she’s been charged with attempted murder. On top of that, none of these reporting agencies checked her real name: Victoria Vetri.
We geeks remember Angela/Victoria as the inexplicable appearance of a human-like being in the place of a cat-companion to Gary Seven of the Star trek episode, “Assignment Earth”. Her role was all of about 5 seconds worth of posing and a purring noise, but we have her forever emblazoned on our hearts as a forerunner to M’Ress, a character seen on “Star Trek: The Animated Series”. From 1962 to 1975 she had regular guest starring roles in series like “Hogan’s Heroes”, “The Big Country” and “Man from U.N.C.L.E”. After that, her IMDB.com resume falls silent.
What we have to remember is that even movie stars and Playboy playmates are people too: they have lovers, friends and family, they have fights, fall in love, and have problems just like the rest of us. While working at Screen Actors Guild, I learned this the hard way. Actors and actresses alike came everyday to apply for help paying utility bills, getting money for food, and paying the rent. They were almost always folks that I remembered fondly. When a waiter tells you that he’s an actor, don’t scoff. Three months down the road, he might be your new favorite heartthrob.
I’ve had my experience with actors announcing their presence, too: a fellow stopped by my local watering hole to have a drink on the way out to the Hamptons, and I think he took a fancy to me. In his best “bad guy” voice, he lifted the brim of his black cowboy hat and said, “Hey, come and have a drink with me.” I have to say, his voice and manner drew fearful shudders down my back. Since I’d declined his offer, he decided to throw in a little more evil: “You should have a drink with me, you know. In a month you’ll be wishing that you had. I”m in three of the next big movies that are going to come out, and I’ve got a big role in each.” Sure enough, I spied him to my infinite delight as the bad guy in three consecutive movies. I was squealing in the theatre, “Oh my God, that’s the guy who tried to buy me a drink!” My friends thought I was crazy, of course.
Lastly there are the really nice actors, the ones who have a place in their heart for everyone. How they do it, I don’t know. I could never be that open with strangers. In my line (music) I used to get very impatient with the questions. “Can I try your violin? You play so well, would you play for me? What kind of mike do you use?” I used to run backstage nodding and smiling, just to take a breath after rushing past a crowd. I think it actually scared me. So I have infinite respect for someone who can sit down and have an intelligent conversation with a total stranger and not get frightened or lose patience. Sylvester McCoy (Dr. WHO) was one, and Jimmy Doohan (Montgomery Scott) was another. Both of them were extremely kind and careful and never once made anyone who they met ill at-ease. I’m sure that kind of patience must have reverberated in their home life, as well.
So when a gal like Victoria/Andrea steps up and has an argument, we really shouldn’t say “Tsk, tsk, those crazy actors/actresses, always doing something strange.” We should say “Oh, dear – that could happen to you, or me,” because actors and actresses are people too.