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From Sawdust to Stardust: The Biography of DeForest Kelley, Star Trek's Dr. McCoy
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From Sawdust to Stardust: The Biography of DeForest Kelley, Star Trek's Dr. McCoy

4.08  ·  Rating Details  ·  103 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
In the forty-year history of Star Trek, none of the television show's actors are more beloved than DeForest Kelley. His portrayal of Leonard "Bones" McCoy, the southern physician aboard the Starship Enterprise, brought an unaffected humanity to the groundbreaking space frontier series.
Jackson DeForest Kelley came of age in Depression-era Georgia. He was raised on the saw
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ebook, 384 pages
Published February 28th 2005 by Pocket Books/Star Trek (first published 2005)
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(showing 1-30 of 357)
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Wendy
I had some issues with the way this book was written--it was like a really long magazine article, rather than a book. Also, there were some typos the editors should be ashamed of missing. Still, the subject of the biography was an amazing enough person that I stayed interested anyway. What a guy--he really was a wonderful person, and this book made me sad I never got to meet him, even for a moment.

I couldn't read the end, though. I hope Myrtle the turtle's doing well.
F.E.  Feeley Jr.
May 06, 2014 F.E. Feeley Jr. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From cover to cover this is one of the most beautifully written biographies I have ever had the opportunity to read. Being a Star Trek lover from as early as I can remember, my hero's were Kirk, Spock,Scotty, Uhura,and of course, Bones McCoy.
Terri Rioux captures the life and legacy of one of several American Legends involved in the Star Trek franchise, who helped set our collective attention heavenward. From his humble beginnings as the son of a preacher man, through his years in western film,
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Spiderorchid
Feb 04, 2014 Spiderorchid rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was so bad I really don't know where to start... I'll just make a list:

1) The author didn't interview any of Kelley's colleagues (no Star Trek co-stars, not any of the people he worked with on other series or in the numerous movies he made).
2) Instead, she inteviewed his mailman. DeForest Kelley got mail - how exiting.
3) There are only a handful of photos, most of them grainy, blurry snapshots. No glamour-photos, no screenshots, no publicity shots, no candids. Seriously, this is what
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C.F. II
Aug 22, 2012 C.F. II rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biographies
I don't often read biographies, even though most of the ones in my library are about the original cast of STAR TREK.

What can I say? I'm a proud TOS-TREKKIE. Which brings us to the biography of DeForest Kelley, the man who portrayed Dr. Leonard McCoy.

I honestly cannot remember how I came across this book, but I'm glad I did. In reading about Mr. Kelley's early years, military service, acting career and his unflagging dedication to his wife, I was impressed not only by the man's deeds, but more
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Bill
Jan 23, 2010 Bill rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a pretty decent account of the life of the actor that brought to life one of the great cultural icons of my time. After having read the autobiographies of many of the actors behind the other major characters of Star Trek, I had always wished that DeForest had written his as well. Since he did not, I was glad to find someone did it on his behalf.

There's plenty here to like. There are many details about his formative years and pre-Trek career in cowboy films and television. There's also an
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Coleen
Jan 28, 2016 Coleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Here's another book to feed my addiction of reading about the history of theater and movies in America.
This book does not disappoint in presenting early studio history in California - Kelly's steady business of being a contract player to the frustration of trying to find steady work as the studio system failed. Loved that the author was able to find and present information on Kelly's Georgian childhood, his early community theater days in California- and his prolific career in the westerns- all
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Jeff Wombold
Feb 09, 2008 Jeff Wombold rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another must for trekies. From his humble beginnings as the son of a preacher to stardum as Dr McCoy in Startrek; but much more you didn't know.
Voula
Jan 16, 2014 Voula rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just finished this book and really enjoyed it. I've always liked DeForest Kelley, originally because he was my favorite from Star Trek, but I've also enjoyed anything else I've seen him in. I thought the book was interesting and tried to give an excellent balanced look at a favorite actor's life. His personality, friends, colleagues, quirks, etc., most everything is covered. I learned a lot about him and about his work. I'm also delighted to say that this man, whose screen presence I have really ...more
Chuck White
This is the first main Star Trek cast member to have his biography published after his death, and to be written by someone else, as Kelley felt his story wasn't worth publishing. Boy, was he wrong. As part of the ultimate triumvirate that made Star Trek such the success it was, Kelley comes off almost exactly like his Dr. McCoy persona. Warm, down-to-earth, caring, with a twinkle in his eye and that Southern charm that the good doctor was famous for. Yes, like McCoy, Kelley could be exasperated ...more
Glory
Aug 17, 2015 Glory rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, own, star-trek
Yes, I had some issues with the writing style and the author's attitude, but other reviewers have covered those complaints. Here, I want to talk about subject of this biography, and the inspiration I took from him, even from the glimpse I had from this book. I've always loved McCoy, and right now I'm so proud to say that I truly love De as well. He is a consummately good man, and there are so many ways in which I relate to him. His challenges with the chaining fear of his childhood faith, his bu ...more
X5-494
Jul 30, 2013 X5-494 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well... nice.

It’s great to find out a bit more about (Jackson) DeForest Kelley and his years before “Star Trek” – and also the “Star Trek” years, of course. That, and – as far as I know – it’s the only biography about “De” at all.

So it’s totally forgivable that it gets a teeny-tiny bit repetitive in the later chapters, but there comes a point when you’ll roll your eyes and think, “Yes, we KNOW he was a gentleman, we KNOW he was a wonderful guy, we KNOW that Carolyn was the love of his life and
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Frederick
Mar 19, 2013 Frederick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From cover to cover this is one of the most beautifully written biographies I have ever had the opportunity to read. Being a Star Trek lover from as early as I can remember, my hero's were Kirk, Spock,Scotty, Uhura,and of course, Bones McCoy.
Terri Rioux captures the life and legacy of one of several American Legends involved in the Star Trek franchise, who helped set our collective attention heavenward. From his humble beginnings as the son of a preacher man, through his years in western film,
...more
Bev
Mar 14, 2012 Bev rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Wow. Just wow.

I don't care if you're not a Star Trek fan. I don't care if you've been living in some weird other world and have no clue who DeForest Kelley was (the Original Dr. "Bones" McCoy and cast in many westerns prior to Star Trek stardom). You really must read this book. From Sawdust to Stardust: The Biography of DeForest Kelley, Star Trek's Dr. McCoy by Terry Lee Rioux is an absolutely amazing book about one of the most decent men of the 20th Century--and definitely one of the most decen
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Donna
I like biographies and this was nicely done -- there was quite a career before Star Trek but it did take a while to "arrive." I do like that he was married to one wife and for decades. He seemed balanced compared to so many others.
Jim
Feb 07, 2015 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great read. So much insight into a childhood hero.
J.W. Braun
Jan 23, 2010 J.W. Braun rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Deforest led an interesting life, and Star Trek fans will be happy to find out about it from birth to death. Rioux does seem to be infatuated with the guy, and much of the book is devoted to defending Kelley and telling you why Kelley is such a great guy (rather than letting Kelley's actions speak for themselves and letting the audience judge his character), but this would be worse if the subject wasn't so loveable. Overall, it's a fun read.
Kel
Nov 06, 2013 Kel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-and-5-stars
A wonderful biography that focuses on Kelley's acting career and personal life. From his life as the son of a preacher man to his service during the war, from his role as Dr Lenard McCoy to his final days at home.

This is a beautifully writing biography and I highly recommend it to fans of DeForest Kelley (both his Star Trek and his Western fans)as well as people who are interested in what it used to be like trying to make it in Hollywood.
Rich Meyer
Nov 22, 2015 Rich Meyer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
One of the better entertainer biographies that I've read, this is also THE best biography of anyone from Star Trek. DeForest Kelley was the lynchpin of the show's chemistry and personal dynamics, but most people - even diehard Trekkies - have no idea he was a movie star in the 40s and a fixture on early television as a cowboy bad man.

This is a book related with respect and love - a truly wonderful read!
Sue
Sep 21, 2015 Sue rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. DeForest has always been one of my favourite actors. I always loved it when he got the last word on Star Trek, and I was glad when he would survive a western.
If you like DeForest before you read this book, you will love him when you finish reading.
He's never really gone--because we remember him.
Neer
The book is good because there is little material on DeForest Kelley but it'd have been better had the biographer showed us certain things rather than just telling us about them.

More here:

http://inkquilletc.blogspot.in/2014/0...

Margaret
Well this book proved what we knew all along - DeForest Kelley was a lovely person & a gentle spirit. I enjoyed reading about his life before Star Trek, his friendships & his simple but wonderful life with Carolyn in Sherman Oaks, besides all the Star Trek stuff.
Patrick Nichol
Jul 30, 2011 Patrick Nichol rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Any Trekker or movie buff will love this biography of the man everyone called "Bones."

Although full of Star Trek references, the book's strength is Kelley's early Hollywood career in westerns and film noir.

Bill
Oct 15, 2011 Bill rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't usually go for the celebrity biography, but I'm a fan of DeForest Kelley and this came recommended by the folks at the Starbase 66 podcast. A nice, lovingly written, story of his life.
Phil
Feb 19, 2012 Phil rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very nice biography of DeForest Kelly. I really got a chance to know this fine actor through this book. What a lovely man. And he was a Southerner like myself.
Brenna
Oct 14, 2013 Brenna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
What an amazing person. Interesting biography, 3 stars because it isn't exactly well written.
Weiss
Dec 25, 2012 Weiss rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's pretty good.
Katie Nichols
Katie Nichols marked it as to-read
Feb 06, 2016
lindsey shepard
lindsey shepard rated it it was amazing
Feb 05, 2016
Aleksandre Mikelashvili
Aleksandre Mikelashvili rated it it was amazing
Feb 04, 2016
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“In those days, men proved their strength and manliness by being well mannered, helpful, and gentle. Just how gentle they could be under trying circumstances, how civilised they could be in a harsh world, that was the measure of a man.” 5 likes
“But suddenly, he was firmly resolved about declining the UCLA alternative. A little while before, there had been a storm of controversy about Mickey Mantle and the kind of priority treatment he had received. DeForest suspected he was getting the celebrity treatment, that he might in effect take someone else’s opportunity to live longer. In the end, he refused all treatment short of the medication designed to slow the growth of his cancer and the drugs for the pain.” 0 likes
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