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

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  61 ratings  ·  19 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 w...more
ebook, 384 pages
Published February 28th 2005 by Pocket Books/Star Trek (first published 2005)
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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.
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...more
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...more
Jeff Wombold
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.
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
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...more
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
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...more
Bev Hankins
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...more
J.W. Braun
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.
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.
Jan 02, 2012 Sue added it
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.
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:

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
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.

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.
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.
What an amazing person. Interesting biography, 3 stars because it isn't exactly well written.
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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.” 0 likes
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