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Roger C. Carmel, Best Known for ‘Star Trek’ Role, Dies

Times Staff Writer

Roger C. Carmel, the corpulent character actor best known for his portrayal of the intergalactic confidence man Harry Mudd on television’s “Star Trek” series, was found dead in his bed, police said Thursday.

Carmel was 54 and his body was found Tuesday in his condominium on West Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles Police Lt. Ed Hocking said.

“It’s being handled as a possible narcotics overdose,” Hocking said, because cocaine residue and narcotics paraphernalia were found near the body. The coroner’s office scheduled an autopsy to determine the precise cause of death.

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Hocking said Carmel had apparently been dead for several days when his body was discovered.

Carmel was seen most recently in TV commercials as Senor Naugles, spokesman for the Naugles fast-food chain.

But it was as Harcourt Fenton (Harry) Mudd that he will be remembered by “trekkies,” the small army of “Star Trek” fans who continue to hold meetings and stage conventions to glorify the 1966-69 series.

Carmel began early on in the series, which followed the adventures of the starship Enterprise 200 years into the future.

In Episode No. 4, “Mudd’s Women,” Carmel was the escort for three women being transported as cargo for husbands on a mining planet.

In Episode 41, he was featured in “I, Mudd.” Banished from Earth, Mudd found himself trapped on a planet run by female androids who named him their “ruler.” Mudd attempted to lure Enterprise Capt. James T. Kirk into replacing him while he took over the Enterprise.

Carmel also was Mudd’s voice in an animated version of “Star Trek” broadcast in 1972.

Carmel, an imposing figure at 6 feet, 3 inches tall and 260 pounds, had experience on Broadway before moving into television where his credits included “The Alfred Hitchcock Hour,” “I Spy,” “The Munsters,” “Batman” and “Hart to Hart.”

From 1967 to 1968 he had a starring role as Roger Buell, the offbeat television writer on “The Mothers-in-Law.”

At one point in his career, Carmel--who is survived by a sister--also provided the voice for Smokey the Bear.


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