British actor and voice actor William Morgan Sheppard has died aged 86. He was best known for his roles in Star Trek, Doctor Who, and Mad Men. He died on Sunday, Jan. 6.
His son, “Supernatural” star Mark Sheppard, confirmed the news of his father’s passing on Instagram Sunday evening.
“We went to spend some time with my father today,” he wrote on Instagram. “Though he couldn’t speak, we held hands, he laughed and was so happy to see us. We left and came home. A good day. He was rushed to hospital and passed at 6:30 p.m., my mother by his side. I am so grateful that he didn’t have to suffer any longer. Thank you for all your kind thoughts, love and prayers.”
View this post on Instagram
We went to spend some time with my father today. Though he couldn’t speak, we held hands, he laughed and was so happy to see us. We left and came home. A good day. He was rushed to hospital and passed at 6:30pm, my mother by his side. I am so grateful that he didn’t have to suffer any longer. Thank you for all your kind thoughts, love and prayers.
William Morgan Sheppard was known for his many appearances across the Star Trek franchise. He first graced the Star Trek universe in The Next Generation episode, “The Schizoid Man,” where he portrayed Dr. Ira Graves.
He then appeared as a Klingon Commandant on Rura Penthe in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. Then as Qatai in “Bliss,” an episode from Voyager. And lastly, in 2009 he made an uncredited appearance as a Vulcan Science Minister in Star Trek (2009), according to StarTrek.com.
William Morgan Sheppard portrayed many STAR TREK characters…..the beloved actor passed away January 6th. His wife was by his side. Information comes from William’s son, Mark Sheppard.
His son, Mark Sheppard, also made an appearance in Star Trek, playing Leucon in the Voyager episode, “Child’s Play.”
The father-son duo starred together as older and younger versions of the same character in the season six episode “Broken Bird” of NCIS. They also starred together in the opening episode of series six of Doctor Who, in “The Impossible Astronaut” (2011). William Morgan Sheppard played the older version of the character, Canton Everett Delaware III, while his son, Mark Sheppard, played the younger version.
Born in 1932, Sheppard graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA) in London in 1958. He was an associate artist with the Royal Shakespeare Company for 12 years, appearing in Broadway productions of Marat/Sade and Sherlock Holmes.
His stage, film, TV, and voiceover credits spanned six decades and began in the 1960s with Strongroom, Tell Me Lies, and The Roses Of Eyam. In the 1980s he appeared in Hawk The Slayer; The Elephant Man, and The Sea Wolves.
Other roles include Blank Reg on the short-lived, cult classic ABC sci-fi TV series Max Headroom and Confederate general Isaac Trimble in the film series Gettysburg and Gods and Generals. He also played two different roles on the series Babylon 5; the soul hunter in the episode of the same name and Narn war leader G’Sten, an uncle of main character G’Kar, in “The Long Twilight Struggle.”
He’s also enjoyed guest roles in popular shows such as Charmed, Alias, Gilmore Girls, Criminal Minds, Mad Men, Dexter, and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, reported MSN.
In the 2000s, he was known for his roles in The Prestige (2006) where he played Merrit, and in Transformers (2007). He had an uncredited appearance in Over Her Dead Body (2008), according to the Mirror. His last role was as Will in Last Man Club (2016).
In addition to film and television, Sheppard was also a talented voice actor, lending his vocals to series like Hellsing, Legend of the Seeker, and Civilization 5.
When asked about his decision to pursue acting, Sheppard told What Culture, “I wanted to be a stand-up comedian, I did some gigs…I had a good job selling building equipment, but was itching for something—I was not so funny, but I had good timing.” He went on to star on Broadway with his 1966 appearance in Marat/Sade.
He credits his success in acting on screen and stage work with his experience serving in the Merchant Navy. “My experience in the Merchant Navy gave me an edge at RADA and in business,” he told WhatCulture. “I was 25 and those at RADA were younger, kids really—nice kids, but immature. I had been damaged and was always able to get up off the floor, often due to the kindness of others. I have been lucky.”
He was able to pass some of his wisdom down to others through the years.
Taliesin Jaffe, known for his roles in Mr. Mom (1983), Critical Role(2015), and House of Demons (2018) wrote on Twitter: “Not to start on a bit of a down note, but I just heard that the phenomenally talented William Morgan Sheppard passed away yesterday. Beyond his amazing body of work, he was also a brilliant acting teacher, and the ripple effects of his wisdom and insight are incalculable.”
Not to start on a bit of a down note, but I just heard that the phenomenally talented William Morgan Sheppard passed away yesterday. Beyond his amazing body of work, he was also a brilliant acting teacher, and the ripple effects of his wisdom and insight are incalculable.
— Taliesin Jaffe (@executivegoth) January 7, 2019
Sheppard is survived by his wife and children.