Wed. Sep 28th, 2022
A serious woman in a suit
enlarge Fontana discusses her storied career in an interview.

Dorothy Fontana – one of the most influential writers in Star TrekAccording to a press release from the American Film Institute, her long history of being a renowned teacher and mentor of screenwriters and a pioneer for women in Hollywood passed away this week at her home in Los Angeles at age 80.

her numerous Star Trek contributions and roles include story editor on The original series and writing credits for several major episodes of The original series including the introduction of Spock’s parents and many explorations of Vulcan culture. She also co-wrote The next generation pilot “Encounter at Farpoint” with franchise creator Gene Roddenberry, and she had several writing and story roles for Star Trek video games and various individual The next generationDeep Space Nineand The animated series episodes, such as the DS9 episode “Dax”, which established the background of the titular character and her species.

In addition to her work on Star TrekFontana wrote episodes of Babylon 5BonanzaDallaskung fuThe Six Million Dollar Man, and many more classic TV series. She also served on the board of directors for the Writers Guild of America, and most recently served as an associate professor at the American Film Institute, teaching screenwriters, directors, and producers.

Born in New Jersey, Fontana spent her childhood writing novels and short stories before starting work as a secretary in the TV industry. After she started writing teleplays, she went by the name DC Fontana to minimize being fired from her job because of her gender. A lot of Star TrekThe most devoted fans didn’t realize that DC Fontana was a woman until many years after the series first aired.

As Fontana herself noted in a 2013 interview, very few women were working in the action/adventure or speculative fiction genres when her career took off. In fact, there weren’t many women who worked as writers in Hollywood. While there were some other pioneers and outliers, many women at the time worked on soap operas or variety shows instead, but even in those cases, they were often discriminated against. Today, 36 percent of TV writers are women, according to the Writer’s Guild of America.

Fontana’s work on Star Trek stood out for its focus on fleshing out characters and societies to an extent unusual in the sci-fi or action/adventure genres. She is often cited as the lead writer for the Vulcans of Star Trek

Fontana is survived by her husband, a visual effects director and Oscar recipient named Dennis Skotak (Escape from New YorkAliensTitanic† Her death drew a torrent of admiration and lament from others trek alums like Michael Okuda and George Takeic on social platforms and in public statements.

By akfire1

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