ActorDon Marshall

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An actor, Marshall appeared on the Star Trek episode “The Galileo Seven” (1967, and had the good fortune to wear a blue — Sciences — shirt, so it was two other actors in the landing party who died), Mission: Impossible, and many other shows. His big break, though, was when he was cast in a starring role in Land of the Giants (1969-1970), about the crew of an American spacecraft crash-landing on a planet where everything is 12 times larger than Earth (but, conveniently, the giants speak English). That put Marshall in a rare class with Bill Cosby on I Spy (debuted 1965) and Greg Morris on Mission: Impossible (debuted 1966): an African-American star of a prime-time network series.

Marshall on Star Trek.

“There weren’t that many jobs, guest starring jobs, for African-Americans — or any minorities, really,” Marshall said years later. “I was very grateful to get the opportunities I got, and it made me work very hard on each part, to make sure that whatever I was doing was right and that the characters I played were very strong people.” After Giants was canceled, Marshall wrote a feature-film remake of the show, but it never got going. He went on to other roles and films. After he retired from acting, he started his own production company to produce commercials. Marshall died October 30, at 80.

From This is True for 6 November 2016