It pained me to learn that James Doohan, who played ship's engineer "Scotty" on the original Star Trek series, is suffering from Alzheimer's disease.
Although I've never personally met the man, my heart goes out to him and his family.
I'm surprised at the depth of feeling I have for these actors that I've known since childhood. When I heard of the death of DeForest Kelly five years ago, it hit me as if he were a favorite uncle who had died. Now, with Mr. Doohan, I feel a real heaviness in my heart.
It's really something how certain people can have such a huge impact on one's life, even though you've never known them personally. I grew up with these actors, watching the original series (TOS for those in the know) as reruns and then loving every film they were in (yes even Star Trek V) up until the early 90's. They were larger than life, yet still very human. I really appreciated how as the years went on, these actors grew to be more comfortable with their characters, like they were putting on old leather jackets... worn smooth and supple from years of use.
Take care of yourself Scotty, and my prayers go out to you and your family.