Bruce Hyde, who played Lt. Kevin Riley on two of the earliest episodes of Star Trek, died on Oct. 13 of throat cancer in hospice near St. Cloud, Minn., the SCTimes reported. He was 74.
In “The Naked Time,” the fourth episode of the NBC series, Hyde’s character is infected with a mind-altering disease, deactivates the engines of the USS Enterprise and annoys the crew with off-key renditions of the Irish ballad, “I’ll Take You Home Again, Kathleen.”
Then, in episode 13, “The Conscience of the King,” which aired in December 1966, Riley survives a poisoning and learns that Kodos the Executioner, who had murdered his family 20 years ago, might be aboard the ship.
“There is something profound about Star Trek,” he once said. “People are moved by the idea that, out there in the future, we came in peace, we didn’t try to blow people up.”
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A native of Dallas, Hyde was busy in the 1960s, appearing in episodes of Dr. Kildare, That Girl and The Beverly Hillbillies and on Broadway in Absence of a Cello, The Girl in the Freudian Slip and Canterbury Tales, a musical. But after performing in a San Francisco production of Hair, he dropped out of acting for some time.
Hyde chaired the department of theater, film studies and dance at St. Cloud State University for more than two decades before leaving this year.
Survivors include his wife, Susan.