Saturday, December 26, 2009

Space Babe: Persis Khambatta

Persis Khambatta as Ilia in Star Trek The Motion Picture. Thirty years ago this month, Gene Roddenberry's iconic science fiction television series made its highly-touted transition to feature film status, bringing along with it several new characters, including this exotic beauty from the "sexually advanced" planet Delta - navigator Lieutenant Ilia.

The former Miss India may not have been a particularly good actress, but she was striking woman who managed to make a shaved head look damned sexy. And she did appear in a few other genre films, including 1982's MegaForce and 83's Warrior of the Lost World.

Sadly, the lovely Khambatta passed away in 1998 from a heart attack at the too-young age of 49.


  1. My dad worked on the first couple of ST films, and I got to make visits to Paramount to see the sets and meet the actors. Dad's Scottish, and James Doohan actually worked on his accent a bit with pops. AFter the sickbay scene shooting is when I got to meet Persis. As a young teen being in her presence for just a moment was even a bigger deal than meeting Nimoy and Kelly.

    I never knew she passed away. Bummer. I think ST1 gets too much hate from fans. I pretty much dig almost everything about it (OK, was never a Decker fan), and Persis' role didn't really require Maryl Streep or anything. She was just fine.

  2. I was terribly disappointed in ST1. After all the years of waiting. But with the exception of the Canadian Mounty uniforms, I enjoyed the sequels.

    I used to work with an art dept guy who worked on the Vger model. Wonder if he knew your dad, Brunomac?

  3. She had better legs than DeForest Kelly, that's for sure