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L Entries
Elsa Lanchester
Martin Landau
Robert Lansing
Glen A. Larson
Jack Larson
Christopher Lee
Mark Lenard
John Lennon
John Lithgow
June Lockhart
Robert Longo
Peter Lorre
Eugene Lourie
George Lucas
Bela Lugosi
William Lundigan
 
LENARD, MARK
(Leonard Rosenson 1924–1996). American actor.

SCIENCE FICTION, FANTASY, AND HORROR FILM CREDITS
Acted in: "Dissolve to Black" (1961), episode of Way Out; The Greatest Story Ever Told (George Stevens 1965); "Balance of Terror" (1966), "Journey to Babel" (1967), episodes of Star Trek; "Wheels" (1966), "Trek" (1967), "Nitro" (1979), "The Rebel" (1970), episodes of Mission: Impossible; "The Night of the Iron Fist" (1967), episode of The Wild, Wild West; "Yesteryear" (animated; voice) (uncredited) (1973), episode of Star Trek (animated); "How Green Was Las Vegas" (1973), episode of The Girl with Something Extra; Planet of the Apes (tv series) (1974); "The Stainless Steel Lady" (1974), episode of The Magician; "The Story of Noah" (1978), two-part episode of Greatest Heroes of the Bible; The Secret Empire (tv series 1979); Star Trek: The Motion Picture (Robert WISE 1979); "Captive Night:" (1979), episode of The Incredible Hulk; "Journey to Oasis" (1981), episode of Buck Rogers in the Twenty-Fifth Century; Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (Leonard NIMOY 1982);"The Zone Troopers Build Men" (1985), episode of OtherworldStar Trek IV: The Voyage Home (Nimoy 1986); "Sarek" (1990), "Unification" (1991), episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation; Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (Nicolas MEYER 1992).
 
It is difficult to muster great enthusiasm for the acting talents of Mark Lenard. He specialized in projecting an aura of dignity and speaking his lines with the precise articulation of a Shakespearean actor, reflecting his background as a stage actor in New York City; yet this approach to performing, which some individuals have unfortunately regarded as the epitome of great screen acting, is actually lifeless and empty, as demonstrated by another renowned practitioner of the art, Patrick STEWART. However, Lenard had the great fortune to encounter one producer who greatly admired this style of acting, Gene RODDENBERRY, and he also had the peculiar trait of looking really good while wearing pointed ears, providing him with a prominent career in science fiction films.

After a competent performance as a Romulan commander in an early episode of Star Trek, Roddenberry recalled him to portray Sarek, distant father to Leonard NIMOY's Mr. Spock, in one of D. C. FONTANA's worst scripts for the series, even if some delusionally thought of it as a classic. Lenard went on to land a recurring role in Here Come the Brides (1968-1970) and probably forgot all about Star Trek; then, after the cancelled series became a huge hit in syndication, he suddenly discovered that, as the man who played Spock's father, he was now part of the Star Trek family, provided him with new opportunities. Thus, not only did he return to voice the role of Sarek in an episode of the animated Star Trek, but his connection to that lauded series undoubtedly helped him to get a role in another science fiction series, Planet of the Apes, where he was unrecognizable and unmemorable beneath heavy ape makeup. "Unrecognizable and unmemorable" would also characterize his cameo in the first Star Trek movie, as some enthusiast, recalling that Lenard was the only actor who had played both a Vulcan and a Romulan, thought that he should be called upon to portray a Klingon as well. But all he had to do was to look concerned while his starship was attacked, and all one can say is that, for once, he did not act in an overly dignified manner.

Later, as the death and resurrection of Spock became the focus of the Star Trek films, Lenard was again asked to play Sarek in two films, and he eventually appear in a third film and in two episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, but he was always competent, never outstanding. Surely, many of the television actors who labored alongside Lenard in the 1960s and 1970s must have watched those performances and exclaimed, "Hey, I could do that"—and indeed, almost anyone could. But some individuals are luckier than others, and sometimes, that is the difference between fame and obscurity.

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