Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about TV and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the TV urban legends featured so far.
TV URBAN LEGEND: James Doohan managed to hide his missing finger throughout the filming of the original Star Trek series.
Something that has come up a number of times over the years in past TV Legends is actors who spent a lot of time on their series hiding things that they don’t want you to see. Some notable examples include Gary Burghoff hiding a misshappen left hand on M*A*S*H* while playing Radar O’Reilly on the series and Larry Hovis hiding his wedding ring as the very single Sergeant Carter on Hogan’s Heroes.
Another famous example that we haven’t discussed before was James Doohan, who hid the fact that he was missing his middle finger on his right hand while playing Scotty on Star Trek.
Did Doohan actually manage to pull off what Burghoff and Hovis could not? Did he manage to hide the hand throughout the three seasons of the series?
No, he did not.
Really, whenever you come across a legend that involves “never,” it almost always is not true, since things are always bound to pop up.
Star Trek, though, did a REALLY good job hiding Doohan’s finger over the years. Check out this gallery of shots of Montgomery “Scotty” Scott from the series…
However, they did slip up on a few occassions, the most famous one came in the classic episode “The Trouble With Tribbles,” where Scotty is carrying a pile of Tribbles and thus cannot hide his missing finger…
Still, they did a really good job hiding it for the most part.
The legend is…
Thanks to readers Rob and Benn for suggesting this one!
Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.