Grace Lee Whitney (April 1, 1930 – May 1, 2015) was an American actress and singer. She was known for her role as Janice Rand on the original Star Trek television series and subsequent Star Trek films.
Whitney was born Mary Ann Chase on April 1, 1930, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and was adopted by the Whitney family, who changed her name to Grace Elaine. She started her entertainment career as a "girl singer" on Detroit's WJR radio at the age of fourteen. After she left home, she began to call herself Lee Whitney, eventually becoming known as Grace Lee Whitney. In her late teens, she moved to Chicago where she opened in nightclubs for Billie Holiday and Buddy Rich, and toured with the Spike Jones and Fred Waring Bands.
Whitney's autobiography, The Longest Trek: My Tour of the Galaxy, was released in 1998 (ISBN 1-884956-05-X). Along with her hiring and firing from Star Trek, the book recounts her work as the first Chicken of the Sea mermaid as well as her struggles with and eventual recovery from alcohol and substance abuse.
Grace Lee Whitney was a versatile actress and vocalist born in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Beginning as a "girl singer" on Detroit's WJR radio, she soon opened in nightclubs for Billie Holiday and Buddy Rich, and toured with the Spike Jones and Fred Waring Bands. Grace debuted on Broadway in "Top Banana", and subsequently appeared in the United Artists film Top Banana (1954). Grace is probably best known for her portrayal of Yeoman Janice Rand on the original Star Trek: The Original Series (1966) series. She later reprised her role for a string of successful Star Trek films: Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979), Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984), Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986), and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991). Grace continued to delight fans in personal appearances at conventions and events throughout North America and Europe. In 1998, she appeared in an episode of Diagnosis Murder (1993) with her Star Trek castmates George Takei, Walter Koenig and Majel Barrett. Grace Lee Whitney died at age 85 of natural causes in her home in Coarsegold, California on May 1, 2015.