Harve Bennett has left this world. He joins another Star Trek icon, Leonard Nimoy (who passed away on Feb. 27), having passed-on today, at the age of 84. Two in the same week. We’ve barely had time to grieve for our friend, Leonard; now – we must endure the heartache of Harve’s death.
Harve brought me a lifetime of things to love. One of the first shows I recall is The Mod Squad; then moving on, he helped shape a generation of young men with The Six Million Dollar Man (and – later, it’s highly popular spinoff The Bionic Woman); Harve voiced the opening credits of the former. You all know the words: “Steve Austin…Astronaut. A man barely alive.”
With his hands on the wheel, Harve changed my life – forever. Today, I have truly lost a friend; an icon that will sorely be missed. I was Steve Austin! How many kids ran around in slow-motion, making those bionic sounds, jumping off rooftops, squinting their eyes to see far-off bad guys in the distance? And, girls, too; as Jaime Sommers entered our lives. For many of the boys, Lindsay Wagner would become our first crush.
But, Harve brought other well-known figures to us, as well; some real, others not. Jesse Owens and Golda Meir are two of the real ones. Harve is most-noted for the fictional characters, though; he brought back Khan, and Kirk’s Klingon nemesis Kruge, as well as a couple of humpback whales named George and Gracie. And, yes – regardless of your opinions of Star Trek V, he brought us Sybok. I’m talking about the Star Trek movie franchise, which – Harve took over and literally saved. Not only did Harve take credit for producing those mega-hits, but he took-on writing and cameo-appearance credits, also. His other television credits include Time Trax and Gemini Man, just to name a couple.
For me, though, I’ll always thank Harve Bennett for Steve Austin and Jaime Sommers; the characters on the shows and those Kenner action figures (which I still play with). It’s been a lifelong love affair, and those television series brought me some of the happiest moments of my childhood. Indeed – even some in my adulthood, too, as I re- watch them on my DVD sets.
Harve Bennett has left us… He’s left this world to join some of our dearest friends; but he’s left behind a legacy of stellar achievements, as well. At 84, I’d say he’s left us with a pretty good run, eh… RIP Mr. Bennett.