Indeed, the Gene Roddenberry property knows that fundamental fact all too well. Trekkers, Trekkies, and general Trek enthusiasts remember the man for his incredible one-two punch: he appeared as (sigh) ill-fated ‘Captain Terrell’ who falls to no less than the machinations of Khan Noonien Singh aboard Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan (1982) only then to be cast nearly a decade later as equally ill-fated ‘Captain Dathon’ aboard the stellar Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, “Darmok.” Let it be known that nobody but nobody commands a powerful death scene like Winfield, and Trek certainly proves the man earned a legacy in the stars.
Still, that wasn’t his only foray into SciFi, Fantasy, and Horror.
According to his profile on IMDB.com:
- In 1973, Winfield shared the screen with no less William Shatner himself aboard the telefilm The Horror At 37,000 Feet for CBS Television Network.
- In 1984, the actor enjoyed some newfound exposure when James Cameron brought him into the wide, wide world of The Terminator. In the role of ‘Detective Ed Traxler,’ he was one of the only few characters to believe that there very well might be something to this whole story Sarah Connor was telling the police, though he still paid dearly in the end.
- In 1988, director Wes Craven put Winfield through his marks when the actor joined the cast of The Serpent And The Rainbow for Universal Pictures.
- In 1995, the SciFi veteran enjoyed a guest spot aboard the “GROPOS” episode of the popular Babylon 5. Aboard the show, he played ‘General Richard Franklin,’ father to series’ regular Richard Biggs’ ‘Dr. Stephen Franklin.’
- That same year, director Peter Markle cast Winfield for the part of ‘Dr. Akada’ in the SciFi/Telefilm White Dwarf for Francis Ford Coppola’s American Zoetrope film company.
- In 1996, Winfield was part of the cast for Tim Burton’s wild and crazy alien invasion satire Mars Attacks based (very loosely) on themes from the Topps Trading Card series from 1962.
While there are a few other entries, I think those big ones certainly reflect the man’s abilities on camera. He was almost always cast in the guise of some authority, and he played those moments – big and small – to perfection.
As always, thanks for reading ... and live long and prosper!