The venerable Richard Herd was probably not one of the busiest actors in genre circles. In fact, I recall much of my seeing him on the small screen as being in mainstream projects like 80's favorite T.J. Hooker (alongside William Shatner) and the 90's sitcom classic Seinfeld. But the truth is the actor had a long history in Science Fiction for those of us who follow it, including work aboard the original V; Star Trek: The Next Generation; SeaQuest/SeaQuest 2032; and Star Trek: Voyager. The man even had a solid role helping to launch the online Renegades, a Trek-branded web project that had to drop Trek from its moniker after Paramount balked.
Still, no matter where Herd turned up, he was always a kindly voice of authority, never brusque or belligerent. His characters appeared to be thoughtful yet persuasive in a way one might hope a captain, commander, or any other leader would be; and I've always believed much of that characterization is owed to the actor as it is the screenwriter who crafted it. I loved his turn aboard Star Trek: Voyager in particular where -- as an admiral -- he reached out across the vastness of space hoping to make contact with his estranged son Tom at the helm of the starship; it was the kind of character beat every son would hope from every father.
Alas, he's left us know as The Hollywood Reporter announced today, but his legacy in Trek and beyond will forever burn bright.