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Walter Koenig Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (2) | Spouse (2) | Trade Mark (2) | Trivia (24) | Personal Quotes (3)

Overview (3)

Born in Chicago, Illinois, USA
Birth NameWalter Marvin Koenig
Height 5' 6" (1.68 m)

Mini Bio (2)

Walter Koenig began his acting career in 1962 as an uncredited, non-speaking Sentry in the TV series Combat! (1962), and in the following few years had bit roles in several television shows, until he landed the role that would catapult his career in ways he could never have imagined, as Ensign Pavel Chekov in Star Trek's Original Series (Star Trek (1966)). He went on to reprise that role in all 7 of the original Star Trek movies (The 7th movie, Star Trek: Generations (1994) was mostly ST: The Next Generation, but had the original series section at the beginning, and Kirk at the end), as well as voicing the same character in several of the video games. He has continued to reprise that character in several different Star Trek video's, and TV series, rising in rank to Lieutenant, Commander, Captain and Admiral through the years (his most recent being Admiral Chekov in the pilot of Star Trek: Renegades (2015), which never launched, but that evolved to Renegades (2017), a 2 part, crowd-funded, fan-made mini series that also stars fellow Original Series star Nichelle Nichols (as a character NOT named 'Uhura'). Since it was Fan-Made (and to avoid violating studio rights) they couldn't use the Star Trek Character's names, like Uhura or Chekov, so they simply called him 'The Admiral'. (however the uniforms and technology are remarkably Star Trek like.) He also had a recurring role of the quintessential scoundrel Bester on the television series Babylon 5 (1994). He has been the "Special Guest Star" in twelve episodes and, at the end of the third season, the production company applied for an Emmy nomination on his behalf. He once again played Bester in the spin-off series Crusade (1999). In between filming the 4th and 5th Star Trek films he took his first leading role in the video feature, Moontrap (1989). In an interactive state-of-the-art video game from Digital Pictures called Maximum Surge (1996), Koenig played as Drexel, another scoundrel.

Walter completed worked in the low budget feature film Drawing Down the Moon (1997) from Chaos Productions. And has star billing as a German psychologist in the martial arts picture, Sworn to Justice (1996). A one character piece that Koenig wrote and performed entitled "You're Never Alone when You're a Schizophrenic" was a finalist in the 1996 New York Film Festival awards. Koenig filmed a guest appearance as himself on the CBS situation comedy Almost Perfect (1995), did sketch comedy on the Comedy Central series "Viva Variety" (1996) and performed on an ESPN sports commercial that aired in the spring of 1998. Walter also hosted a cult movie marathon for Comedy Central. It played once a week for the course of a month.

Koenig's autobiography, "Warped Factors - A Neurotic's Guide to the Universe" was released through Taylor Publishing on April 1, 1998. The audio tape reading of the book by the author has been released through Dove Video in January 1999. Koenig performed as the Shadow Guy in an episode of Diagnosis Murder (1993) and went to New York to perform in a new radio broadcast version of "War of the Worlds" in tribute to both H.G. Wells and Orson Welles. From "The Girls of Summer" to "The Boys in Autumn", Koenig's stage career spans thirty years and includes stops in New York with "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (Quince) and "Six Characters in Search of an Author" (Oldest Son). In Chicago, he guested in "Make a Million" (Johnny) opposite Jackie Coogan and on the road -- from Arizon to Philadelphia -- Mark Lenard (Sarek: Spock's father) and he performed in the short plays "Box and Cox" (Box) and "Actors" (Dave). They also toured in a two character play, "The Boys in Autumn", the comedy-drama about the reunion of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn forty years later.

By himself, Koenig also starred as Larry the Liquidator in "Other People's Money" in Reno, Nevada. His Los Angeles productions include "Steambath" (God), "The White House Murder Case" (Captain Weems), "Night Must Fall" (Danny), "La Ronde" (Gentleman), "The Typist and the Tiger" (Paul), and "The Deputy" (Jacobson) among almost two dozen others ("Blood Wedding", "The Collection", et al.). Directorial credits include "Hotel Paradiso" for Company of Angles, "Beckett" for Theatre 40, "America Hurrah!" at the Oxford Theater, "Twelve Angry Men" at the Rita Hayworth Theatre, "Matrix" at the Gascon Theatre Institute, and "Three by Ten" at Actor's Alley. Walter has performed in the television movies Antony and Cleopatra (1984) (Pompey) opposite Timothy Dalton and Lynn Redgrave as well as the MOW's Goodbye, Raggedy Ann (1971) and The Questor Tapes (1974).

Walter has written for the television series The Powers of Matthew Star (1982), What Really Happened to the Class of '65? (1977), Family (1976), Land of the Lost (1974), and the animated Star Trek: The Animated Series (1973) series. This actor-writer has seen publication with the non-fiction "Chekov's Enterprise" and the satiric fantasy novel "Buck Alice and the Actor-Robot". He also created the three issues of the comic book story "Raver" published by Malibu Comics. Koenig has taught classes in acting and directing privately at UCLA, The Sherwood Oaks Experimental Film College and at the California School of Professional Psychology. Most recently, he has been an instructor at the Actor's Alley Repertory Company in Los Angeles, California.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous

Walter was educated at Grinnel College, Iowa the UCLA graduating with a degree in psychology. During high school he acted in 'Peer Gynt' and The Devil's Disciple' and during the Summer holidays from college he performed in Summer Stock in Vermont. After graduating he enrolled in New York's Neighbourhood playhouse for a while before returning to the West coast where his first job was as Irving da Dope in 'Day In Court'. While appearing in 'The Lieutenant' he met Gene Roddenberry which together with playing a Russian defector in an episode of 'Mr Novak' led to him being cast as Ensign Chekov in the 2nd tv series of 'Star Trek'. Away from acting he's written scripts for 'The Powers Of Matthew Star', 'Family', 'The Incredible Hulk, and the animated 'Star Trek' series

- IMDb Mini Biography By: tonyman5

Spouse (2)

Judy Levitt (11 July 1965 - present) (2 children)
Anjanette Comer (? - ?) (divorced)

Trade Mark (2)

Unique Chekov accent in which he pronounces V as W, e.g. "nuclear vessels" becomes "nuclear wessels"
Ensign Pavel Chekov on Star Trek (1966) and seven of the Star Trek films

Trivia (24)

Father of Andrew Koenig (1968-2010) and Danielle Koenig (1973-).
Underwent heart bypass surgery in 1993.
Walter Koenig and his wife Judy Levitt appear together in the Babylon 5 (1994) episode "A Race Through Dark Places" which aired in 1995.
Has written episodes for What Really Happened to the Class of '65? (1977), Family (1976), Land of the Lost (1974), The Powers of Matthew Star (1982) and Star Trek: The Animated Series (1973) (Animated).
Walter Koenig is of Russian Jewish ancestry, which made him a good candidate for Chekov on Star Trek (1966). His family had emigrated from Lithuania, USSR and changed their original surname (Koenigsberg).
Attended and graduated from Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa with a major in pre-med. Transferred to the University of California, Los Angeles, where he received his Bachelor's degree in psychology.
Last name is pronounced "Kaynig"
Is the only original Star Trek (1966) series actor not to provide voices for the animated version of the series, although he did write an episode for it.
Was scheduled to reprise his role as the nefarious Bester in an episode of the Babylon 5 (1994) spin-off series Crusade (1999) entitled "Value Judgements". Unfortunately, the series was canceled weeks before the episode was to be filmed. Walter Koenig was terribly disappointed by this, as he has stated publicly that he considers it his favorite "Bester" script.
Because his hair was too short, had to wear a wig in his first appearance on Star Trek (1966).
Was cast as Pavel Andreievich Chekov on Star Trek (1966) because of his resemblance to Davy Jones. The producers were hoping to attract a younger audience, including girls.
Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6679 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on September 10, 2012 (four days before his 76th birthday).
Has appeared in episodes of three different series with George Takei: Star Trek (1966), Diagnosis Murder (1993) and Futurama (1999).
Often complained about the character, Pavel Andreievich Chekov, he portrayed over the years as having no levity on Star Trek (1966). As well as getting hurt through the motion pictures and television series.
Is the author of "Raver" comics in 1994.
Father-in-law of stand-up comedian Jimmy Pardo.
Is an avid collector: His collections include Star Trek Memorabilia (with a shelf completely devoted to the character Chekov) Buttons, Comic Cards, Pins and "Little Big Books". He gives us a brief tour of his collections in the segment "Life Beyond Star Trek" in the Season Two release of "Star Trek: The Original Series".
His Russian accent is faked on the series, albeit his parents really were from Russia.
Before becoming Chekov on the original Star Trek (1966) series, Walter Koenig auditioned for the role of hip surfer Stu Casey (later Riley) a character introduced for the 1965 (year two) season of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1964). Koenig lost the role to actor Allan Hunt, who only played the role for one year since he was drafted into service in Vietnam. But the two actors stayed in touch over the years and are the best of friends. Allan Hunt even directed a play that starred Walter Koenig and Hunt's fellow former Voyage co-star Del Monroe (Kowalski).
Was the only Enterprise crew member to interact face-to-face with Khan Noonien Singh (Ricardo Montalban) in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982). Ironically, Khan recognizes him even though he did not appear on the original series episode "Space Seed".
His son, Andrew Koenig, committed suicide on February 14, 2010.
On July 16-25, 2007, he was actively involved in the issue facing the humanitarian crisis in Burma. He visited refugee camps along the Burma-Thailand border.
His father, Isadore Koenig, was a communist who was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation during the McCarthy era.
His Star Trek character's full name was Pavel Andreievich Chekov, which leads to some interesting coincidences regarding the character's namesake and both actors who have played him. Pavel Chekov was the name of playwright Anton Chekov's father, and the Star Trek character was later played by Anton Yelchin. His middle name, Andreievich, means "Son of Andrew". Andrew was the name of Walter's son.

Personal Quotes (3)

I didn't watch Star Trek (1966) the first year it was on, before I was on the show. I took one look at the Styrofoam rocks and said: "There's no way I'm going to watch this!".
Star Trek (1966) has given me a considerable amount of satisfaction and a certain amount of respect in the industry community and among people who watch television and movies. I enjoy that. I enjoy feeling good about myself. God knows it's easy enough for me to feel bad about myself -- I need all the support I can get. Star Trek deserves the respect it has received. If I'm going to be aligned with something, it might as well be something that makes a worthwhile statement most of the time. No, I don't have any regrets about my involvement with Star Trek.
[on being cast as Pavel Chekov] I was only one of two people who auditioned for the part, which is quite extraordinary. Considering that this has so materially effected the last 35 years of my life... a couple of hours after I auditioned, I heard that I had gotten the role.

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