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Old November 6th, 2005, 10:29 AM   #1
Centurion Draco
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Default Michael Piller's Memorial service

Eric Stillwell has sent this to me and asks that it be posted on active fan boards.

Dear Friends:

I've been asked to speak at Michael Piller's Memorial Service on November 13th in Los Angeles. I've spoken to Michael's son, Shawn, and we agreed that I will be the voice of the fans at Michael's memorial.

I'm looking for brief written statements from fans around the world who can speak personally about what Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: Insurrection, Legend, The Dead Zone or Wildfire have meant to you or your families and how Michael's work has influenced or affected your lives in a personal way, even if you never knew him personally.

If you would be willing to email me a brief statement, I would appreciate it very much. It doesn't need to be longer than a paragraph or so. I would very much appreciate your help. And I'd like to get statements from as many different countries as possible (Russia, Sweden, Austria, France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Australia, Japan, Canada, Brazil, Turkey etc.) Please include your first name, city & country with your statement!

If you know others who might be interested in doing this, or have a website or bulletin board where you can post this information, please have people email me at: EStillwell@aol.com as soon as possible.

Thank you!

~ Eric

OBITUARIES: Michael Piller, 57; Was a Force Behind Later 'Star Trek' Series

By Valerie J. Nelson

Los Angeles Times - 11/3/05

Michael Piller, a writer and producer best known as one of the creative forces behind the "Star Trek" television franchise and whose scripts brought a human touch to the intergalactic saga, has died. He was 57.

Piller died Tuesday of cancer at his home in Los Angeles, his family said.

The first episode Piller wrote for the syndicated "Star Trek: The Next Generation," in 1989, revealed a love for baseball and a knack for creating morality plays set in the 24th century that resonated with viewers.

When "Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry asked Piller to become a staff writer, Piller recalled being scared and saying, "I don't know anything about sci-fi, but I can help your characters evolve," he told StarTrek.com.

Rick Berman, executive producer of the "Star Trek" series, said in a statement, "Michael had more integrity than just about anyone I have ever met. His passion for writing and his ability to recognize and nurture talent in others never faltered." Berman took over the series after Roddenberry's death in 1991.

Piller eventually became the head writer and executive producer of "Star Trek: The Next Generation," which aired until 1994. He co-created and produced the syndicated "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" from 1992 to 1995 and UPN's "Star Trek: Voyager" from 1994 to 1996.

He also wrote the 1998 film "Star Trek: Insurrection." The Times review headlined "An Enterprising Ninth" because it was the ninth movie in the series said the film had a "gee-whiz affability."

In 1999, Piller formed a production company with his son, Shawn, called Piller2.

"I'm at an age in this town that it gets harder and harder to get attention," he told the Hollywood Reporter in 2002. "I bring Shawn with me into the room and suddenly our median age is somewhere in the 30s, and that means a lot."

Their first project was the TV show "The Dead Zone," based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, which debuted on the USA Network in 2002 and remains on the air.

King's story of a high school teacher whose perfect life is ruined by a near-fatal crash appealed to him, Pillar once told The Times, because he was looking for "anything that will allow me to do what I think I do well, and that is to explore the life we live in."

Piller was born May 30, 1948, in Port Chester, N.Y. His father was a screenwriter who, according to a story told by Piller, sabotaged his career when he punched a producer at a restaurant. His mother, Ruth Roberts, is a songwriter who expressed her love for baseball in song.

She wrote "It's a Beautiful Day for a Ball Game," the longtime radio theme of the Dodgers, in 1960 and "Meet the Mets," which has been played before every New York Mets home game since 1963. (Her son amassed a collection of more than 200,000 baseball cards, according to IMDB.com.)

Piller graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a bachelor's degree in radio, television and motion pictures in 1970 and worked as a TV journalist in New York, North Carolina and Chicago.

"Local news was changing, and I discovered I was more adept at making pictures dance than delivering the news," Piller told the Chicago Tribune in 1993.

When the Chicago station he worked at scheduled Kermit the Frog to co-anchor a newscast, Piller decided it was time to give Los Angeles and the entertainment business a try.

For two years, he worked as a censor at CBS and broke into scriptwriting on "Cagney & Lacey" (1982-88) and "Simon & Simon" (1981-88).

Known for encouraging young writers, Piller donated $500,000 to help launch a screenwriting program at his alma mater. He said the "Southern voice" was much needed in Hollywood.

Attending the university in the 1960s "profoundly affected" him, he once said. "I had the experience of being introduced to an extraordinarily wide section of people, many of whom have shown up in my work in alien disguise."

In addition to his mother and his son, Piller is survived by his wife, Sandra, and daughter, Brent.

Memorial donations may be made to the Michael Piller Distinguished Professorship at Carolina Writing for the Screen and Stage Program Arts and Sciences Foundation, 134 E. Franklin St., Chapel Hill, N.C., 27514.

Obituary: Michael Piller, Creative exec

Daily Variety - 11/3/05

Michael Piller, "Star Trek" creative exec and co-creator of "The Dead Zone," died of cancer Tuesday in Los Angeles. He was 57.

Piller served as creative consultant for "Star Trek: Voyager," which he co-created, co-created "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" and served as exec producer on "Star Trek: The Next Generation," "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" and "Star Trek: Voyager." He also co-created and exec produced the UPN network series "Legend."

In 1998, he wrote and co-produced "Star Trek: Insurrection," the ninth installment in the "Star Trek" film series.

Piller partnered with his son Shawn Piller to form production company Piller2, and the father/son duo were co-creators of USA's "The Dead Zone" and the ABC Family Channel's "Wildfire."

Piller graduated from the U. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and began his broadcasting career with CBS News in New York. He served as managing editor of the WBTV-TV News in Charlotte, N.C., and assistant news director at WBBM Chicago. He worked as a censor in the CBS docudrama unit and then spent two years as a programming exec before leaving CBS to write full-time.

Credits as a writer-producer include "Simon & Simon," "Cagney & Lacey" and "Miami Vice." He also co-created and exec produced syndicated series "Group One Medical."

Piller is survived by his wife, Sandra; a daughter and a son.
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Old January 21st, 2006, 02:08 AM   #2
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i had no idea he died
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Old January 22nd, 2006, 04:41 AM   #3
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I too was unaware that he had died. A sad day for Star Trek indedd
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