We are saddened to report the passing of Dorothy Catherine “D. C.” Fontana on December 2nd, 2019 following a brief illness. She was 80 years old.
A script writer, story editor, and producer, Fontana was best known for her work on the original Star Trek series, penning and editing some of the most memorable science fiction stories in the pop culture consciousness. She lent her voice to many shows in the course of her career as a screenwriter, from Buck Rogers in the 25th Century to He-Man and the Masters of the Universe to The Six Million Dollar Man to Babylon 5. Though her pen name initially masked the fact that she was a woman, D. C. Fontana became known as one of the trailblazers for women writers in television.
The American Film Institute has released a statement about Fontana, citing her recent work with their organization:
Most recently employed as a senior lecturer at the American Film Institute, Ms. Fontana devotedly taught and mentored many classes of aspiring screenwriters, producers and directors by sharing a lifetime of expertise, craft, heart and integrity.
Indeed, what often stood out about Fontana’s stories and scripts was her ability to center the hearts of characters that viewers and fans were desperate to know more about. She was largely responsible for many beloved stories that gave background to Trek’s Mr. Spock, from her rewrites on “The Side of Paradise” to the scripts and background offered up in “The Journey to Babel” and the animated series episode “Yesteryear”, which saw Spock come into contact with himself as a child.
D. C. Fontana’s work was singular, exciting, and meant so much to so many fans all over the world. Her scripts were nominated for the Hugo and Writers Guild of America Awards, and she won the Morgan Cox award for Guild service twice in 1997 and 2002 respectively. In addition to her robust television career, she also wrote several novels, including The Questor Tapes and Vulcan’s Glory.
Fontana is survived by her husband, Dennis Skotak. Our hearts go out to those affected by her passing. Her mark on the science fiction genre is eternal, and she will be dearly missed.