Today, August 7, 2009, would have been Steve Ihnat's 75th birthday. He died 37 years ago, just a few months short of his 38th birthday, of a heart attack.
As I've blogged a couple of times in the last few days, I had been a fan of his growing up in the 70s. (Yes, his star turns were from the late 1960s, but the shows were all in syndication in the 70s.)
Then, for various and sundry reasons I'd forgotten about him, until I decided to finally watch my Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea DVDs that I'd had for over a year. And they're double-sided, and I accidently put disc 1 in upside down, so my first choice was "The Price of Doom." Even though I like to watch things chronologically, I decided not to correct my mistake, and so just watched the show.
And as the teaser unfolded, with this rather young, handsome scientist in the Antarctic making experiments with some plankton, I thought to myself, this guy looks awfully familiar. I know I've seen him somewhere before. And after the chilling scene ended - his wife was cut off from him by a cluster of man-eating plankton, and he bravely dives into it in an effort to get to her, but fails - I looked it up on the IMDB and it was Steve Ihnat!
Even in that brief scene his talent and charm had shown through, and my interest was kindled once more. The IMDB has 5 of his episodes available for viewing, including Star Trek: Whom Gods Destroy in which he gives a bravura performance as Garth of Izar, and a total change of pace from his deadly serious dramas as St Ben Roberts in I Dream of Jeannie. And there are a few clips of him at YouTube. And of course, TV series on which he guest-starred are available from Amazon.com, including The Outer Limits: The Inheritors which you can buy separately for $1.99 each from Video on Demand.
So I decided that for what should have been his 75th birthday, I'd put together a website for him. It's still in progress. Although I have added to his biography with snippets from Tom Weaver's interview with Steve's best friend, Gary Clarke, and added some other tidbits such as the fact that he had roomed with Dustin Hoffman whlie going to acting class, it is still incomplete, and I'll be working on it in the coming months.
However, there's enough there for people to enjoy, from biography to screencaps to a chronological listing of all his credits.
And here is a Desktop photo of Steve as Garth of Izar. It should space nicely for most computers.
Rest in peace, Steve Ihnat.