‘Star Trek’ Actor Gary Graham Passes Away At 73 Years Old

Gary Graham as Ambassador Soval in Star Trek: Enterprise (2001), Paramount Pictures
Gary Graham as Ambassador Soval in Star Trek: Enterprise (2001), Paramount Pictures

Gary Graham, best known for his work on a number of prominent sci-fi films and TV shows, died suddenly at 73 years old, according to the actor’s ex-wife Susan Lavalle. Graham was well-known to Trekkers for his role as Vulcan Ambassador Soval, first introduced on Star Trek: Enterprise.

He was also well-known for his portrayal of Detective Matthew Sikes on the short-lived television adaptation of Alien Nation, and several subsequent TV movie sequels.

Matthew Sikes (Gary Graham) talks to George Francisco (Eric Pierpoint) after saving him from a killer in Alien Nation (1989), 20th Century Fox Television
Matthew Sikes (Gary Graham) talks to George Francisco (Eric Pierpoint) after saving him from a killer in Alien Nation (1989), 20th Century Fox Television

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Graham was born in Long Beach, California on January 6th, 1950, but would not make his foray into acting until 1976, where he starred in the Western TV series The Quest, alongside Kurt Russell and Tim Matheson.

He’d later make appearances on such iconic shows as Starsky & Hutch, The Incredible Hulk, Knots Landing, The Dukes of Hazzard, and T.J. Hooker.

During this time, Graham also managed to nab several film roles in Hardcore, All The Right Moves, The Hollywood Knights, The Arrogant, and The Last Warrior, but it was his breakout performance in the now-cult classic sci-fi film Robot Jox that solidified his presence in fan circles.

Achilles (Gary Graham) makes peace with Alexander in the cult classic sci-fi film Robot Jox (1990), Empire Pictures
Achilles (Gary Graham) makes peace with Alexander in the cult classic sci-fi film Robot Jox (1990), Empire Pictures

In later years, Graham’s acting chops would see him landing roles on big name shows like Ally McBeal, Walker, Texas Ranger, Nash Bridges, JAG and Nip/Tuck.

While he did star in a handful of movie roles, culminating with his final role in 2022’s Jeepers Creepers: Reborn, it was television where Graham truly found his acting niche.

It was his commitment to Star Trek that truly set him apart, however. Graham reprised his role as Ambassador Soval several times in fan-led productions of Star Trek: Of Gods And Men, Star Trek: Renegades, and, most recently, the highly ambitious fan film project Star Trek: Axanar. He was also a prominent face at many Trek conventions, sharing his many anecdotes with fans.

Ambassador Soval (Gary Graham) speaks with T'Pol (Jolene Blalock) about her career path in Star Trek: Enterprise (2001), Paramount  Network Television
Ambassador Soval (Gary Graham) speaks with T’Pol (Jolene Blalock) about her career path in Star Trek: Enterprise (2001), Paramount Network Television

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The actor did audition for several Star Trek roles in the past, including the role of Benjamin Sisko on Deep Space Nine, but was turned down. According to an interview with YouTube fan site Trekyards in 2019, Graham stated that the same people who turned him down for those various roles were the same who decided he would be a perfect fit for the character of Soval.

Graham’s ex-wife, Susan Lavalle, shared the news of his passing on Facebook.

“It is with deep profound sadness to say that Gary Graham, my ex husband, amazing actor and father of our beautiful only child together, Haylee Graham, has passed away today. We are completely devastated especially our daughter Haley,” she wrote.

Ambassador Soval (Gary Graham) discusses the United Federation of Planets with T'Lera (Kim Fitzgerald) in the fan project Star Trek: Axanar (2022)
Ambassador Soval (Gary Graham) discusses the United Federation of Planets with T’Lera (Kim Fitzgerald) in the fan project Star Trek: Axanar (2022)

Star Trek fans will undoubtedly remember the understated, yet important influence Graham had on the franchise, and his commitment both to the character, and the magic of traditional Trek will be appreciated for decades to come.

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