Laurel Goodwin, ‘Girls! Girls! Girls!’ actress, dead at 79

Laurel Goodwin, an actress who appeared in “Girls! Girls! Girls!” and the rejected “Star Trek” pilot, died Feb. 25 at 79. The star’s sister Maureen Scott confirmed her passing in an obituary but didn’t disclose the cause of death.

Born Aug. 11, 1942, in Wichita, Kansas, Goodwin made her big-screen debut in the 1962 musical comedy “Girls! Girls! Girls!” opposite Elvis Presley. In fact, it was during a steamy dance scene with the then-starlet that the King of Rock and Roll infamously popped an erection on camera.

The actress was also the last surviving member of the original pilot for Gene Roddenberry’s “Star Trek,” titled “The Cage,” in which she portrayed Yeoman JM Colt opposite Jeffrey Hunter’s Captain Pike and Leonard Nimoy’s Captain Spock.

“I said, ‘Oh, no. “Star Trek ‘is it,’ ” Goodwin recalled in a 2016 interview for StarTrek.com. “I’ve got to do ‘Star Trek.’ It’s great, it’s gonna be wonderful.”

(From left) Majel Barrett as Number One, Meg Wyllie as The Keeper, Laurel Goodwin as Yeoman JM Colt and Jeffrey Hunter as Capt. Christopher Pike in the “Star Trek: The Original Series” pilot episode, “The Cage.”
CBS Photo Archive
Goodwin and Hunter in "The Cage."
Goodwin and Hunter in “The Cage.”
CBS Photo Archive

Alas, the maiden episode, finished in 1965, was ultimately scrapped after negotiations with Hunter fell through. However, snippets from “The Cage” were featured in the 1966 “Star Trek” episode “The Menagerie.” Meanwhile, the pilot was released in its entirety on VHS in 1986.

After her “Star Trek” stint went belly up, the actress appeared in TV shows ranging from “Get Smart” to “The Beverly Hillbillies” and “Mannix.”

Goodwin also appeared in a variety of hit flicks of the ’60s, including the Jackie Gleason comedy “Papa’s Delicate Condition” (1963), and the Westerns “Stage to Thunder Rock” (1964), “Law of the Lawless” (1964) and “The Glory Guys” (1965).

The thespian retired from acting in 1971 to go into nursing.

Goodwin and Michael Anderson Jr. in a scene from "The Glory Guys" (1965)
Goodwin and Michael Anderson Jr. in a scene from “The Glory Guys” (1965).
Michael Ochs Archives

Goodwin also produced the Burt Reynolds-Loni Anderson action-comedy “Stroker Ace” (1983) alongside her husband, Walter Wood, with whom she had a 43-year relationship until his death in 2010.

Goodwin is survived by her sister, Scott, who lives in Bellingham, Washington, “and a multitude of friends and relatives around the world,” per the obit.

Tea "Girls!  Girls!  Girls!" (1962) movie poster featuring (from left to right) Stella Stevens, Elvis Presley and Laurel Goodwin.
The “Girls! Girls! Girls!” (1962) movie poster featuring (from left) Stella Stevens, Elvis Presley and Laurel Goodwin.
LMPC
Goodwin speaks during "The Original Series Guest Stars" panel at the 15th annual official Star Trek convention at the Rio Hotel & Casino on August 4, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Goodwin speaks during “The Original Series Guest Stars” panel at the 15th annual official Star Trek convention at the Rio Hotel & Casino in 2016 in Las Vegas.
Gabe Ginsberg

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