Walter Koenig treks to Walk of Fame

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Walter Koenig as Cmdr. Pavel Chekov, from movie "Star Trek Generations"

Walter Koenig as Cmdr. Pavel Chekov, from movie “Star Trek Generations” (AP photo)

HOLLYWOOD (CNS) – Walter Koenig today will become the final “Star Trek” cast member to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Esther Shapiro, a co-creator of the 1981-1989 ABC prime-time soap opera “Dynasty,” and J. Michael Straczynski, creator of the 1994-98 science fiction series “Babylon 5,” will join Koenig in speaking in the 11:30 a.m. ceremony in front of the Boardwalk restaurant on Hollywood Boulevard.

The star will be the 2,479 on the Walk of Fame and near that of Koenig’s “Star Trek” castmate George Takei.

“This is something that you hope and wish for, dream about, but something you never expect to really happen,” Koenig said in 2011 when it was announced he would be receiving a star. “It’s a joyous occasion and I am deeply honored.”

The ceremony comes two days after the 46th anniversary of the premiere of “Star Trek,” which Koenig joined in its second season as Ensign Pavel Chekov, a role he also would play in the first seven “Star Trek” movies.

Koenig also wrote the 1973 episode “The Infinite Vulcan” of the animated Saturday morning “Star Trek” series.

Born in Chicago on Sept. 14, 1936, and raised in New York City, Koenig did his first on-stage work while attending The Fieldston School in the Bronx.

Koenig initially aspired to a career in psychiatry, first attending Grinnell College in Iowa as a premed major, then transferring to UCLA, where he received a bachelor’s degree, majoring in psychology.

A professor encouraged Koenig to invest in his acting talent and he enrolled in New York’s Neighborhood Playhouse, where his classmates included Dabney Coleman, Brenda Vaccaro, Christopher Lloyd, Jessica Walter, Elizabeth Ashley and James Caan.

Koenig’s career began in 1960 with several roles on the television series “A Day in Court.”

Koenig’s other early roles also included portraying a teenage thug on the April 1, 1963, premiere of the still-running ABC daytime drama “General Hospital” and a teenage gang leader in a 1964 episode of the CBS suspense anthology, “The Alfred Hitchock Hour.”

Following “Star Trek’s” cancellation by NBC in 1969, Koenig appeared on episodes of “Medical Center,” “Ironside” and “Columbo” in the 1970s. He had a recurring role in “Babylon 5″ as the villainous Psi Cop Alfred Bester.

Koenig also wrote episodes of “Land of the Lost,” “What Really Happened to the Class of ’65?” “Family” and “The Powers of Matthew Star.”

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