DeForest Kelley graduated from high school at 16 and went on to sing at the church where his father was a Baptist minister. At 17 he went to visit an uncle in Long Beach, Calif. He only planned to stay for two weeks, but ended up staying for a year. In California, Kelley was spotted by a Paramount scout while doing a Navy Training film. In his early career he had parts in many Western shows and films, including The Lone Ranger, Gunsmoke, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral and Rawhide. However, he will always be best known for his role as Dr. Leonard McCoy on Star Trek. After the TV series ended, Kelley appeared in many of the Star Trek feature films. He passed away on June 11, 1999 of stomach cancer. Shortly before his death, McCoy was honored with the Golden Boot Award for his work in Westerns.
Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy is the physician aboard the ship and very capable of finding solutions to the various medical problems that the crew encounters. Though he practices traditional Western medicine, McCoy often adopts a holistic approach by believing in the body's ability to heal itself. McCoy is level-headed during a crisis, and this means Captain Kirk often seeks his counsel.