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Matt Jefferies
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    (August 12, 1921-July 21, 2003)
    Born in Lebanon, Pennsylvania
    Birth name was Walter Matthew Jefferies
    Mechanical artist, art director and production designer
    Best known for designing the original Starship Enterprise for Star Trek
    Also worked on the movies 'Bombers B-52' (1957), 'The Old Man and the Sea' (1958) and 'Wreck of the Mary Deare' (1959), the TV movie 'The Loneliest Runner' (1976) and episodes of 'The Untouchables,' 'Ben Casey,' 'Mission: Impossible,' 'Love American Style' and 'Little House on the Prairie'
    He got his first Hollywood job through his brother, who was already working as an art director.
    When he returned to 'Ben Casey' after a month-long vacation and found his cubicle empty, he initially thought he had been fired. (Turned out he had been reassigned to Desilu Studio's new show.)
    He said about the enduring appeal of Star Trek, 'I still don't understand it. I think if we'd known it was gonna last so long and be studied by so many people we'd probably have been so frightened of it we'd never have been able to make a decision.'
    He fell asleep during the screening of 'Star Trek: The Motion Picture.'
    He never watched another incarnation of Star Trek, claiming they had 'taken the bridge of my ship and turned it into the lobby of the Hilton.'
    As a B-17 pilot during World War II, he survived a mid-air collision with a German fighter.
    He restored and flew period airplanes as a hobby.
    He said about working with Gene Roddenberry, 'We seemed like a perfect combination in that he was a real head in the clouds dreamer and I was a nuts and bolts man.'
    He had to design the 'Star Trek' sets on a limited budget, that kept getting slashed each season.
    Star Trek's Jefferies tubes were named in his honor.
    He auctioned off most of his Star Trek memorabilia and design art to benefit the Motion Picture and Television Fund, a charity that offers assistance and care to people in the motion picture industry with limited or no resources (2001).

Credit: C. Fishel

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