For a guy who actually appeared in more episodes of “The Original Series” than main stars George Takei or Walter Koenig ever did, it’s no wonder that Eddie Paskey’s role as Lieutenant Leslie has taken on a life of its own among hardcore Trekkies. Although only ever credited as an anonymous “crewman” in a handful of episodes, he received a “Star Wars” expanded universe-like treatment where his backstory and other details were expanded upon in various comic books and novels. The character was never actually named throughout his first several appearances — that is, until Shatner directly addressed Paskey several times in the season 1 episode “The Conscience of the King” as “Mister Leslie.”
So where did that name come from? In a 2016 interview with Sci-Fi Bulletin, Paskey addressed the origins behind his character’s name and his experiences filming with Shatner that ultimately resulted in the two becoming friends. As it turns out, the name Leslie had familial meaning to Shatner. According to Paskey:
“I was very fortunate because any time they could use us to fill the frame, they did. It was fun. I enjoyed what I was doing every day and was very lucky because I became a friend of William Shatner — I was his double and stand-in, and that was a fun deal. The character was called Lieutenant Leslie, but of course Bill called me Mister Leslie. I was named after his eldest daughter.”
Leslie Shatner made two uncredited appearances as a child in a pair of “The Original Series” episodes, while her namesake would go on to appear a whopping 57 times. Paskey sadly passed away in 2021, but he’ll always remain an integral part of “Trek” lore.