Robert Justman, "Star Trek" Producer, dead at 81

Robert Harris Justman (July 13, 1926 – May 28, 2008), who served as Gene Roddenberry's right hand man during the production of the original Star Trek series and was involved with the production of Mission: Impossible, The Adventures of Superman, Search, Then Came Bronson and Star Trek: The Next Generation, died from complications of Parkinson's disease. He was 81. Go here for a BBC interview.

Below are a series of recorded interviews I located on YouTube:

Part 1.

Part 2.

Part 3.

Part 4.

Part 5.

Part 6.

Part 7.

Part 8.

Robert H. Justman

Producer, Robert Justman, was born in New York City on July 13, 1926. His job titles in the film industry included production assistant, assistant director, associate producer, co-producer, supervising producer, production manager, and he acted in The Outer Limits episode “A Feasibility Study” as the “Elder of Luminos.” His film credits include Joe Palooka in the Squared Circle (1950), Kiss Me Deadly (1955), and Mutiny on the Bounty (1962.) The television series on which he worked include The Adventures of Superman (1953-1958), The Outer Limits (1963-1965), Star Trek (1966-1969) Mission: Impossible (1966 Pilot), Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-1988.) Justman and Herbert Solow co-wrote Inside Star Trek: The Real Story, published by Pocket Books in 1996.

At the time Justman was casting for Star Trek: The Next Generation, he saw Patrick Stewart on stage, turned to his wife and said, “I think I’ve found our new captain.” Arranging a meeting between Gene Roddenberry and Stewart, Justman felt that the conversation had gone well when Roddenberry was bidding Stewart goodbye, closed the door, turned to Justman and said, “I won’t have him.” When questioned, Roddenberry would not say why he felt Stewart was wrong for the part, but Justman had his suspicions: Roddenberry had conceived of Jean-Luc Picard as a masculine, virile Frenchman with a lot of hair. “And Patrick didn't fit that at all. Patrick was not so handsome, he was distinctive, and he was quite bald. Quite bald,” said Justman. He would not give up on Stewart, so Justman continued to badger Roddenberry and Roddenberry continued to say no. A new producer, Rick Berman, came on the scene, saw some film of Stewart, and fell in love with the actors work. Roddenberry still resisted, and eventually Justman realized he needed to approach the problem from a different angle. One day in a meeting, Justman announced that he never wanted to hear the name Patrick Stewart ever again. Whenever someone mentioned Stewart’s name, Justman would fain anger, state it was over with Stewart and to move on. One day, the final candidate for the role of Picard came to audition, did his reading, spoke to Roddenberry and Justman, and then left. The room was deadly silent. Roddenberry heaved a great sigh and said, “All right, I’ll go with Patrick.”
Justman died on May 28th, 2008 in Los Angeles, California from complications of Parkinson’s disease.











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