Celeste Yarnall, a busy episodic TV and film actress primarily of the 1960s and ’70s and remembered by fans of the original Star Trek series for her one-time appearance as Yeoman Martha Landon, died October 7 at her home in Westlake Village, CA. She was 74.
Her death followed a battle with ovarian cancer and was first reported on the website StarTrek.com. In 2014 and 2015, Yarnall wrote several guest columns for the website about her diagnosis.
Yarnall, a familiar presence in later years on the Star Trek convention and autograph circuit, also has a firm, if small, place in Elvis Presley history: In 1968’s Live a Little, Love a Little, the actress — beautifully decked out in a glittery silver mini-dress and, briefly, a white fur coat — played a party-goer who draws Presley’s single-minded attention. He sings “A Little Less Conversation” to her in perhaps the film’s most memorable scene, a moment that led the National Association of Theatre Owners to name her the year’s Most Promising New Star.
In the Star Trek episode titled “The Apple” that aired on October 13, 1967, Yarnall’s red-uniformed Yeoman Landon has a romantic encounter with Walter Koenig’s Chekov. It didn’t last.
Other credits include appearances on The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet, Bonanza, Hogan’s Heroes, It Takes a Thief, Captain Nice, Mannix, Bewitched, Land of the Giants and The Man From U.N.C.L.E., and in the films The Nutty Professor, Under the Yum Yum Tree, Eve, The Velvet Vampire, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice and Scorpio, among others.
Yarnall is survived by her husband Nazim, a daughter and granddaughter.