Merritt Butrick was originally born in Gainesville, Florida on 3rd September 1959, however he was raised near San Francisco, California, in the Mill Valley area. During his studies of theatre at the California Institute of Arts, he was told, rather inaccurately, by his college instructors that he did not have the skill or talent to become an actor, so he had to withdraw from the Institute.
Spurred on by this setback, the next year brought success. He won a part in the television series, Square Pegs. He also picked up a number of small bit parts in television in such shows as "Hill Street Blues," "Chips," "Jake and the Fatman" and "Beauty and the Beast".
In 1982, Hollywood came calling in the shape of Paramount's "Star Trek" franchise. Merritt played the role of ‘Dr. David Marcus’, the son of ‘Captain James T. Kirk’, in “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan”.
Merritt reprised the role in “Star Trek III: The Search For Spock” (1984), as the metaphorical sacrificial lamb for that film. Free now to move onto other roles, he began accepting a number of small supporting roles in such films as "Code of Honor" (1984), "When the Bough Breaks" (1986), "Fright Night II" (1988), and "From the Dead of Night" (1989). Interestingly enough, Merritt returned to the realm of "Star Trek" when he played the role of an Ornaran, T'Jon, in the “Star Trek: The Next Generation” (STNG) episode, "Symbiosis" (1988), making him one of only 31 actors to appear in more than one Star Trek series. However, despite urban myth, Merritt did not return to that role‚ in the 1989 STNG episode: "Shades of Gray". This appearance was in fact the Symbiosis footage reused as part of a flashback sequence.
On 17 March 1989, Merritt sadly died at age 29, of AIDS, although according to the website EN.WIKIPEDIA.ORG/WIKI/MERRITT_BUTRICK, they have on their records that Merritt had also been diagnosed with Brain Cancer alongside his AIDS condition.
UPDATE 19/9/06. RUMOUR CONTROL. Many of the details surrounding Merritt's death are in fact totally inaccurate, and I am now able to go on record and state otherwise. With the immense help of one of Merritt's friends, and former workmate on the film Death Spa, who recently entered into communication with me, we can now dispute many of these so-called facts to make this THE DEFINITIVE MERRITT BUTRICK WEBSITE!
DECLARATION - Whilst his death was reported to be in New York City by certain websites, namely IMDB (now updated by me to the correct information), Merritt is also listed as dying in Los Angeles, by the California Department of Vital Statistics for Los Angeles County.
FACT - Merritt passed away in Los Angeles, with his family. He was survived by his parents, with no siblings. The following webpage also lists reference to Merritt's Death Certificate, which was indeed registered to California State. Take a look at HTTP://VITALS.ROOTSWEB.COM/CA/DEATH/SEARCH.CGI?SURNAME=BUTRICK&GIVEN=MERRITT
DECLARATION - Controversy contends that he got the disease either as a homosexual (although this is debated by some) or from sharing used and infected drug needles (which is also debated).
FICTION - Merritt contracted AIDS as a drug user. FACT - Merritt was not a user of drugs. To quote my source "Merritt never used hard drugs nor ever shot anything up".
As for tales of homosexuality, who cares what his sexuality was. We're all equal. This site is aimed at being factual, and telling Merritt's story. His private life remains his own, even after death. No hidden clues there, so don't over-analyse. Homosexual rumours, yes, but also heterosexual rumours too. I hasten to add - NONE OF THIS MATTERS ANYWAY. I even discovered this post on the website WWW.ANSWERS.GOOGLE.COM/ANSWERS/THREADVIEW?ID=222132 ,
"I won't provide you with family/friends info, but I can tell you that, while he was born in Gainesville, FL, Merritt was raised in San Francisco. He attended the California Institute of the Arts for a year after graduating high school. While he is well-known for Star Trek, among other roles, Merritt spent an extensive amount of time doing theater in California. One of his last roles was in the play Kingpin in Los Angeles. I have read that Merritt was not actually a homosexual but acquired a drug habit in the mid-80s. Some sources claim he had three children, but I have found no verification of that".
Interesting statement, but rife with inaccuracies. At the end of the day, sexuality is nobody else's business. End of topic.
According to www.findagrave.com, Merritt was cremated, and his ashes were given to either family or a friend.
I have not traced, nor looked into locating any of Merritt's agents. As before, certain facts have been clarified by one of his friends, who wishes to remain anonymous, but supportive to my work. I have no wish to, nor is it appropriate to intrude upon fmaily/friends over their loss. However, should any of them become aware of this site, I would gladly amend any information on this site and add anything to it that they wish to be known. The purpose of this site is one of tribute to an actor who was taken before his time, and my wish to keep his memory alive, and make a record of his time here!
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