Star Trek sound-effects master Douglas Grindstaff dies at 87

The Tribbles’ distinctive coos were created by Douglas Grindstaff.


Douglas Grindstaff, the man responsible for many of the iconic sounds of the original Star Trek series, died on July 23 at age 87, reported.

“Please join us in remembering Douglas Grindstaff, the award-winning sound editor and designer behind many iconic #StarTrek sounds,” the show’s official Twitter account requested.

Grindstaff and co-workers Joseph Sorokin and Jack Finlay teamed up to deliver all of the background sounds and effects on the iconic CBS show, which ran from 1966-1969. (CBS is Techhnews’s parent company.)

He helped create such memorable sounds as the red alert klaxon, bridge doors opening and closing, heartbeats, sickbay scanners, communicator beeps, phasers firing, transporter materialization and dematerialization, Tribble coos, boatswain whistles and more, the site notes. In 1967, he was nominated for an Emmy Award in the Individual Achievements in Film and Sound Editing category.

Fans appreciated Grindstaff’s work. “He made the Enterprise come alive,” wrote Twitter user Kelly Key. “The background buzz on the bridge always reminded me of crickets and cicadas from a field on a summer night — full of life and activity.”

He is survived by his wife Marcia, his three children and her three children, and by 16 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren, with more on the way.

Grindstaff, a Korean War combat veteran, also worked on such shows as The Brady Bunch, Dallas and Mission: Impossible.

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