Gregory Jein was a legendary model maker and artist who worked on eight Star Trek movies and TV shows, as well as many other films and projects. He was known for his meticulous and creative work, which brought to life the worlds and ships of the Star Trek universe. He died on May 22, 2022, at the age of 76, due to cardiac arrest after a long history of health issues. His death was a huge loss for the Star Trek community and the film industry.
Gregory Jein’s Early Life and Career
Gregory Jein was born on October 31, 1945, in Los Angeles, California. He grew up in a family of antique dealers, and developed a passion for model making and design from an early age. He started working for his father’s business, Halo Antiques, when he was 18, and learned the trade of restoring and recreating antique pieces.
He began his career in the film industry in the 1970s, working on various movies and TV shows, such as Flesh Gordon, Wonder Woman, and The UFO Incident. He was contacted by visual effects pioneer Douglas Trumbull in 1975, and asked to work on Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind. He and his team built the impressive mothership model, as well as other miniatures for the film. He received his first Oscar nomination for his work on Close Encounters, along with Trumbull and others.
He continued to work with Trumbull and Spielberg on their next projects, such as 1941 and Star Trek: The Motion Picture. He received his second Oscar nomination for his work on 1941, along with William A. Fraker and A.D. Flowers. He also worked on other films, such as One From the Heart, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai, and The Hunt for Red October.
Gregory Jein’s Star Trek Legacy
Gregory Jein had a long and fruitful association with Star Trek, starting from 1977, when he designed a Klingon battle cruiser for the planned TV series Star Trek: Phase II, which was later scrapped. He then worked on Star Trek: The Motion Picture, building planetary models and other miniatures for the film.
He went on to work on six more Star Trek films, such as Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Star Trek: Insurrection, and Star Trek: Nemesis. He also worked on three Star Trek TV shows, namely The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager. He built many iconic models for the Star Trek franchise, such as the USS Enterprise-D, the Ferengi Marauder, the Klingon Vor’cha, and the USS Defiant.
He also founded his own company, Gregory Jein Inc., in 1979, and worked with various production houses, such as ILM, Boss Film Corp., and Walt Disney Imagineering. He received two Emmy nominations for his work on Deep Space Nine and Angels in America, and eight Art Directors Guild nominations for his work on various films and projects.
Gregory Jein’s Death and Impact
Gregory Jein died on May 22, 2022, in his Los Angeles home, after suffering from cardiac arrest. He had been battling with diabetes and other health issues for several years. He also had been caring for his mother, who had cancer. His family chose to keep his death private until June 29, 2022, when they announced it to the public.
His death was mourned by his family, friends, colleagues, and fans, who remembered him as a talented and generous person. His work was praised and celebrated by many people in the film industry and the Star Trek community, who recognized his contribution and influence. He was honored with a tribute video by the Star Trek website, which featured clips and interviews from his career.
Gregory Jein cause of death marked the end of an era for Star Trek fans, who admired his work and vision. He left behind a legacy of art and excellence, which will continue to inspire and entertain generations of viewers. He was a master of his craft, and a legend of the film industry.