Paul Trinka was an American actor who rose to fame for his role as Patterson in the sci-fi TV series Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. He also appeared in other shows and movies, such as Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, Night Gallery, and The Bold Ones: The Lawyers. But his promising career was cut short by a tragic illness that claimed his life at the age of 41. What was Paul Trinka’s cause of death and how did he cope with it? Here is what we know.
Early Life and Career
Paul Trinka was born on January 26, 1932, in Blairsville, Pennsylvania, to Joseph and Gabriel Trinka. He had four sisters and one brother. He graduated from Blairsville Middle-High School in 1952 and served in the US Army in Korea and the US Air Force. After his discharge, he moved to Los Angeles and studied drama and psychology at Los Angeles City College. He also performed in theater in New York and Los Angeles.
Trinka made his screen debut in 1959, in the film Operation Dames. He then guest-starred in various TV programs, such as Ben Casey, My Three Sons, and Adventures in Paradise. He got his big break in 1964, when he was cast as Patterson, a seaman on the submarine Seaview, in the TV series Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. He appeared in 58 episodes of the show, which ran for four seasons until 1968. He also played Kirk, a gas station attendant, in the cult classic Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! in 1965. He continued to work in TV and film until 1971, when he appeared in an episode of Night Gallery.
Illness and Death
Trinka was diagnosed with brain cancer in the early 1970s. He underwent surgery and radiation therapy, but his condition worsened. He died on December 28, 1973, at the Riverside Hospital in Beverly Hills, California. He was 41 years old. He was buried at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills, California.
Trinka’s death was a shock to his fans and colleagues, who remembered him as a talented and kind person. He had a fan club, which was started by young girls, called the “Paul Trinka Fan Club”. Its motto was “Don’t be a Finka… Watch Paul Trinka”. He also had a second job as a maître d’ at a natural foods restaurant, The Aware Inn, where he was popular with the customers.
Trinka’s legacy lives on through his work, especially his role as Patterson, which made him a sci-fi icon. He is also remembered for his contribution to the genre of exploitation cinema, with his role in Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!. He is survived by his family and friends, who miss him