Born Dorothy Catherine Fontana, she was credited with writing 11 episodes of and being "the mind behind" Star Trek's original series. She also wrote many episodes for the franchise's many other series including The Next Generation, The Animated Series, Deep Space Nine and more.
Fontana was credited with creating some of the key elements of Star Trek alongside showrunner Gene Roddenberry. In her later career, she would go on to work on Logan's Run, ReBoot, Dallas and dozens of other productions. She also was employed as a senior lecturer at the American Film Institute.
Trekkies and non-trekkies alike have paid tribute to the influential writer. See some of their messages below.
Sad because "D.C. Fontana" has passed. We'd exchanged emails over the years and finally had lunch with @trekfactcheck and I in June. Heartfelt condolences to her family, friends and students. Hope her legacy both as a writer and female TV writer is long remembered. #dcfontana pic.twitter.com/knDvcqsRBN— Maurice Molyneaux (@8bit_Maurice) December 3, 2019
Devastated to hear of the passing of DC Fontana. Such a brilliant writer and a gracious lady. I am grateful for the chance to have gotten to know her. Her scripts elevated original Trek.— Melinda M. Snodgrass (@MMSnodgrass) December 3, 2019
DC Fontana was the embodiment of #StarTrek and is one of the main reasons its narrative will likely endure forever (as opposed to just being a really good TV show that people liked). What an incredible legacy. 🖖 pic.twitter.com/SYbtDRv4S7— Enterprise Extra (@EnterpriseExtra) December 3, 2019
Saddened to hear the news that DC Fontana has passed away. She did just as much to shape @StarTrek as both writer and producer as Roddenberry himself, and during a period when that was not the norm for women in the industry. A true trailblazer.— Joe Duffy (@joedarts317) December 3, 2019
Dorothy "DC" Fontana was a generous artist, always willing to give us her time answering our questions. She thought it fascinating that her work engendered our academic interest because she was too modest to realize how very important she was to TV history. A real pioneer is lost pic.twitter.com/qbJVZffOst— Jose Sociology (@Tenutofamily) December 3, 2019