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Bibi Besch

Bibi Besch was one of those performers whom fans often recognize by their face, but rarely their name.

She was born Bibiana Besch in Vienna, Austria, the daughter of theater actress Gusti Huber, who fled the Nazis shortly after her daughter's birth.

By the early 1960's she had moved to the United States, and spent 1965 to 1976 appearing in a variety of daytime soaps such as The Secret Storm, The Edge of Night, Love is a Many Splendored Thing, and finally, Somerset. In addition to her theater career, she began appearing in more nationally known primetime features, such as the 1979 miniseries Backstairs at the White House. Her most famous role was probably as Dr. Carol Marcus, the mother of Captain James T. Kirk's son in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. She also had a small role as the much-hated Belle Marmillion in the hit movie Steel Magnolias.

In 1992 she received her first acting nomination (not counting a Razzie for the Pia Zadora film The Lonely Lady) for the landmark TV-movie Doing Time on Maple Drive (which starred Jim Carrey). She received another a year later for her performance as Janine Turner's neurotic mother in a Northern Exposure episode. She continued to appear in films and television (including ER and Melrose Place) right up until her 1996 death following a long battle with breast cancer at the age of 56. Ironically, she died one day before the 30th anniversary of the premiere of Star Trek.

Besch's daughter is actress Samantha Mathis.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2005.

Bibi Besch Facts

BirthdayFebruary 1, 1940
BirthplaceVienna, Austria
Date of deathSeptember 7, 1996 (age 56)

Selected Filmography

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Fire in the Belly
The Day After
Who's That Girl?
The Lonely Lady
Star Trek: Original Motion Picture Collection
Date With An Angel
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