On Tuesday afternoon, StarTrek.com issued a heartfelt statement announcing the death of TV writer Dorothy Catherine “D.C.” Fontana on Dec. 2. Fontana died at the age of 80 after battling a brief illness. The pioneering writer worked on both The Original Series and The Animated Series, laying the groundwork for women to work on the creative and production sides of science-fiction television. Some of her best known episodes include “Yesteryear” and “Journey to Babel.” Fontana also wrote for The Waltons and Bonanza, and recently served as a lecturer at the American Film Institute.
“Fontana’s credits to Star Trek cannot be understated, both as a writer of great stories and as a trailblazer for other women,” the statement reads. She is survived by her husband, cinematographer Dennis Skotak.