Celia Lovsky, who played the character of T’Pau in “Amok Time”, was born on February 21, 1897, one of only 11 credited Trek guest stars born in the 19th century.
In “Amok Time”, T’Pau has a level of status and respect that was very rare for women characters in TOS. Through mentions in TNG and Voyager we learn about her impressive imprint on Federation society for generations to come.
In “Darkling”, T’Pau joins Leonardo da Vinci, Socrates, Gandhi and Lord Byron as part of a group of historical figures The Doctor considers emulating.
And in Enterprise, we learn more about T’Pau’s impressive backstory.
But Celia Lovsky also has an interesting background that involved overcoming barriers. She was born in Vienna and became a stage star in Vienna and Berlin. In 1929 she met her future husband, Peter Lorre.
When Lorre, who was of Jewish Austro-Hungarian descent, was forced to flee Berlin in 1933, Lovsky went with him to Vienna, Paris, London and finally America.
According to The Lost One: A Life of Peter Lorre, Lorre refused to let Lovsky work after they were married, “believing that in a marriage, the man must do all the work”.
After she and Lorre divorced in 1945, she continued to help him as his publicist, manager, secretary, financial planner and friend. But she found it difficult getting back into acting work because of her Austro-Hungarian accent. She took on a number of character and “exotic” roles in movies and TV. One of her most significant was playing Lon Chaney’s deaf-mute mother in Man of a Thousand Faces (1957).
Joseph Pevney directed that movie and when he was brought on for the TOS episode “Amok Time” in 1967, recommended Lovsky for the role of T’Pau.
Twelve years later, in 1979, Lovsky passed away at home of natural causes.