Celebrities and TV stars receive more fan mail than anyone could ever dream of opening, so it’s lucky that James Doohan happened to open the one letter that would change his life.
You might recognize Doohan from the original series of Star Trek, where he played the spaceship’s engineer Scotty. The science-fiction show was one of the biggest hits of the 1960s, so Doohan was used to receiving letters and autograph requests from fans, but this was something different.
Doohan says that the letter, from a young woman, was a suicide note. Who knows why she chose to reach out to the actor, but he did the right thing and wrote back right away, asking her to meet him at a fan convention.
While Doohan says that the fan obviously looked troubled, he spoke with her and tried to cheer her up. Then, he asked her to meet him again at his next appearance, and again, and again, so she always had something to look forward to.
Eventually Doohan lost touch with the young woman, but years later she wrote to him with a happy ending to her story.
Not only had the fan managed to turn her life around, she actually became an electronics engineer, just like Scotty, the character Doohan played.
Remembering the moment later while filming a documentary, the actor called his encounter with the fan “the best thing I’ve ever done in my life,” and he can’t help but tear up when he mentions it.