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NEW YORK (AP) — D.C. Fontana, a writer and story editor for the original “Star Trek” television series and later a contributor to “Star Trek: The Next Generation" and other related projects, has died at age 80.

Fran Evans, a family friend, told The Associated Press that she died Tuesday after a brief illness.

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Dorothy Catherine Fontana, who used the initials D.C. after struggling to find work in a male-dominated industry, had befriended “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry and rose from secretary to story editor for the 1960s show. Her credits included such episodes as “Journey to Babel” and “Friday's Child" and Leonard Nimoy would praise her for broadening the back story of Mr. Spock's Vulcan culture. William Shatner, who starred as Capt. James T. Kirk, tweeted that Fontana was a “pioneer” and added that “her work will continue to influence for generations to come.”

A native of Sussex, New Jersey, Fontana worked on a wide range of other TV shows, from “Bonanza” and “Ben Casey,” along with “Star Trek: The Next Generation" and “Star Trek: New Voyages." She also wrote the “Star Trek” novel “Vulcan's Glory," about Spock's first mission on the U.S.S. Enterprise.

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