Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Merritt Butrick March 17, 1989



The first time I saw Merritt, he was wearing a nightgown and had red lipstick smeared across his lips. It was 1987 and I was working on my first feature film in Hollywood , DEATH SPA.  Merritt was playing his dead twin sister in the film hence the transvestite getup.
He was in his prime as an actor in the 80's. He starred in a cult TV series, SQUARE PEGS, featuring a  young, permed out Sarah Jessica Parker.  Merritt even had a Trekkie following since he had played Captain Kirk's son in two Star Trek movies. But I did not know or care about any of that stuff. To me, he was simply one of the most fascinating and beautiful people I had ever met.
As the editing room was directly across Merritt's apartment on Hollywood Blvd,  he and I began to spend more and more time together.  Soon we were inseparable.  Merritt was my first love, my soul mate. We were supposed to spend the rest of our lives together but fate had other plans.
When he was initially turned down to star in the film SHY PEOPLE, Merritt knocked on the editing room door at night with a toothbrush in hand.  He was sad that he lost the role ( he ended up getting it when the other actor got sick). He asked me to drive up to Sacramento with him that night to visit his parents. So there we were driving up Highway 5 singing to Joni Mitchell's BLUE album till 5 am.  I miss his voice.
Merritt died of Aids on March 17, 1989.  He was 29 years old. We were both so young, so full of life.
His last performance was in a LATC play, KING FISH featuring Buck Henry. Time Magazine wrote about Merritt, ' a star in the making'.
And a star you will always be.....

Je t'aime Merritt

11 comments:

  1. hmm, I rememeber Merritt. Good guy, great sense of humor and alot of fun to just hang out with but he used to drink alot. Now, in retrospect I now see why. I wish he'd told me about his health, we would've gotten to spend more time together. I do think of him often.

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  2. thanks for your comment, Frank. yeah , he did drink alot but i think he was secretly suffering..He hid it from me...or maybe I di not want to think he was sick...I try to undertand where he was at that moment...I still miss his voice and his charm,,,,,

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  3. Hi, thanks for posting this. I was just watching (re-re-re-watching I suppose) the old Star Trek flicks and was wondering why I (we, the audience) never saw more of Mr. Butrick. My sincere condolences and I hope though that it helps to know that still, 20 years past his death, folk still admire him, his acting, his cute blonde locks. To good memories. Best.

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  4. Tizzylish, you should write his biography!

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  5. crazy to think that just 10 years later, he wouldve had the option to live a full healthy life... sad story

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  7. I wonder if you and I have met. I was Merritt's girlfriend in high school. The last time I saw Merritt was in 1987. It was in NYC. I had just got married. Merritt had a girlfriend with him. Was it you?

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  8. Yes, it was me. Merritt and I went to NYC together and we hung out a lot with his friends in NYC. I am not sure I remember you.

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  9. I've long been taken with him due to SQUARE PEGS, but thought I regularly Google around, this touching post eluded me until now. Thanks for sharing. Sweet picture. xo

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  10. Merritt loved life..He loved people or not! He loved me..and I know he loved men too. Call it what you want but I see deeper than labels..

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