About Walter Marvin Koenig
Although Walter Koenig is best known for his role as Ensign Chekhov on the TV series Star Trek, after the series’ cancelation he moved on to other projects, including work as a writer on the animated show Land of the Lost. He also appeared in the film adaptations of the program and penned a book about his affiliation with the show. Koenig was also a finalist at the New York Film Festival Awards for his play, You're Never Alone When You're a Schizophrenic. On September 10, 2012, Koenig received the 2,279th star of the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
He was born Walter Marvin Koenig on September 14, 1936 in Chicago, Illinois, the son of businessman Isadore Koenig and his wife Sarah (née Strauss). Koenig's parents were Russian Jewish immigrants from the Soviet Union; his family lived in Lithuania when they emigrated, and shortened their surname from "Königsberg" to "Koenig".
Koenig largely grew up in New York City, where he attended public schools before venturing to Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa. He then transferred to UCLA where he finished with a bachelor's degree in psychology.
Thanks to a supportive professor Koenig, who had dabbled in stage work beginning in high school, enrolled in New York's Neighborhood Playhouse after college, where he eventually earned a scholarship.
Koenig moved from stage acting to television in the early 1960s, beginning with his role on the cast of A Day in Court, a short-lived series that reenacted actual court cases. In 1965, he nearly landed a role on the program Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. It was a disappointing loss, but one that was more than made up for a year later when Koenig landed the role of Chekov on the second season of the sci-fi show Star Trek.
Helped by Star Trek's unprecedented popularity following its cancellation, Koenig easily moved on to a host of different projects, including work as a writer on the animated show Land of the Lost. He also embraced his Star Trek identity, appearing with much of the rest of his former cast members in the film adaptations of the program.
Outside of his Star Trek work, Koenig had a regular role on the sci-fi series, Babylon 5. In all, the actor has appeared in some 40 different television programs and TV movies.
Over the years, Koenig has also proven to be a prolific writer. He was the first of the Trek crew to pen a book about his affiliation with the show. He's written several other books, as well, including Warped Factors: A Neurotic's Guide to the Universe. In 1996 he was a finalist at the New York Film Festival Awards for his play, You're Never Alone When You're a Schizophrenic.
In early 2010 Walter Koenig's life was rocked with tragedy when his son, Andrew Koenig, also an actor who had a semi-regular role on the ABC sitcom, Growing Pains, committed suicide. Andrew, whose life had been beset with depression and addictions, was just 41 at the time of his death. Koenig has been married to his wife, Judy, since 1965. In addition to their late son, the couple have a daughter, actress Danielle Koenig. The Koenigs reside in Los Angeles, California.