Q: I looked up actress Arlene Martel, who appeared in classic shows such as "Perry Mason" and "Star Trek," and saw that she was once married to a Robert Palmer. Is this the musician Robert Palmer?

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Adam Thomlison / TV Media

You might as well face it, Robert Palmer is a pretty common name.

For those who don't recognize it, I'm not trying to be rude, it's a reference to English pop singer Robert Palmer's 1985 pop smash, "Addicted to Love." But it's also true — Robert Palmer is a common name. So common that the Pennsylvania-born actor Robert Palmer, the one who married fellow thespian Arlene Martel, chose to go by a different name, Boyd Holister, for most of his career.

Martel and this Palmer were both jobbing TV actors around the same time, though Martel would find more success. Her most famous role was as T'Pring, Spock's prospective bride in the second-season premiere of "Star Trek" in 1967.

Palmer/Holister's peak came around the same time, with small parts in some of the biggest TV dramas of the time, including "The Untouchables" in 1962, "Gunsmoke" in 1963 and an episode of "Mannix" in 1967.

At that time, the pop singer Palmer was still a teenager dreaming of a music career. His success didn't really come until the mid-1980s, at which point Martel and the other Palmer's busiest years were behind them.

Sadly, pop singer Palmer died young — he passed in 2003 from a sudden heart attack at 54. Martel, who was 13 years his senior, died in 2014 at 78, also from a heart attack.

The actor Palmer, who was older than both, died last year at 91.


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