Melvin Belli (July 29, 1907-July 9, 1996) was a prominent US lawyer known as "The King of Torts". He defended many celebrity clients. Belli graduated from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law.
He agreed to represent Jack Ruby for free after Ruby shot and killed Lee Harvey Oswald. Some observers thought that the case could have been disposed of as a "murder without malice" charge (roughly equivalent to manslaughter) with a maximum sentence of five years. Instead, Belli attempted to prove that Ruby was legally insane and had a history of mental illness in his family. On March 14, 1964, Ruby was convicted of "murder with malice" and later received a death sentence.
Belli appeared in a 1968 episode of Star Trek called "And the Children Shall Lead". He played Gorgan, an evil being who corrupted a group of children.
Belli received a letter from the Zodiac Killer in 1969. In 1970, he appeared in the Rolling Stones movie Gimme Shelter.