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George Takei
George Takei
Information
Name George Takei
Birthdate April 20, 1937
Memorable Works Star Trek
Character Sam
George Hosato Takei is an American actor and author, best known for his role as Hikaru Sulu, helmsman of the USS Enterprise in the television series Star Trek. He also portrayed the character in 6 Star Trekfeature films and in an episode of Star Trek: Voyager. He portrays Sam on the NBC show, The New Normal. He is a proponent of gay rights and active in state and local politics as well as continuing his acting career. He has won several awards and accolades in his work on human rights and Japanese–American relations, including his work with the Japanese American National Museum.

CareerEdit

EarlyEdit

Takei began his career in Hollywood in the late 1950s, at a time when Asians were rarely cast in American television shows and movies. His first role was providing voiceover for several characters in the English dub of Japanese monster films such as Godzilla Raids Again and Rodan, followed by an appearance in the Emmy award winning television series Playhouse 90 and Perry Mason The Case of the Blushing Pearls. Takei subsequently appeared alongside such actors as Richard Burton in Ice Palace, Jeffrey Hunter in Hell to Eternity, Alec Guinness in A Majority of One, James Caan in Red Line 7000 and Cary Grant in Walk, Don't Run. He played Captain Nim, an ARVN LLDB (Luc Luong Dac Biet- Special Forces) officer alongside John Wayne's character in the 1968 Vietnam War era film, The Green Berets. He starred in "The Encounter", a controversial episode of the Emmy Award winning television show The Twilight Zone.

He had an uncredited role in the 1963 film PT-109 as the helmsman who steers the Japanese destroyer over John F. Kennedy's PT-109. He starred in an episode of Mission: Impossible during that show's first season in 1966. He also appeared in two Jerry Lewis comedies, The Big Mouth and Which Way to the Front?

Star TrekEdit

In 1965, producer Gene Roddenberry cast him as Mr. Sulu in the second Star Trek pilot and eventually the Star Trek television series. While working on the show he appeared as Captain Nim in The Green Berets. It was intended that Sulu's role be expanded in the second season, but due to Takei's part in Green Berets, he only appeared in half the season, with his role being filled by Walter Koenig as Pavel Chekov. When Takei returned, the two had to share a dressing room and a single episode script. Takei admitted in an interview that he initially felt threatened by Walter's presence, but later grew to be friends with him as the image of the officers sharing the ship's helm panel side-by-side became iconic.

Takei has since appeared in numerous TV and film productions, including the first six Star Trek motion pictures, and today he is a regular on the science fiction convention circuit throughout the world. He has also acted and provided voice acting for several science fiction computer games, including Freelancer and numerous Star Trek games. In 1996, in honor of the 30th anniversary of Star Trek, he reprised his role as Captain Hikaru Sulu on an episode of Star Trek: Voyager, appearing as a memory of Lt. Tuvok, who served on the USS Excelsior under Sulu, during the events of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.

Takei is one of a number of Star Trek supporting cast members whose difficulties with William Shatner have become public. However, in an interview in the 2004 DVD set for the second season of Star Trek: The Original Series, Takei said of Shatner: "He's just a wonderful actor who created a singular character. No one could have done Kirk the way Bill did. His energy and his determination, that's Bill. And that's also Captain Kirk." He appeared alongside Shatner on the 2006 Comedy Central Roast of William Shatner in which the two mocked each other in good humor and embraced, Takei noting that he was "honored" to be there "despite our past tensions".

In a radio interview on The Adam Carolla Show on June 19, 2008, Takei implied that part of his problems with Shatner began when he came out of the closet for the first time and his sexuality was accepted by almost everyone on the cast and crew of Star Trek except Shatner. Shatner was a guest on the same radio show some weeks earlier and expressed complete bewilderment as to why George Takei has such difficulties with him. According to Shatner, he has asked Takei repeatedly over the years to discuss his differences with him, but has been repeatedly rebuffed.

Takei is also one of six actors to lend his voice to Star Trek: Captain's Chair, reprising his role of Captain Hikaru Sulu when users visit the bridge of the original Enterprise in the computer game.

In the summer of 2007, Takei reprised his role of Sulu in the fan-made Internet based series Star Trek New Voyages: Phase II.

After Star TrekEdit

In 1972, Takei was an alternate delegate from California to the Democratic National Convention. The following year he ran for City Council of Los Angeles, finishing second, losing by just 1,647 votes. During the campaign, Takei's bid for the city councilman's seat caused one local station to stop running the repeats of the original Star Trek series until after the election and KNBC-TV to substitute the premiere episode of the Star Trek animated series scheduled by the network with another in which his character did not appear, in attempts to avoid violating the FCC's equal-time rule. The other candidates in the race complained that Takei's distinctive and powerful voice alone, even without his image on television every week, created an unfair advantage.

Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley later appointed Takei to the board of directors of the Southern California Rapid Transit District, making him part of the team that initiated and planned the Los Angeles subway system. Takei was called away from the set of Star Trek: The Motion Picture in 1978 to cast the tie-breaking vote for the creation of the Los Angeles subway system. He served on the board from 1973 to 1984.

Also during this period Takei began his friendship with the future Mayor of West Hollywood and current member of the Los Angeles City Council Paul Koretz.

In 1979, Takei with Robert Asprin co-wrote the science-fiction novel Mirror Friend, Mirror Foe.

In 1994, Takei published his autobiography, "To the Stars". At one point he had hoped to do a movie or telefilm based on chapters dealing with the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, of which he had personal experience.

He guest starred on an episode of Will & Grace as himself, after he came out as gay for the first time on television.

In January 2007, Takei began appearing on Heroes, as Kaito Nakamura, a successful Japanese businessman and father to one of the main characters, time/space-travelling Hiro Nakamura, who also happens to be an obsessive fan of Star Trek. In the first episode Takei is portrayed, "Distractions", the license plate of the limo he arrives in is NCC-1701, another reference to the Star Trek series. Also, in "Run!", Hiro is called "Sulu" by a feisty vixen named Hope. Nakamura is also George's mother's maiden name. He appeared in all four seasons.

Takei made an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! in a mock public service announcement to show his disappointment over basketball star Tim Hardaway's homophobic remarks. Takei, speaking for the gay community, explained "We don't hate you. As a matter of fact, we like you. We like you very much." Takei then compliments Hardaway's calves and shaved head, letting his hand linger over the crotch of Hardaway's image. Takei ends by letting it be known that one day, when Hardaway least expects it, Takei will have sex with him.

Takei appeared on the first episode of Secret Talents of the Stars, singing country music but was not selected to proceed to the next stage. However the point became moot as the series was abruptly cancelled after the opening episode.

In 2008 he appeared on the 8th season of the reality TV series I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! on British Television. He lived in the Australian bush for 21 days and nights, doing tasks along with fellow campers in order to gain better meals and survive eviction from the show. His politeness and calmness made him popular with the other campers. Out of 15 participants the British public voted him into 3rd place behind 2nd placed Martina Navratilova and winner Joe Swash.

In April 2009, he voiced a fictitious version of himself in the NASA animated short "Robot Astronomy Talk Show: Gravity and the Great Attractor", part of the web-series IRrelevant Astronomy produced by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

In 2009, Takei and his husband Brad Altman appeared in a documentary short titled George & Brad in Bed that profiled their relationship.

In 2009, Takei was a guest on NPR's Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me!.


In 2010, Takei recorded a series of PSAs for the Social Security Administration to help promote applying online for benefits.

He appeared as himself in an episode of the fourth season of The Big Bang Theory called "The Hot Troll Deviation". He also starred in All Star Mr and Mrs, a show on ITV in Britain presented by Philip Schofield and Fern Britton in 2011, with partner Brad Altman.

Takei was also one of the celebrities on the 12th series of The Apprentice, but was fired in the episode which aired on March 4, 2012.

Takei marked the 70th anniversary of the internment of Americans of Japanese descent, including himself as a child, by asking his readers to contact Congress to block "S. 1253, the National Defense Authorization Act... that would let any U.S. president use the military to arrest and imprison without charge or trial anyone suspected of having any relationship with a terrorist organization."

Takei was featured with Martin Sheen and Jamie Lee Curtis in a performance of Dustin Lance Black's play, 8 — a staged reenactment of the federal trial that overturned California's Prop 8 ban on same-sex marriage — as William Tam. The production was held at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre and broadcast on YouTube to raise money for the American Foundation for Equal Rights.

In 2012, Takei will star in the musical Allegiance which Takei described as his legacy project. The show is based on Takei's own experiences and research into the Japanese American internment of World War II and will be performed at the Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park in San Diego, California.


FilmographyEdit

TVEdit

  • Playhouse 90
  • Perry Mason
  • Assignment: Underwater
  • The Islanders
  • Hawaiian Eye
  • The Gallant Men
  • Twilight Zone
  • Death Valley Days
  • Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea
  • Mister Roberts
  • My Three Sons
  • I Spy
  • The Wackiest Ship in the Army
  • Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre
  • Mission: Impossible
  • Felony Squad
  • It Takes a Thief
  • Star Trek
  • The Courtship of Eddie's Father
  • O'Hara, U.S. Treasury
  • Ironside
  • Kung Fu
  • The Six Million Dollar Man
  • Star Trek
  • Khan!
  • Hawaii Five-O
  • Chico and the Man
  • Black Sheep Squadron
  • Vega$
  • Beyond Westworld
  • Strike Force
  • Matt Houston
  • Trapper John, M.D.
  • CBS Storybreak
  • General Hospital
  • Jonny Quest
  • MacGyver
  • Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
  • Murder, She Wrote
  • Miami Vice
  • Adderly
  • Kung Fu: The Legend Continues
  • Kissinger and Nixon
  • Minor Adjustments
  • Spider-Man: The Animated Series
  • Star Trek: Voyage'r
  • The Best Bad Thing
  • Space Cases
  • Once a Thief
  • In the House
  • Early Edition
  • Diagnosis Murder
  • Hercules
  • Batman Beyond
  • Baby Blues
  • Grosse Pointe
  • V.I.P.
  • The Chronicle
  • The Simpsons
  • Jackie Chan Adventures
  • Son of the Beach
  • Samurai Jack
  • The Brak Show
  • The Bronx Bunny Show
  • The Young and the Restless
  • Scrubs
  • Hey Arnold!
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender
  • The X's
  • Malcolm in the Middle
  • Freddie
  • El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera
  • Cory in the House
  • Star Trek New Voyages: Phase II
  • Kim Possible
  • Rick & Steve the Happiest Gay Couple in All the World
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars
  • Transformers: Animated
  • Jimmy Kimmel Live!
  • Chowder
  • Heroes
  • The Suite Life on Deck
  • Community
  • The Super Hero Squad Show
  • Fish Hooks
  • Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated
  • The Problem Solverz
  • True Justice
  • Howard Stern on Demand
  • Supah Ninjas
  • Archer
  • Pound Puppies
  • Adventure Time
  • Transformers Prime
  • The New Normal

FilmEdit

  • Godzilla Raids Again
  • Rodan
  • Battle of the Coral Sea
  • Never So Few
  • Ice Palace
  • Hell to Eternity
  • A Majority of One
  • PT 109
  • Morituri
  • Red Line 7000
  • Walk Don't Run
  • An American Dream
  • The Big Mouth
  • The Green Berets
  • Which Way to the Front?
  • Josie's CastleYear of the Dragon
  • Have I Got a Christmas for You
  • Star Trek: The Motion Picture
  • Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
  • Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
  • Stop Smoking
  • Return from the River Kwai
  • Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
  • Prisoners of the Sun
  • Star Trek Adventure
  • Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
  • Lightning Force
  • Live by the Fist
  • Jeungbal
  • Oblivion
  • Oblivion 2: Backlash
  • The Magic Pearl
  • Mulan
  • Bug Buster
  • Who Gets the House?
  • Batman Beyond: The Movie
  • New World Order
  • With Honors Denied
  • DC 9/11: Time of Crisis
  • Roddenberry on Patrol
  • The Eavesdropper
  • Mulan II
  • A.I. Assault
  • Finishing the Game: The Search for a New Bruce Lee
  • Ninja Cheerleaders
  • Showdown of the Godz
  • The Red Canvas
  • Scooby-Doo and the Samurai Sword
  • The Potential Wives of Norman Mao
  • The Pool Boys
  • Larry Crowne
  • 8
  • Strange Frame: Love & Sax

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