Saturday, April 20, 2013

Happy Birthday to the Legendary George Takei!

Let's be honest -- Star Trek is one of the most important pop culture creations of the 20th Century, and anybody associated with it gains instant immortality.  Some of those people actually earn it, too, and Star Trek: The Original Series star George Takei is one of them. 

George and his husband Brad
Aside from being a terrific actor on stage, screen and television, Takei has ridden the tide of history to become an important symbol for justice, intelligence, diversity, kindess, hilarity and forward-thinking in general.  Lately his star has risen even higher with his activism for LGBT issues including gay marriage, and he never fails to put himself out there when a voice of reason and compassion is needed. 

Takei was born April 20, 1937, which makes him 76 years old today.  Along with William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, both of whom celebrated their 82nd birthdays last months, and Nichelle Nichols who was 80 last December, this quartet of Star Trek actors is helping redefine aging for us boomers.  It's also wonderful to see how they all now seem to be completely comfortable in their Star Trek skins, all honored for being essential to the message of Star Trek and to its continued importance to so many of us.  Takei has even taken part in one of the fan-based Star Trek revival efforts with his co-starring role in 2007's Star Trek: New Voyages episode "World Enough and Time" alongside Grace Lee Whitney who played Yeoman Janice Rand in the original series.  Check out the entire episode here and for more information on this wonderful initiative head over to their website.

But today is George Takei's day!  We're sharing just a handful of clips showing some of the diversity of Takei, but the internet is full of great George Takei material. If you're on Facebook be sure to "friend" him because his posts are always wise or funny and probably both; you don't want to miss anything he shares.

So let's celebrate a bit of Takei -- here he is during his TV Academy interview discussing how Sulu got his name.


Here's Mr. Sulu in an action sequence from the episode "Return of the Archons"; he's looking exceptionally spiffy in his quasi-Revolutionary War-era costume, too!

This is one of the character's most beloved moments, from "The Naked Time" --

Here's another favorite moment from "Mirror, Mirror" when Uhura deals with the mirror universe Sulu --

George Takei is hilarious in this Sharp TV ad from a little while back --

In a more serious vein, a young man meets his hero George Takei --

And in a jovial moment, Takei and his husband Brad share his "Happy Dance" --

George is currently starring in the new musical stage drama Allegiance which is expected to end up on Broadway in the near future; please check out the show's website for more information.  Allegiance centers on the internment of Japanese American citizens during World War II; here's a preview from its run at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego last fall.  This is a personal story for Mr. Takei -- he and his family lived this experience.

Be sure to visit George Takei's website where you will find out everything that this versatile and eternally young-at-heart but old-in-wisdom man of the world is up to.  He's also just published a new e-book Oh Myyy: There Goes the Internet which you can purchase off his page, too.

George Takei is an inspiration and a delight.  Happy Birthday, George!

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