Happy birthday George Takei!

George Takei in 2015
George Takei in 2015

George Hosato Takei (photo ©Alex Lozupone) was born on April 20, 1937 in Los Angeles, California, USA. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, his family was sent to an internment camp for Japanese-Americans and until the end of World War II they lived in some of them.

After the end of the war George Takei and his family returned to Los Angeles. After graduating from high school, Takei studied architecture at the University of Berkeley and later went to UCLA, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in theater in 1960 and a Master of Arts in theater in 1964. He continued his acting studies in England, Japan and Hollywood.

Already in the 1950s, George Takei started working on movie productions dubbing Japanese movies and after some years started geting his first roles as an actor in television and movie productions. Often they were small roles but sometimes he got an important one such as the protagonist of an episode of the TV show “The Twilight Zone”.

In 1966, George Takei started playing the role he’s famous for, Hikaru Sulu in “Star Trek“. He also played an important role in the 1968 movie “The Green Berets” but this prevented him from being a regular presence in “Star Trek”. His role at the Enterprise helm was taken by Pavel Chekov, played by Walter Koenig. The two actors ended up having to share one dressing room but this led them to become friends.

Since the 1970s, George Takei has also been involved in politics in some local elections but never ceased to be an actor. In 1979 he published with Robert Asprin the science fiction novel “Mirror Friend, Mirror Foe”. In 1994 he published his autobiography “To the Stars: The Autobiography of George Takei, Star Trek’s Mr. Sulu” but working as a writer has remained occasional.

Over the decades, George Takei has participated in many television and movie productions, sometimes lending his voice such as in some episodes of “The Simpsons” and other animated shows. His fame has remained linked to “Star Trek” and that had an influence for example on the recurring character he played in the TV show “Heroes”, the father of one of the protagonists, a great “Star Trek” fan.

George Takei officially came out as in 2005 but that was far from a secret and the actor was already active in LGBT organizations. At that point, he had already been engaged for several years in a relationship with Brad Altman and the two of them got officially married in 2008 after the same-sex marriage was legalized in California.

In recent years, George Takei is also finding the time to be active on social networks and his Facebook page where he posts humorous pictures is followed by millions of people. It’s yet another demonstration of the versatility of a man who is above all an actor but has also engaged in other activities throughout his life.

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