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George Takei

Full Name George Hosato Takei
Age 86
Birthday April 20, 1937
Birthplace Los Angeles, California, United States
Spouse Brad Takei (m. 2008)
Social Media Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

As a longtime fan of George Takei, I‘m delighted to provide this in-depth look at his remarkable life and career. From breaking barriers in entertainment to championing social justice, George Takei has made an incredible impact on our culture. Let‘s explore what makes this icon so special.

Early Life in Internment Camps

George Takei was born Hosato Takei in 1937 to Japanese-American parents. After Pearl Harbor, his family was forced into internment camps like 120,000 other Japanese Americans. Takei spent 4 years imprisoned, an experience that shaped his lifelong activism. As he put it: "My childhood was shaped by being in American concentration camps."

After being freed, the Takei family returned to LA. George graduated high school and earned theater degrees from UCLA. He also revealed that he coped in the camps by embracing imagination, whether by reading comics or sketching. This developed into a lifelong love of sci-fi and fantasy tales.

Breakthrough Role as Mr. Sulu

In 1965, Takei landed the iconic role of helmsman Hikaru Sulu on Star Trek. As one of the first Asian characters not portrayed as a stereotype, Sulu broke barriers. Takei brought honor, intelligence, and steadfast loyalty to the beloved character over 3 seasons of the original series and 6 feature films.

Some highlights of Takei‘s groundbreaking portrayal:

  • Demonstrated an Asian American man in a position of authority
  • Eventually revealed as Star Trek‘s first openly gay character
  • Remained dedicated to the cast and franchise for over 50 years

Takei has said he is "proud and passionate about playing Sulu" and fondly remembers the camaraderie with the cast. His trailblazing performance showed millions that diversity strengthens teams.

Tireless Advocate for Social Justice

In addition to acting, George Takei has dedicated his life to advancing social causes like:

  • Japanese American rights – Takei has lobbied for governmental apologies for internment and awareness of this injustice. He also works extensively with the Japanese American National Museum.
  • LGBTQ+ equality – Since coming out in 2005, Takei has been an outspoken advocate for marriage equality and LGBTQ visibility. He and husband Brad have been together for over 30 years.
  • Human rights – Whether immigrant rights, women‘s rights, or advocating for democracy, Takei consistently uses his platform to promote universal human rights.
  • Civic engagement – Through nonprofits like Of Thee I Sing and the Takei Foundation, George Takei encourages active participation in the democratic process.

At almost 90 years old, he continues to make a difference through advocacy and by sharing his experiences. According to his official site, "Everything Takei does comes from a lifetime that has taught him to look ahead to the future."

Beloved Pop Culture Icon

While best known as Sulu, Takei has succeeded in many realms beyond Star Trek, including:

  • Television – Memorable roles on hits like Hawaii Five-O, Mission: Impossible, and Heroes. Also guest judged on reality shows from RuPaul‘s Drag Race to Celebrity Apprentice.
  • Film – Appeared in acclaimed movies like Kubo and the Two Strings and Mulan. Also in B-movies like Return of the Killer Tomatoes.
  • Theater – Performed on Broadway in shows like Pacific Overtures and Allegiance, often starring in works exploring Asian American experiences.
  • Writing – Published multiple books including graphic memoir They Called Us Enemy and collection of funny Amazon reviews Oh Myyy!
  • Social Media – Built a massive online following through humor and thoughtful commentary. His Facebook has over 10 million likes!

Clearly, Takei‘s talents span from sci-fi to satire. His charm, wisdom, and humor make him beloved by millions.

Lasting Legacy of Visibility and Justice

While best remembered as Sulu, I believe George Takei‘s true legacy is:

  • Proving the power of representation by portraying Asian Americans in a positive yet human light.
  • Leveraging his celebrity to stand up for marginalized groups, from Japanese Americans to LGBTQ people.
  • Using humor and compassion to bring people together rather than divide them.
  • Reminding us that courage comes in many forms, whether standing up to discrimination or simply being yourself.

At 86 years old, the inspiring Takei continues to make the future brighter through his activism and visibility. As he wrote, "The goal now is to boldly go where I haven‘t gone before!" Thank you, George Takei, for inspiring this fan and millions more across the planet. You are a true pioneer.