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Oh My! Happy Birthday, George Takei

Oh My! Happy Birthday, George Takei

Happy 77th birthday to Star Trek‘s original Hikaru Sulu, George Hosato Takei, who was born on April 20th in 1937 in Los Angeles.

As an actor, politician, activist, and writer, Takei has had a career many would hope for but few achieve. He and his family were sent to relocation centers during World War II when he was only 5-years old. Certainly an austere beginning but one that led him to study architecture at UC Berkeley, to be followed by a B.A. in theater at UCLA and and then a Masters Degree in theater by 1964.

One of the few Asian-American faces to grace television in the 1950′s and 1960′s, George was fortunate to be a part of “the Golden Age” of television. On the big screen he was seen alongside Cary Grant, Alec Guinness, Star Trek‘s first captain, Jeffrey Hunter, James Caan and John Wayne in the 1968 classic, The Green Berets.

Of course, we all know of his casting in Star Trek giving Mr. Sulu performances of depth and imbibing a likability into the role. We also know even though we saw the helmsmen and future captain return throughout the decades, that would hardly be enough to sustain a career.

Takei as Sulu in the Original Series episode "The Naked Time"

Takei as Sulu in the Original Series episode "The Naked Time"

The tri-lingual Takei, (English, Japanese and Spanish,) almost became a Los Angeles City Councilman in 1972 and was appointed by L.A. Mayor Tom Bradley to sit on the board of directors of the Southern California Rapid Transit district.

Voice over work and TV guest appearances has kept him in the public spotlight as well as his relationship with The Howard Stern Show and his now famous “Oh my” catch phrase.

Takei on stage with John Cho and Garrett Wang at the 2011 Las Vegas Star Trek Convention

Takei on stage with John Cho and Garrett Wang at the 2011 Las Vegas Star Trek Convention

His work for gay rights has been going on for decades as his public fame allows him to be heard, seen and quoted by international media. In 2008, Takei and long time partner Brad Altman, married at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles – Takei is one of its founders.

In 2012, we saw George get “fired” on The Celebrity Apprentice. Quite frankly, he has created a legacy far superior to “The Donald.” Takei starred in Allegiance, a musical based on Takei’s experience and research into the Japanese American internment during World War II.

Arsenio Hall, Lou Ferigno and Takei on NBC's "Celebrity Apprentice"

Arsenio Hall, Lou Ferigno and Takei on NBC's "Celebrity Apprentice"

Recently, we saw George promote his new documentary, To Be Takei, at the Sundance Film Festival and release his own unisex fragrance which bears his signature phrase, “Eau My.”

So happy birthday, George! Something tells me you’ll make it a good one.

Takei brokers for Star Peace between William Shatner and Star Wars’ Carrie Fisher

Takei shows off his happy dance

To keep up with George, you can follow him on Twitter at @GeorgeTakei.

Photo: TrekNews.net

Nimoy To Receive Governors’ Award

Nimoy To Receive Governors' Award

Boston-native and Star Trek’s original Spock, Leonard Nimoy is set to be honored by the Boston chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences with a Governors’ Award at the Boston/New England Emmy Awards ceremony on June 7.

Nimoy, who recently celebrated his 83rd birthday, grew up in Boston’s West End where he performed on stage from the age of eight through his teens.

The Governors’ Award is given in recognition of achievements by individuals, organizations, or companies which do not fall within the structure of the Chapter’s regular area awards.

via Press Release

WATCH: Louis C.K. Plays A Klingon In Deleted ‘SNL’ Sketch

WATCH: Louis C.K. Plays A Klingon In Deleted 'SNL' Sketch

In a sketch that wasn’t aired on last weekend’s episode of Saturday Night Live, comedian Louis C.K. plays a villainous Klingon character, with a taste for posters of shirtless human men.

While the Star Trek parody sketch was dropped from the broadcast, NBC has made it available through Hulu. Check it out below.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll probably be left wondering; “What the heck is up with those hands?”.

Hat tip to David Ivy of Trekcast, for bringing this to our attention.

LeVar Burton Talks Equality, Gene Roddenberry, And The Genius Of ‘Star Trek’

LeVar Burton Talks Equality, Gene Roddenberry, And The Genius Of 'Star Trek'

Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s LeVar Burton appeared on Canadian talk show George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight on Tuesday. Burton, who played Lt. Cmdr. Geordi La Forge on TNG for seven seasons, discussed Star Trek’s vision of equality, series’ creator Gene Roddenberry, and more.

The equality shown in the original Star Trek is one of the first things that drew him to the show, Burton told Stroumboulopoulos. “Everybody’s welcome. That was the genius of Star Trek for me growing up, was Gene Roddenberry.” Burton said. “I was and still am a huge science fiction fan. In Gene’s vision there was a place for me and that meant a lot.”

“In the original pilot it was the woman who became Gene’s wife Majel Roddenberry, who was the first first officer. Then they recast, they did a little shuffling and they brought in Leonard Nimoy. We lost a woman but we gained a Vulcan.” he said.


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Burton recalled his initial impressions of Roddenberry, saying “What my relationship with Gene ultimately represented for me was really coming to terms with the humanity in our heroes. Gene was very contradictory in nature. He was this visionary and he loved his booze and nothing pleased him more than seeing a woman in a short skirt. So I really had to recognize that in addition to being this wonderful visionary he was still a guy, he was a man. And we’ve all got faults, we’ve all got foibles and the best thing we can do is wake up every morning and in spite of our mistakes, get up and go out there and do it all over again.”

Check out the clip below.

via CBC

WATCH: Leonard Nimoy Talks COPD Diagnosis On ‘Piers Morgan Live’

WATCH: Leonard Nimoy Talks COPD Diagnosis On 'Piers Morgan Live'

Leonard Nimoy, who recently disclosed his COPD diagnosis, appeared on Piers Morgan Live on Monday to discuss the disease and the years of smoking that caused it.

“People were being told smoking is terrific,” Nimoy recalled, discussing the cigarette industry’s old marketing campaigns.

“You have to treat it as an addiction and understand that it’s not too early to quit,” Nimoy warned. “Young people think, ‘Maybe in 10 years I’ll quit,’ you know?’ “The damage is being done right now. Every day you light a cigarette, you’re losing cells in your lungs.”

Watch a segment of the interview below.

Nimoy commented on Twitter, prior to the appearance.

via CNN

WATCH: Patrick Stewart Talks Star Trek Fans And The Olympics On ‘Letterman’

WATCH: Patrick Stewart Talks Star trek Fans And The Olympics On David Letterman

On Thursday, Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s Sir Patrick Stewart appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman.

Stewart, best known for his role as Captain Jean Luc Picard on TNG and Professor Charles Xavier in the X-Men films, was referred to by Letterman as “one of the most recognizable men in all of show business,” to which he responded by pointing at the top of his forehead and saying “from here up.”

He went on to say that he’s noticed that people with certain “occupations or professions that seem to be particularly obsessed with Star Trek.”

“If you work unseasonable or unreasonable or long hours, then the chances are that you’ll be sitting at home or in a hotel room at 4-o’clock in the morning flicking channels, and ‘Oh my god “Space, the final frontier…”, there will be.” he said.

In addition to Star Trek, Stewart discussed carrying the 2012 Olympic torch and his thoughts on the upcoming 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.


RUNWAY

Check out the videos below.

Scott Bakula To Star In ‘NCIS’ Spinoff

Scott Bakula To Star In 'NCIS' Spinoff

Star Trek: Enterprise lead, Scott Bakula is set to star in a new NCIS spinoff set in New Orleans. Bakula will play NCIS Special Agent Pride, a man who “embodies New Orleans,” according to EW.

“The NCIS New Orleans office handles cases from Pensacola through Mississippi and Louisiana to the Texas panhandle. New Orleans with its rich setting of music, fun and debauchery is a magnet for military personnel on-leave. And with fun comes trouble. It is a natural backdrop for a unique character driven spin-off.”

The pilot episode will air as a two-part NCIS special this spring.


CHARMS

Leonard Nimoy Addresses Health Concerns

Leonard Nimoy Addresses Health Concerns

On Wednesday, Leonard Nimoy addressed rumors regarding his health, after being seen in a wheelchair at a New York airport, earlier this week.

In a tweet, Nimoy, now 82, said:

According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary (PULL-mun-ary) disease, is a progressive disease that makes it hard to breathe. “Progressive” means the disease gets worse over time.

COPD can cause coughing that produces large amounts of mucus (a slimy substance), wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and other symptoms.

Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of COPD. Most people who have COPD smoke or used to smoke. Long-term exposure to other lung irritants—such as air pollution, chemical fumes, or dust—also may contribute to COPD.

Since retiring from convention appearances in 2011, Nimoy appeared in an Audi commercial with Zachary Quinto, Star Trek Into Darkness, as Spock (Prime), and gave the convocation speech to BU graduates, in 2012.

We here at TrekNews.net wish Mr. Nimoy all the best. LLAP, sir.

STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS Nominated For Academy Award

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J.J. Abrams’ “Star Trek Into Darkness”, which was released in theaters last May, has been nominated for an Oscar Award for Best Visual Effects.

The team that worked on the VFX for the film include Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Ben Grossmann and Burt Dalton. “Star Trek Into Darkness” will be competing against “Gravity”, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”, “Iron Man 3″ and “The Lone Ranger” for the prized gold statue.

The 86th annual Academy Awards ceremony takes place on Sunday, March 2 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Calif and will be hosted by Ellen DeGeneres.


TECHLEVEL

See the full list of 2013 Oscars nominees.

WATCH: Leonard Nimoy Talks The Creation Of Spock, Vulcan Salute, More With Pharrell Williams

WATCH: Leonard Nimoy Talks The Creation Of Spock, Vulcan Salute, More With Pharrell Williams

Leonard Nimoy, actor, director and photographer, recently sat down with musician , producer and admitted fan, Pharrell Williams on ARTST TLK to discuss the creation of his iconic Spock character, the Vulcan salute, and the controversy behind some of his photography projects, and more.

“I had mixed feelings about it” Nimoy said about being presented with the role of Spock. “I was excited about some steady work, because I hadn’t had some steady work in a long time. I was a freelance actor. On the other hand, I was concerned about what the make-up was going to look like.”

“The fact that Shatner was overt, was broad, and theatrical, made it more interesting for me to be able to lay back and comment on what was happening, rather than act out on what was happening. So, it took a little while, but I found a way.” he said of his on-screen dynamic with William Shatner.

On the topic of the Vulcan salute and it’s Orthodox origins, Nimoy said “I didn’t think of it in religious terms, but I was looking for some magic.”

Check out the entire interview in the video below.


NIMBUS

‘To Be Takei’ To Premiere at Sundance

'To Be Takei' To Premiere at Sundance

To Be Takei, a new documentary chronicling the life of Star Trek’s original Hikaru Sulu, George Takei, will premiere at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.

Directed by Jennifer Kroot, the film will explore Takei’s childhood, growing up in a World War II internment camp, his time on Star Trek, his LGBT activism and his recent resurgence as an internet celebrity.

Official description:

Over seven decades, actor and activist George Takei journeyed from a World War II internment camp to the helm of the Starship Enterprise, and then to the daily news feeds of five million Facebook fans. Join George and his husband, Brad, on a wacky and profound trek for life, liberty, and love.

The Sundance Film Festival will take place January 16-24, in Park City, Utah.

via Advocate

Photo: Brian Wilkins

Support AIDS Research And You Could Win Lunch With TNG’s LeVar Burton

Support AIDS Research And You Could Win Lunch With TNG's LeVar Burton

If you could sit down for lunch with LeVar Burton, who played Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge for seven seasons on Star Trek: The Next Generation and four feature films, what would you ask him?

By supporting LeVar’s cause, the AIDS Research Alliance on We-Care.com, you may win that opportunity.

Fans who create a We-Care.com account from now until January 9th, 2014 will automatically be entered to win lunch with the former TNG and Reading Rainbow star.

Travel to and from Los Angeles, where the meeting with Burton will take place, along with other expenses are not included. Odds of winning will be dependent on the number of entries.

Win lunch with LeVar Burton

For more information, visit We-Care.