Sci-fi icon Majel Barrett Roddenberry dies at 76
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Actress Majel Barrett Roddenberry, the widow of “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry and a member of the show’s cast, has died. She was 76.
Barrett Roddenberry died of leukemia on Thursday at her home in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Bel Air, her family said in a statement.
Her relationship with Gene Roddenberry, who died in 1991 after the two had been married for 22 years, earned Barrett Roddenberry the nickname “The First Lady of Star Trek.”
She had roles in nearly every “Star Trek” television show and movie, playing Nurse Chapel in the original series and lending her voice to the starship’s computer in nearly every incarnation of the saga.
She recently finished her role as the voice of the USS Enterprise computer in director J.J. Abrams’ movie “Star Trek,” which is due out in May, 2009, her family said.
Barrett Roddenberry is survived by her only son, Eugene “Rod” Roddenberry Jr. A public memorial is expected to be scheduled for sometime after Christmas.
(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)
Copyright © 2008 Reuters Limited
Wow. I can’t even begin to describe what Majel Barrett Roddenberry meant to me, both as a woman and as an aspiring actress. Like Lucille Ball, Majel shattered barriers–Lucille in the business end of television comedy, and Majel in the arena of powerful female characters. Without Ball or Barrett-Roddenberry, I doubt Star Trek ever would have survived long enough to have been more than a long-forgotten single-season series.
To better express my feelings about Majel’s life and legacy, I would like to post a poem by Maya Angelou:
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I walk into a room
Men themselves have wondered
Now you understand
Copyright © Maya Angelou
Goodbye, Majel. The starship computers won’t be the same without your voice.