Sorrow in the Star Trek Empire

Sci-fi icon Majel Barrett Roddenberry dies at 76

Thu Dec 18, 6:15 pm ET

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:

Phenomenal Woman

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman

Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Copyright © Maya Angelou

Goodbye, Majel. The starship computers won’t be the same without your voice.


‘Tis the season to be busy

As stated before, I am trying to post more often, but sometimes life really does get in the way.

This blog didn’t start out with a purpose, but it’s slowly heading towards one…

One of my passions is journalism. I have always loved the news, and I probably always will. What I’m going to do here, what this blog will probably continue evolving into, is commentary on various news stories that catch my interest.

Anyway, I own a business, have a very young child, and work full-time as a technical support monkey, so my time is very limited. I would love to transition into a job writing, editing, or proofreading full-time, provided that the work is stimulating and profitable. After all, I do have a family to feed.