George Takei is described as one of the most interesting Angeleno’s featured in L.A. Weekly’s People 2013.At the age of 76, Star Trek actor Takei has become one of the most beloved celebrities. A glimpse in the past, however, shows us that things were not always so easy for him. Takei faced the cold slap of racism at an early age. He was only five years old during the internment of Japanese-Americans in 1942 when he and his family were driven out of their home and into an internment camp.Things were not any easier when Takei decided to pursue acting. He had to hide his sexual orientation after deciding that his race was already enough for people to discriminate.
His luck finally took a turn when he got the role of Hikaru Sulu on the original Star Trek. Takei waited until he had a strong fan base, became a pop-culture icon, and had a handful of work options before revealing his sexual orientation. Today, Takei is ”now a social media maven, a theatrical producer and, with his husband, the former Brad Altman (now Takei), a poster child for marriage equality.” After enduring so much struggle, we are glad to see Takei’s success and wish him the best.
Click on to check out the other Asians featured in L.A. Weekly People 2013:
Allegiance (one of the first Asian musicals in over a decade) was awarded Best Musical at the San Diego Theatre Critics Awards. Starring George Takei, Lea Salonga and Telly Leung, the musical is set during the Japanese American internment of World War II. The Kimura family members struggle between patriotism and resistance to their internment and treatment by the government.
George Takai posted on his facebook:
“Friends, I am THRILLED to announce that ALLEGIANCE won BEST MUSICAL at the San Diego Theatre Critics Awards last night. Also winning from our show was Michael K. Lee for Best Featured Actor in a Musical and Lynne Shankel for Best Orchestration. What a night for our show. Now, it’s on to Broadway. I can’t wait.”
Learn more about this powerful musical here.
The Japanese American National Museum will commemorate the 70th anniversary of the signing of former President Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066, which forcibly displaced over 120,000 Japanese Americans to concentration camps. The Remembrance Project is an online community and exhibit that will allow individuals from all over the country to share personal tributes of strength, hope, and triumph of those directly affected by the order.
In conjunction with the 70th anniversary of the E.O. 9066 signing, the Remembrance Project will officially launch on Saturday, February 18, at JANM with a Public Service Announcement featuring actor, activist, and project co-chair George Takei, other celebrity supporters, and a commemorative ceremony. Light reception to follow.
“Most icons are dead or past their prime. I’m still alive. And still very much actively involved.” — George Takei
ISSUE: Summer 2011
STORY: Janice Jann
With a resurgence on film and TV, George Takei may be the next Betty White.
George Takei is not a fan of being called an icon. “I take a little umbrage with that,” says the veteran entertainer. “Most icons are dead or past their prime. I’m still alive. And still very much actively involved.”
Indeed, the Japanese American, who is arguably the most famous Asian American actor in Hollywood,
with an entertainment career that spans more than 50 years, across continents, on the small and large screen and on stage, is nowhere near slowing down.
Though Takei is perhaps best known for playing Hikaru Sulu on the ’60s cult classic Star Trek, the star with the deep-baritone voice continues to shine on screen and on stage to this day. Currently, Takei plays a holographic ancestor called Hologramps on the Nickelodeon comedy Supah Ninjas, a show he says will “bring family viewing back together again.” Takei also makes an appearance this summer in the Tom Hanks-Julia Roberts film Larry Crowne, and come 2012, he’ll be on Broadway starring in Allegiance, a musical with Lea Salonga about the Japanese internment during World War II. “It’s a story very close to me,” says Takei. “I lived that life as a child. The parents in the musical are really modeled after my own parents.”
Takei takes the hardships he’s faced in life in stride. Despite the actor’s sometimes stoic reputation, Takei has always been able to combat adversity with a good dose of humor. He’s an outspoken advocate of gay rights (he’s married to long-time partner Brad Altman) and is known for his mock PSAs responding to homo- phobic remarks by public figures. In fact, no one can call this 74-year-old entertainer behind the times in this YouTube age. After his Spider-Man musical spoof video went viral, Takei was dubbed the next Betty White. He’s flattered by the comparison, but what would he rather be called?
“What about George Takei?” he laughs. “I’d like to be that kind of an icon. Working, creative, active and relevant throughout his life.”
Summer is underway and that could only mean many things for movie-lovers: popping some popcorn, sipping on soda and watching the newest films on the theater screens with free air condition. You have to get your cool air somehow, somewhere when the thermostat hits over 90 degrees so why not spend it by checking out new releases. What’s so great about this summer is we will be seeing more and more Asian American faces-whether it be in giant blockbusters or starring in small indies.
Throughout the years, Asian Americans have yearned to see faces like theirs on the small screen. With Nickelodeon’s new show Supah Ninjas, the Asian American family is returning for the first time in 16 years as the star of a mainstream television series. While teen-oriented shows are saying they’re committed to diversity, do AA teens today really feel well-represented?
ISSUE: Spring 2011
STORY: Janice Jann
There’s a new family moving into TV-land this spring. The dad, a bumbling cop. The grandfather, a wise old man. And the son, a doe-eyed high-schooler named Mike who just wants to win over the girl of his dreams.
With three viral videos and appearances in commercials, roles on TV shows and Broadway, is George Takei the new Betty White?
Three recent videos that have gone viral stars everyone’s favorite Trekkie, the iconic George Takei.
Had your fill of turkey? Avoiding the Black Friday crowds? Escape some of the holiday stress with some fun, beauty and plain old comedy to lift your spirits. Make sure to check out some of these awesome events going on all over the U.S., in the upcoming week.
Celebration: The Birthday in Chinese Art
What: Works in various media from the Museum’s collection explore the pervasive themes of celebration and longevity in the art of the Ming and Qing dynasties.
When: Now through November 28, 2010
Where: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10028
CAPE Soiree 2010
What: The Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment (CAPE) presents its highly-anticipated CAPE Soiree. This year’s event features special appearances by not one but both of the Mr. Sulus of Star Trek: John Cho and the legendary George Takei. Also appearing are Academy Award nominee Iris Yamashita (Letters from Iwo Jima) and Quentin Lee, director of The People I’ve Slept With. Additional celebrity guests include Dancing With the Stars’ Carrie Ann Inaba, Twilight’s Justin Chon, and Gilmore Girl’s Keiko Agena. Honorees are Comedian Ken Jeong and CBS President of Entertainment, Nina Tassler.
Founded in 1991 in Los Angeles, CAPE is a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing diversity and creating social change by actively developing, promoting, and positioning Asian Pacific Americans for key artistic and leadership roles in the entertainment industry and media arts.
When: December 2, 2010; 6:30-11:00pm
Where: Vibiana, 210 S. Main Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
How much: Tickets are $75.00 for CAPE Members; $95.00 for Nonmembers. A special Soiree Combo Ticket is also available.
More info: Ticket purchase and detailed information are available at www.capeusa.org.
Comedy Zen: Jokes of Fury
What: The multicultural troupe Comedy Zen presents Boston comedian Joe Wong, who has appeared on the Late Show With David Letterman, and stuntman Steven Ho, who holds the record for most appearances on the short-lived The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien. Wong will demonstrate some of his stunt work on Comedy Zen’s lucky comedian volunteers. Hasan Minhaj will host.
When: December 3, 2010 @ 8:30 pm & 10 pm
Where: 251 S. Main St., Los Angeles, CA 90012
How much: $20
KHELEIN HUM JEE JAAN SEY
What: Based on the true story of the 1930 Chittagong Uprising in British India and shot mostly in Goa, this period thrilled is helmed by the award-winning director Ashutosh Gowariker and stars two of Bollywood biggest names, Abhishek Bachchan and Deepika Padukone.
When: December 3, 2010
Where: In more than 60 theaters across the U.S. Find a theater near you at www.kheleinhumjeejaansey.com/
THE DREAMS OF JINSHA
What: The most expensive animated film ever produced in China (it took five years to make), THE DREAMS OF JINSHA was released in China in July and is now finally going to be released in the U.S. The film follows Xiao Long, a modern day middle-school student who, after being transported 3,000 years back in time to the magical kingdom of Jinsha, discovers his true destiny. Together with the beautiful Princess Hau’er, he must draw upon all his resources to fight the wicked forces threatening the peace of the kingdom.
When: December 3, 2010
Where: Laemmle’s Music Hall, Beverly Hills, CA
Thi Cosmetics Holiday Luxe Event
What: Indulge in a new look just in time for the holidays. Check out celebrity makeup artist Taylor Pham’s must-have makeup line Thi — every purchase more than $100 comes with two complimentary foundation shades, a Sakura blush (my favorite), and a Quinn lipstick! RSVP in advance (there are only 18 seats available!) and get a complimentary 30-minute color consultation. And for the entire month of December and January, get 20% off all cuts and color!
When: December 4, 2010, 12 noon to 6 pm
Where: Mimi & Taylor Salon, 522 Bryant St., Palo Alto, CA
More info: 650-327-8880, mimi-taylor.com
Long Grove Holiday Festivities
What: Stuck in the Midwest? Make the most of the chilly weather and get into the spirit and enjoy the sounds, sights, and hospitality of a bygone era. Expect to see carolers, lighting of the holiday tree, Santa sightings, and magical chimes all over the historic village.
When: Now through December 31, 2010
Where: Old McHenry Rd. at Robert Parker Coffin Rd. Long Grove, Chicago IL