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:
“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.”
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.