Today is the birthday of the person I dislike the most on the planet- Pat Robertson. Let's put the bigoted, demented & decidedly un-Christian host of The 700 Club on a rocket into deep space & instead celebrate the birthday of that great celestial hero- George Hosato Takei Altman, born on this day- April 20th, 74 years ago.
George Takei’s crucial role as an Asian American on the bridge of the U.S.S. Enterprise was one of the first regular roles of Asian Americans on American TV. He has been featured in over 50 films & 75 guest-starring roles on TV series. In the 1960s, simply being the only Asian American on the Enterprise opened doors for other Asian American actors to larger, more interesting, fully drawn characters other than buffoons, bad ass Kung Fu masters, or minions of the enemy.
Takai was 5 years old, the Takei family was taken away from their home in LA & sent to detention centers in California & Arkansas. He has spent a lifetime speaking out about the human rights violations of the internment of Japanese Americans during WW2. Takei is an ardent supporter of the Japanese American Citizens League, the Human Rights Campaign, & Chairman of the Japanese American National Museum. He is an outspoken advocate for the Asian American community, & for the GLBT communities, speaking out against California’s Proposition 8.
George Takei married his partner of 18 year- Brad Altman in a Buddhist ceremony at the Democracy Forum of the Japanese American National Museum on September 14, 2008. Walter Koenig was his best man, & Nichelle Nichols was the matron of honor. Takei claims William Shatner was invited, but neglected to RSVP. Takei's marriage is one of thousands of same-sex marriages that took place at a time when same-sex marriage was legal in California. Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in California, did not affect Takei's marriage & other same-sex marriages entered into before its passing.
Takei & Altman appeared in a celebrity edition of The Newlywed Game. They were the first same-sex couple to be featured on the show. They won the game, winning $10,000 for their charity, the Japanese American National Museum.
Takei & I appear to have many things in common: we are both native born Californians, Buddhists, members of SAG, married men, & he starred on Star Trek & I was featured as the 3rd Tribble from the left on an episode of that cult TV series.
Fun facts: Takai studied architecture at UC Berkley & acting at UCLA. Asteroid 7307 Takei is named in his honor. Takei: "I am now a heavenly body. ... I found out about it yesterday. ... I was blown away. It came out of the clear, blue sky—just like an asteroid."