George Hosato Takei|
(April 20, 1937 - living) U.S.A.
George was born in Los Angeles, California. In 1942, after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour, President Roosevelt authorised the removal of over 110,000 Japanese-Americans to "relocation" camps. He and his family were placed behind the barbed-wire enclosures of internment camps. George spent most of his childhood at Camp Rohwer in the swamps of Arkansas and at wind-swept Camp Tule Lake in northern California.
For him this was an adventure and journey to an exotic land called Arkansas. The reality of living in camps, however, was harrowing. Only incredible courage and sheer will on the part of George's parents brought his family through the experience with a strong sense of purpose and a renewed dedication to remain involved in the American democratic process.
George's family eventually returned to his native Los Angeles at the end of World War II. The motion picture studios - their magical back lot sets visible behind tall fences - were alluring presences. Every grammar school skit, junior high drama club, and high school play became a stepping stone to realizing his not-so-secret dream of becoming an actor.
After graduating from Los Angeles High School, George enrolled in the University of California at Berkeley. Later, he transferred to the University of California at Los Angeles, where he received a bachelor of arts in theater in 1960 and a master of arts in theater in 1964. He attended the Shakespeare Institute at Stratford-Upon-Avon in England and Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan. In Hollywood, he studied acting at the Desilu Workshop.
In Hollywood during the 1960s he pursued his ambition to succeed as an actor at a time when asian faces were rarely seen on television and movie screens and appeared alongside such actors as Richard Burton in Ice Palace (1960), Alec Guiness in A Majority of One (1962) and Cary Grant in Walk Don't Run (1966).
In 1966 he met with an idealistic young producer named Gene Roddenberry who cast him as Mr. Hikaru Sulu on the USS Enterprise, on the Television Series Star Trek. While working on the show he appeared in the John Wayne film Green Berets (1968) as Captain Nim - this was the only Pro Vietnam film made during the Vietnam war.
In addition to his acting career, George always has been extremely involved in civic affairs. Along with actress Beulah Quo, George produced and hosted a public affairs show, Expression East/West, which aired on KNBC-TV in Los Angeles from 1971 to 1973.
Always a political activist, George ran for the Los Angeles City Council in 1973, losing by a small percentage. At a crossroads, he had to decide whether to pursue a political career or an acting career. He decided on acting, but to remain involved in civic affairs to whatever extent he could.
George was appointed by Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley to the board of directors of the Southern California Rapid Transit District, serving from 1973 to 1984. George was one of the driving forces behind the Arts in Transit program in which every Metro Rail subway station is given its own distinctive look, thereby fostering neighborhood pride. He also served as a vice president of the American Public Transit Association.
George is a past chairman of El Pueblo Park Association and former president of Friends of Little Tokyo Arts, an organization that encourages and supports artists. He was appointed by President Clinton to the board of the Japan-United States Friendship Commission, where he served two terms.
A resident of Los Angeles, George is a dedicated long-distance runner since his high school cross-country team days. He has completed five 26.2-mile marathons and carried the Olympic Flame in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Torch Relay.
Recognized worldwide as a member of the original Star Trek cast, George received a star on Hollywood Boulevard's Walk of Fame in 1986 and he placed his signature and hand print in the forecourt of the landmark Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood in 1991.
In October 2005, Takei revealed in an issue of Frontiers magazine that he is gay and has been in a committed relationship with his partner, Brad Altman, for the last eighteen years. He said, "It's not really coming out, which suggests opening a door and stepping through. It's more like a long, long walk through what began as a narrow corridor that starts to widen." Nevertheless, Takei's sexuality had long been an open secret among Star Trek fans since the 1970s, and Takei did not conceal his active membership in gay organizations including Frontrunners where they developed public friendships with fellow Frontrunners Kevin Norte and his partner, Don Norte prior to Takei's coming out in 2005.
In a December 2005 telephone interview with Howard Stern, Takei explained, "We are masculine, we are feminine, we are caring, we are abusive. We are just like straight people, in terms of our outward appearance and our behavior. The only difference is that we are oriented to people of our own gender." Takei also described Altman as "a saint" for helping to take care of Takei's terminally ill mother.
Takei currently serves as a spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign "Coming Out Project." In 2006 he embarked on a nationwide "Equality Trek" speaking tour sharing his life as a gay Japanese American, his 18 year relationship with Altman, Frontrunners, and Star Trek, encouraging others to share their own personal stories.
When asked whether his character Sulu was gay, Takei's response was that he would like to believe that sexual orientation would not even be an issue in the twenty-third century. Of all the show's principal characters, Sulu was the only male never depicted with a romantic interest, though in the alternate universe depicted in "Mirror Mirror", alternate-Sulu tried many times to seduce Uhura. Our universe's Sulu is revealed to have fathered a daughter, Demora, during the opening sequence of the film Star Trek Generations. Demora's origins were further explored in Peter David's 1995 novel The Captain's Daughter. Although Star Trek novels are not considered canon by Paramount, the story established that Sulu conceived Demora sexually with a woman.
In the wake of the 2007 controversy over ex-NBA player Tim Hardaway's anti-gay statements, Takei recorded a 'Public Service Announcement' which began as a serious message of tolerance, then turned the tables on Hardaway by proclaiming that while he may hate gay people, they love him and other "sweaty basketball players." This was aired on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Takei also appeared on the Google float at San Francisco Pride 2007.
On May 16, 2008, Takei announced that he and Brad Altman (his partner for the last 30 years), would be getting married. They married September 14, at the Democracy Forum of the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles (George is one of the founders). Walter Koenig was his best man, and Nichelle Nichols the matron of honor.
Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - http://lgbt-history-archive.tumblr.com/ - et alii