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 World Biography:

Majel Barrett Roddenberry (1932-2008)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Majel Barrett Roddenberry (1932-2008)

Majel Barrett Roddenberry as Nurse Christine Chapel in The Original Star Trek Series

Majel Barrett Roddenberry as Nurse Christine Chapel in The Original Star Trek Series

Majel Barrett Roddenberry, "Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry's widow who nurtured the legacy of the seminal science fiction TV series after his death, has died. She was 76. Roddenberry died of leukemia Thursday morning at her home in Bel-Air, surrounded by her family friends and by her son, Eugene Roddenberry Jr. Roddenberry was involved in the "Star Trek" universe for more than four decades as either an on-screen character, or as the voice of the Enterprise computer in later shows. Just two weeks prior to her death, she completed the voice recordings in the role of the ship's computer for the J.J. Abrams movie "Star Trek," due out on May 8, 2009 Majel Roddenberry's first Star Trek appearance was in the original show's initial pilot, "The Cage", as the USS Enterprise's unnamed first officer, known only as "Number One". Barrett was at the time romantically involved with Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, and that fact, and her lack of a major acting resume, caused the parent network, NBC, to insist that Roddenberry give the executive officer role to a male actor. In the book, Star Trek Memories,, William Shatner corroborated this, but he added that female viewers at test screenings disliked Majel Roddenberry's character as well. Shatner noted that female viewers felt she was "pushy" and "annoying" and also thought that "Number One shouldn't be trying so hard to fit in with the men." Barrett often joked that Roddenberry, given the choice between keeping Mr. Spock , or the woman character, "kept the Vulcan and married the woman, 'cause he didn't think Leonard [Nimoy] would have it the other way around." She played the dark-haired Number One in the original pilot but metamorphosed into the blond, miniskirted Nurse Christine Chapel in the original 1966-69 show. She had smaller roles in all five of its television successors and many of the "Star Trek" movie incarnations, although she had little involvement in the productions. Majel Barrett's role in later episodes of the The Original Series (TOS) in the Star Trek universe, as Nurse Christine Chapel, a frequently recurring character, who served as Dr. McCoy's nurse in sickbay and for her unrequited desire for the emotion-controlled Mr. Spock. In an early scene in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, viewers are informed that she has now become Doctor Chapel, a role which she reprised briefly in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Barrett provided several voices for various Star Trek: The Animated Series episodes, including those of Nurse Chapel and the communications officer M'Ress, the feline officer who served alongside Lt. Uhura. She would return years later in Star Trek: The Next Generation, cast as the Betazoid Ambassador Lwaxana Troi, who appeared as a recurring character in the series as the mother of Ship's Counselor Deanna Troi. Barrett also appeared as Ambassador Troi in several episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. An ongoing and popular role for her was as the regular voice of the onboard computers of Federation starships for Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, and most of the Star Trek movies. She reprised her role as a shipboard computer's voice in the two episodes of the prequel series Star Trek: Enterprise. Majel Barrett Roddenberry also served as the voice for various computer games and software related to the Star Trek franchise. Majel Roddenberry also attended at least one major Star Trek convention each year in an effort to inspire Star Trek fans and help keep the franchise active.

 

Born: Majel Leigh Hudec

Date and Place of Birth: February: 23, 1932, in Cleveland, Ohio

Date and Location of Death: December 18, 2008 (aged 76), in Bel Air, California,

Other name (s): M. Leigh Hudec, Majel Barrett

Occupation: TV, film, and voice actress

Spouse: Gene Roddenberry (1969–1991)

Education: University of Miami

Links:

Majel Roddenberry, widow of 'Trek' creator, dies--Associated Press, Dec. 18, 2006

Majel Barrett Roddenberry Bio--Memory Alpha