George Takei, aka Mr. Sulu, in Star Trek.
It's been several months since Mr. Sulu announced that he is gay. George Takei, the actor who played Star Trek's smart and cool navigator has been touring the country and talking about his experiences since coming out. The 69-year-old actor has done a number of interviews and they've been, to quote Mr. Spock, "fascinating." NPR member station WYPR just aired an excellent interview with Takei on its savvy cultural show The Signal. Check it out.
Takei has had a respectable acting career since Star Trek, including appearances on Scrubs and The Simpsons and in John Woo and Jackie Chan movies.
And while we're checking in with the Enterprise crew, there's Captain Kirk, aka William Shatner, who now has a starring role in Boston Legal. I was surprised at how well he plays this very different hammy part, given that he's been pretty universally lampooned for several decades for his cardboard acting in Star Trek. Boston Legal is a fun show, albeit a bit hand-wringing at times. Plus, on one recent episode, Shatner's character refers to a Web log as "one of those blobs." Since then, Mixed Signals has been dubbed "The Blob" by certain NPR staffers.
And finally we have Leonard Nimoy, by far the most eccentric of the Trekkers both in original character (the Vulcan Mr. Spock) and in real life. When I was a kid in the '80s, he was narrating that spooky, ghost-chasing show, In Search Of... By the time I was in college, DJ-ing at the radio station, Nimoy had released his Golden Throats series of record albums, including covers of "If I had a Hammer" and "Proud Mary." Fortunately, Mr. Spock has retired from those careers and is focusing on photography full time.
Dare I say it? What the heck, "Beam me up, Scotty!"