Star Trek Luminaries Remember Barrett Roddenberry [UPDATE 3] December 19, 2008by TrekMovie.com Staff , Filed under: Celebrity,TOS,Trek Franchise , trackback
The mourning of Majel Barrett Roddenberry, who passed away yesterday has just begun. Some of those who knew and worked with Star Trek’s ‘First Lady’ have already sent in their condolences for us to share with the fans, including William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, George Takei, Marina Sirtis, Robert Picardo and more.
[3 UPDATES: w/ Wil Wheaton, JJ Abrams, Nichelle Nichols + more]
Friends and colleagues say goodbye to Majel Barrett Roddenberry
UPDATE 3: Nichelle Nichols condolence
Magel Barret has been my friend since the first day we met at Metro Goldman Mayer Studios, predating our destiny, Trekking the Stars and/or with The Galaxy’s Great Bird, by some years. I shall continue to miss her in my life as an infuriatingly blunt, stingingly witty, perceptively insightful, sensitive and deeply caring soul. I know her also as a strong and gentle loving mother and wife to two incredible men, both of whom I hold dear to my heart. She is a woman I’ve held in high esteem. I shall miss the “IS” of her as she always “WAS”………..a Grand Lady.
UPDATE 2: JJ Abrams condolence
I will never forget meeting Majel on the set. She was elegant, kind, and had a wonderful sense of humor. She was also incredibly supportive, and spoke beautifully of her memories of Star Trek and her late husband. She will be immortalized by her life’s work, including, I feel lucky and honored to say, her performace in the latest chapter in the Star Trek saga. We will all miss her.
UPDATE 1: More condolences from Wheaton, Trimble & Nemecek
She was a hell of a lady, who loved Star Trek and Star Trek fans like no other.
Some knew her as the original Number One, some knew her as Lwaxana Troi, and everyone knew her as the ship’s computer, but I just knew her as Majel, my friend Rod’s mom, who always treated me like he and I were brothers.
Since we got the news yesterday, a lot of people have asked me if I can tell a story as a way to remember her. I’ve dug around in the attic of my mind for hours, and the best I can do is: We always had fun when we were working on Next Generation, but when Majel was on the set, it was a party.
I did know Majel personally and stayed at her house when I came out from TX to do Trek research at UCLA. Majel signed me into UCLA in fact. She sent GR’s beautiful butter-colored Rolls to pick me up at the airport. Gotta say, that’s being picked up in style!
Staying at her house was not the stately butler-and-maid deal you’d think of a large Bel Air home. There were two large dogs, one named "Speed-bump" because he was the same color as the marble hallway, and a somewhat idiotic German Shepherd who figured any food within reach was his until Majel put a stop to that. Though Majel didn’t have lots of servants, but there was always someone doing something around the house. And there was a sub-teen boy with all his friends.
Majel liked to cook (and was good at it) so she fixed breakfast for me. She was vibrant and atheletic (exactly my opposite). She was a golf champ at one time, and felt it was a high treat to invite me to the greens at 6 am to beat the crowds. I declined on the grounds that I’d be a major hazard with a golf club. She was a generous woman and a great hostess.
Pondering it now, the great thing about Majel was how she surprised a lot of people, I think, after Gene died. No one would ever take her for a shrinking violet, sure, but Majel took on Gene’s mantle after his passing far more than anyone figured, and spoke up for science, for equality, for rationality, for pushing our inner as well as our outer frontiers-in short, for the future, for all the ideals of “Gene’s vision” … whenever she was asked, and sometimes when she wasn’t!
Out of the spotlight, I’ll always remember the Oscar, holiday and other parties she continued to host as the years mounted–for even as the center of all things Trek drifted elsewhere, she continued to invite the Trek staffs too, top to bottom. From Rod to the house staff around her, to voicing the Starfleet computer, to making thank-you visits to each show on its finale wrap day, to giving fans her all even last summer–Majel never forgot her extended Star Trek family. And for that, none of us will ever forget our First Lady.
She was a valiant lady. I always felt a kinship because we met Gene the same way at the same time. We acted together in an episode of "The Lieutenant" series which Gene produced. He then hired both of us to act in the first Star Trek pilot. A sad goodbye.
I was deeply saddened to learn of Majel’s passing this morning at her home. She was a friend, a colleague, and a dedicated pillar of the Star Trek legacy after the passing of its creator and her husband, Gene Roddenberry. She was a gifted actress, but, more than that, she was a dear friend.
I will always remember Majel as a warm, generous ally in many of my efforts outside the acting arena. She and Gene were my first supporters when I decided to run for public office in Los Angeles and keynoter at the first fundraising dinner of my campaign. Majel was a vivacious hostess and I will cherish the memories of the sparkling parties at her lovely home. She truly was the “First Lady of Star Trek.”
Majel’s passing now leaves a huge vacancy in the Star Trek heritage and in the hearts of so many friends and fans across this planet. I send my love and heartfelt condolences to her son, Rod.
I am devastated…When I was fresh off the boat and very lonely without my family, the Rodenberrys took pity on me and became like my surrogate family – making sure I had somewhere to go in all the holidays. When I met my husband, Michael, he was included too.
I always called Majel Mom and when my own mother passed away three years ago I told Majel to take care of herself as she was the only Mom I had left. Today I feel truly orphaned.
I will miss her and her devilish spirit more than I can say.
The world lost a good one today.
I will always remember how welcoming Majel was to me and every new member of the Star Trek family with her kindness and memorable parties. A bright light has disappeared from our starfield.
I met Majel Roddenberry when I was 25 years old and very green in Hollywood, and she was always generous with her time and very encouraging. I really looked up to her… what a charming, talented woman… and having said all that, she also throws a hell of a party. She used to have the best Super Bowl party every year and we all looked forward to it.
I am sure I speak for many people when I say that she will be dearly missed.
We were all saddened to learn of Majel’s passing and wish to express our condolences to her family. Majel was truly a Woman of quality, and was always thoughtful and generous with everyone she knew. When you think of a woman who exemplified class, it was always her that was at the top of the list.
It would be difficult to measure the impact that she has had on the world, as she has touched the lives of so many, both personally and professionally. She will surely be missed and will always be the first lady in our hearts.
– Chris Doohan on behalf of the Doohan Family
Today is a very sad day, and the end of an era. Majel’s passing is a tremendous blow to all that knew her. She was an incredibly giving, caring lady. I am so thankful for having met her numerous times at conventions over the years, and extremely fortunate that she agreed to perform in the "New Voyages" project.
On behalf of the entire Star Trek: NV/P2 family, I wish to extend our condolences to Rod and his family. May she rest in peace with Gene the one true love of her life. She will forever be remembered, in our hearts.
"The Human Adventure Is Just Beginning…"
I best remember Majel not as an actress or producer, but as a homemaker. I met her shortly after Rod was born. At the time I was working with Gene as a researcher on a novel version of "The God Thing" (well before the Star Trek version for a feature). He was working out of his house by then and I would often hang around after work to have dinner with Gene and Majel and entertain Rod in his Jolly Jumper, which he truly loved. After about a month or so Gene took a hiatus from the book and my job became to baby proof the house, and so I continued what had become a pattern of dinners and conversations into the night. I remember "build them yourself" tacos and fabulous spaghetti carbonara. I remember late night dips in the pool. I remember Majel as a great cook and as a proud, doting mother who was utterly enthralled at being a mother, but also somewhat daunted by it.
At one point she hired me to write a movie treatment for a story she came up with that was based on a persistent fear of hers — kidnapping. In truth, we did not have much contact from the ’80s forward, but for several years during the mid ’70s I saw a side of Majel Roddenberry that relatively few others got to see, a very personal side that will remain as my most vivid impression of her. I guess that most Star Trek fans appreciate her as being Gene’s wife, or as Nurse/Dr. Chapel, or as the producer of shows extracted from Gene’s files after his passing, but I will always most appreciate her as Rod’s mother, because I never saw her happier than she was in those early years of motherhood.
Wow, where do I begin?! I first met Majel when she and Gene came to the very first Star Trek convention in New York City in January of 1972. She was as gracious then as she always was with the fans, but still very much a woman who was not afraid to speak her mind! It was the beginning of a relationship that would last for more than thirty-six years.
I will miss her laugh, her warmth, her wonderful parties, her passion for Star Trek, her love of Gene and of the shows fans, but most of all I will miss her smile. No matter how tough times were, no matter how difficult things got at times, she could always diffuse it all with that wonderful smile and a shrug, and you knew that everything would be okay. She was a very special lady and she will be missed.
Majel recorded her final voiceover as the ship’s computer for J.J. Abrams upcoming Star Trek film only a few weeks ago. It will be both appropriate and poignant to hear it. She was there at the very beginning, and she’ll be there to be a part of the launch of the new Star Trek.
My heart goes out to Rod and everyone in the Roddenberry household.
On behalf of everyone at Creation Entertainment we’d like to express our condolences on the passing of Majel Barrett Roddenberry. Over the past 25 years we had the great pleasure of welcoming Majel to our convention stages scores of times. From the start of our involvement in Star Trek fandom The Roddenberrys were incredibly supportive. For years Gene would close our Los Angeles conventions and when his health was declining Majel would join him on stage to make sure that the public would see only the best of the man that they had come to admire and love.
Gene’s final convention appearance was at a giant affair that we ran at The Shrine auditorium and it was the last time the entire original cast and Gene were present at a public event. At that show Gene, in a wheelchair, was joined on stage by not only Majel but their wonderful son Eugene, Jr. A standing ovation of several minutes greeted Gene showing that Star Trek fans were always at the forefront of recognizing the true genius behind the franchise.
While much will be written about Majel’s on-screen contributions to Star Trek one of her most important legacies is that she, along with Gene, were among the first industry figures to understand the importance of fans in sustaining an entertainment property over time. Gene cleverly marshaled fandom and Majel was an early innovator in licensing and marketing of television based merchandise. Lincoln Enterprises, her company, was the introduction that fans around the world had to the fact that Star Trek was collectible. There are still fans that have Majel’s earliest products including slides cut from actual 16 mm prints of the classic series.
Majel was always a colorful presence at our conventions, entertaining, warm and loving with attendees. At the very first appearance she did for us I asked her how she wanted to be introduced and she said, "just say The First Lady of Star Trek and get on with it" And so I did. We’ll be dedicating our 2009 Las Vegas Star Trek Convention to Majel, honoring her contribution to Trek and her love of the fans that brought her such happiness.
– Gary Berman on Behalf of Creation Entertainment
We’ve lost a friend, a colleague, a generous spirit, and one of the most important guiding lights of Gene Roddenberry’s vision of a better tomorrow. She was much loved, and will be missed terribly.
…plus William Shatner has a new Shatner Project video on Majel
NOTE: Shatner was mistaken about Majel not having the chance to complete her voice work on the new Star Trek movie.
The Okudas also sent over the following photograph taken by Francis French, director of education at the San Diego Science Museum, which is currently hosting Star Trek The Exhibition. French took this Thursday in Majel’s memory.
MORE TO COME
TrekMovie expects more thoughts to come from those who knew Majel, so check back for updates