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.
– Wil Wheaton [from his blog]
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.
– Michael and Denise Okuda
…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.
Goodbye Majel…the ship wont be the same without you
MORE TO COME
TrekMovie expects more thoughts to come from those who knew Majel, so check back for updates
That’s a very kind video Bill recorded. Question though – I thought her work as the computer voice was finished? So was it not completed yet?
Truly sad about Majel’s passing and nice to see how many heartfelt rememberances there are. I have to say, however, that Mr. Shatner’s “I didn’t know her very well” comes off a bit hollow. So, so far, he didn’t know Majel very well, didn’t know Gene very well, and didn’t know George Takei very well.
He may not have been best or even close friends with any of them, but I would imagine that after 40 years of sharing sets and stages with them – that he could muster something more than “not knowing [them] very well.”
Very kind words from everyone. It’s nice to see that such sad news can be accompanied by such loving memories. As for the Shatner video, I’m about 99% certain that Mr. Barrett- Roddenberry’s role was done, as it’s been confirmed that the film is pretty much done, all except the dedication that must come at the start of the film.
Oops, just relized I made a typing error in my comment above. Forgiveness please.
Anthony confirmed that She had finished it.
Lets not forget, that Shatner has no personel knowlege, only what he read or was told.
I think that Shatner’s statement was, if anything else, honest from his point of view, and I think that is all that can really be said.
I was nice knowing you, pretty lady. You take care now, ya here? We’ll all be seein’ ya soon nuf… bye now!
Why is it most recently when asked about JJ Abrams that Shatner replies that he’s no longer a part of the Star Trek community and its not appropriate for him to comment anymore, but he just doesnt do that now does he?
Shatner’s so inconsistent these days. He was offered a role. He wasnt offered a role. He’s not seen a script. He’s seen a fake script. He blasts JJ and the entire movie, and then apologizes that he can’t be in this “wonderful movie”.
Probably not the most appropriate time to point this out, but Shatner is losing some serious credibility with everyone these days. Could it truly be the Mad Cow™?
She was one terrific woman, wasn’t she?
She and Gene will enjoy the new movie together, sitting hand in hand, in the best seats in the universe.
That’s just how Shatner talks: On talk shows promoting ST films, he’s always preface his answer to “Is it good” with “I haven’t seen it.” It comes off a bit strange, but he’s just telling the truth.
Oh, and what great tributes, too. The photo of the Bridge is a tear-jerker.
Hooray for the Shat!
Yes, Majel finished her part for the movie, but Shatner isn’t part of the movie, so he doesn’t know.
If he had even the tiniest bit, he’d have heard the computer voice.
Sadly, there will be no Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds in Trek 09
For me, TOS is truly over. I feel like I lost a friend, even though I only knew her as Number One and Nurse Chapel. I felt this way when De Kelley died.
TOS had a magic that you cant find on any TV show anywhere.
What a classy lady she was, and it’s good to see that she was remembered so fondly by those who knew her. Marina Sirtis’ comments were especially touching.
guys a reminder, this is about remembering Majel, keep it on topic and appropriate to the moment please
Hmm… muts be original post 10 disappeared.
I didn’t mean to comment on my own comment or talk to myself.
I only do that in private.
We are going to miss you, Mrs. Roddenberry…
That picture of the captain’s chair has brought a tear to me eye. Very poignant.
Wonderful words and such a kind tribute! Goodbye, Majel.
For everyone that could not tell those are flowers in the chair I had to blow up the pic to tell. Mrs. Roddendberry was so good to the fans.
Goodbye and boldly go where none of us have gone before.
A Note to Rod Jr:
I lost my mother some four years ago to cancer, at much too young an age, and my father this past spring, mainly to a broken heart. As a fellow “junior” the transition to “senior” is bittersweet at best. (Children make it easier to bear.)
I am grateful for your parents’ contribution to our lives (father was a great Star Trek fan and mother enjoyed it too) and I hope you will steward their legacy by keeping the family spirit alive.
does that mean you can’t sit in the chair if you pay to go into the museum or did they just put them down for a pic and take em away. Plus if we want a dedication I think everyone who has a myspace or facebook and has Star Trek the new movie as their friend should comment on said page that you want that. Really let them know.
Majel was a vibrant personality and delightful person. John and I first met her when we ran the original Save Star Trek letter-writing campaign in the late 1960’s. She was a far better actress than the parts she got, in many cases. I stayed at her house, met her dogs, ate her wonderful cooking, and enjoyed her sly humor. It is difficult to believe that someone as energetic and enthusiastic as Majel can be gone. She has merely moved on to another plane, to amaze and delight another group of bemused entities.
That picture of the captain’s chair says it all. What touching tributes, especially from Marina Sirtis and Brannon Braga. It’s a tough time for the Star Trek family.
Oh, to have gone to one of those parties . . . :-)
I think Shatner is just the sort of man who doesn’t really have filters – it wouldn’t occur to him to not say whatever popped into his head without any sort of editing. I don’t think he says those things with ill will; it seems to just be they way his noggin’s wired.
Her surname is spelled wrong in title Anthony – two Ds
I was blessed to be among those at the Shrine Auditorium on That Special Day. Before the stage show, I got to meet Majel in the little dealers room they’d set up. She was most kind and gracious, classy and dignified, just as the thousands of others who had the chance to brush shoulders with her through the years have said she was.
Rest In Peace, Majel…
I remember a great Majel moment from the 20th anniversary convention (I think) when she did a great reading of a Chapel scene that was cut from Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. It’s a scene where she’s coordinating rescue efforts from Starfleet Command, talking to posts all over the planet as the probe’s signal wreaks havoc.
It was an amazing scene: Majel with her pages, microphone, and (I think) some sound effects on tape, reading her side of the dialogue in this scene. Transporters are malfunctioning from the probe’s signal, so she’s trying to figure out what to do: they’re beaming people out of danger into NOTHING. The scene ends with her chastising someone for wanting power for science systems, something like, “We worry about the people first, THEN study the goddamned probe!”
The audience at the convention loved it! It was amazing, and it was cool to see Chapel (could’ve been Number One, almost…so powerful!) being so tough and smart and cool-headed in a worldwide disaster.
So cool to see Majel giving fans that much more of herself and of Star Trek. Does anybody else remember that convention and that scene of hers? (I hadn’t done any drugs back then, so I’m pretty sure it’s a real memory…hehe.)
The Passing of such an increadable woman as Majel is such a Sad occasion. She was always Charming on screen and funny. I loved the Scenes she Had With Odo on DS9. Very powerfull Moments and with troi and Talking about her sister. Or Always Causing The Capt trouble and even causing Picard to order going to Warp 9 to get her home. She was a class Lady and she will be sorely Missed by all.RIP Majel and enjoy being with your Husband.Rod. You had a truly incredable MOM.Best to you and your Family.
I admit it. I had a crush on Nurse Chapel. It remains to this day. Adieu Majel.
RE: completed work on movie and shatner
Shatner is not correct regarding her work on the movie.
I found it very sad that so many in the ‘Trek family mentioned warm personal memories of Majel, specifically wonderful parties, and then there’s Bill, sitting alone and away from all that. It makes me sad that what we already knew was made so obvious yet again: that it was not one ‘big happy family’ back in the day…
What IS nice to see is that many others got to know Majel well and benefitted from her warmth and grace.
She will be missed.
To me, the most moving scene that Majel had in any of the Trek episodes was DS9 when Odo finally reverted to his liquid state from fatigue. Luxana Troi left him rest in her lap as she protected him while he was vunerable. The abrasive vamp was replaced by a caring mother figure, something Odo never had. The dynamic between the two changed after that moment.
Majel carried that scene out flawlessly.
She will be missed.
To me. Star Trek has lost it’s Parents. With Gene as the DAD and Majel as the MOM. Majel was an incredable woman and a fantastic Actress.I loed the Rols She Played in babylon 5 and Earth Final conflict and Andramada. But Trek Was her Baby along with Gene. Since they are the Parents and the Actors are the Sons and Daughters. Then we as fans are the Grandchildren and we all will miss them. RIP Majel.
We all have you to thank for multiple decades of Star Trek because of that campaign, and it still remains a legendary event in TV history.
It means a lot to see your tribute here alongside the fans. As fans, we all miss Majel, and Gene as well.
I saw (and met) Majel Roddenberry at a convention not very long after Gene had passed away.
When she took to the stage, I honestly didn’t know what to expect… I only knew her as an actress on Star Trek, and as Gene’s wife. Well, she grabbed hold of us with her stories, and her humor, and her warmth, never let go, and you could not help but love this woman. She exhibited tremendous energy, and affection toward us. And when we got to meet her, she was very calm and attentive, but you could also feel an intensity about her. A truly impressive woman.
I feel as if I have lost a member of my own family. My deepest sympathies go out to Rod and his family. Remain strong, live long, and prosper.
I cried when I read the article of her passing. She will truly be missed!
I feel really sad for Marina Sirtis. She probably knew Barrett the best.
Majel will always be my Number One in my heart.
I kinda agree that the Shats reminisces of Majel are very weak. At least he wasn’t trying to lie to us and make it sound like he was closer to her and Gene than he really was….and at least he acknowledges her good casting and acting as well….It was great to hear from Bjo Trimble too…wow….long time….
Which New Voyages episode or episodes was she in?
One of the TOS first season episodes that featured Nurse Chapel prominently was the classic “What are little girls made of”. She was wonderful in that episode about her missing fiance, Dr. Korby, who became a detached human mind in an android body…that episode dealt with the very questions of what it means to be human…and to love….can an android love? Preshadowing Datas human-android struggles by decades….
“…second star to the right, straight on till morning.”
Seeing those flowers in the Captain’s chair brought tears to my eyes.
She was a wonderful person, and a great loss. Rod was at the last Vegas convention with his Mom, and obviously adored her. My heart goes out to him tonight. She’s with Rod, dancing in the stars… which is how it should be.
These are the voyages…
Here’s to ya’ lassie.
#41 – I think she was the computer voice in the various episodes.
That was classy of The Shat step upon his soapbox in his now-expected forum and eulogize her. You’re a good guy, Bill.
Bjo – I can relate to your sense of shock/numbness/disbelief. I lost my father ten years ago. His service was a ‘who’s who’ of local broadcast radio professionals, so many of whom were my ‘Dutch uncles’ to a kid who virtually grew up in a 5,000-watt AM/FM combo in the early 70’s. I still surf the hometown newspaper online, and it’s like a punch to the gut when I see one of Dad’s contemporaries has passed on. One by one, we lose them. Just……….damn.
33: I agree, one of Majel’s finest moments ever (and DS9’s too).
Thanks for clarifying that Anthony. I kept hearing conflicting reports.
I think one of my favorite Majel moments in Trek was on TNG in ‘Dark Page’. It was an unusually serious Lwaxana story, and she really sold that performance. I always find myself tearing up a bit when it reruns.
Marina Sirtis’ comment moved me to tears.
Got nothing to add.
Majel had the power to move me to tears or laughter…We will miss her…