R.I.P. MAJEL BARRETT-RODDENBERRY, 1932-2008

View previous topic View next topic Go down

R.I.P. MAJEL BARRETT-RODDENBERRY, 1932-2008

Post by Swedgin! on Fri Dec 19, 2008 10:30 pm

Reprising, for the first time, one of my responsibilities from the previous FM Forum...


The Star Trek franchise's most prolific actor has died. Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, "First Lady of Star Trek" and widow of series creator Gene Roddenberry, lost her battle with leukemia yesterday at her Bel-Air home. She was 76.

Majel, who frequently appeared (as Majel Barrett) in guest-starring roles on television throughout the '60s on programs as varied as Leave It to Beaver, Bonanza, The Lucy Show and The Untouchables, earned her greatest fame as Nurse Christine Chapel, aide to Dr. Leonard McCoy (the late DeForest Kelley) on Star Trek. (She was initially cast as Number One, Executive Officer of the Capt. Christopher Pike-commanded Enterprise, in the series' unaired pilot, "The Cage".) She would later go on to minor roles in genre feature films such as Michael Crichton's Westworld (1973) and the Gene Roddenberry-written Genesis II. She returned to television with recurring roles on General Hospital and Gene Roddenberry's Earth: Final Conflict, as well as guest appearances on Babylon 5 and Diagnosis Murder. She also played Lwaxana Troi, the eccentric and interfering mother of Enterprise-D ship's counselor Deanna Troi, on several episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Majel was a tireless ambassador for the franchise and advocate for the protection of Gene Roddenberry's singular vision of the future. A frequent presence at various conventions, retreats and press events, she assumed the mantle of champion and protector of the Trek brand and legacy following Roddenberry's death. Majel eventually served as Executive Producer of two longtime Roddenberry properties that she shepherded to fruition after his passing, Earth: Final Conflict and Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda. She wrote an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and appeared (as herself) in the documentary Trekkies. Majel was also a faithful contributor to and promoter of various humanitarian causes and foundations.

She would reprise her "Star"-making Trek role, as Dr. Christine Chapel, in Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) and in a nonspeaking cameo in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986). But perhaps Majel's most influential and enduring contribution to the franchise was as the voice of multiple ship and starbase computers in all five Trek television incarnations, many computer and video games, and several films, including Star Trek: Generations, Star Trek: First Contact and Star Trek: Nemesis.

Most recently, Majel Barrett-Roddenberry was recording dialogue for the upcoming Star Trek feature film, in which she was cast, one final time, as the voice of the Enterprise computer. There is no word yet on whether she had completed her lines or on how her death may affect the film. An E-mail received from a person close to the production indicates strongly that Star Trek, due to be released in May 2009, will be dedicated to Mrs. Barrett-Roddenberry and to James Doohan, who died in 2005.

With the death of Mrs. Barrett-Roddenberry, only six regular Star Trek cast members remain: William Shatner (Captain James T. Kirk), Leonard Nimoy (Spock), Nichelle Nichols (Uhura), George Takei (Sulu), Walter Koenig (Chekov), and Grace Lee Whitney (Rand). Nimoy will reprise the role that made him famous in next year's Star Trek.

An affair with Roddenberry begun during Star Trek's original network run would result in a 22-year marriage for the couple, ending with Roddenberry's death in 1991. She is survived by their son, Eugene Wesley "Rod" Roddenberry, a documentary filmmaker and television producer who has served as a consultant to various Trek franchise projects.

She's dead, Jim: Majel Barret-Roddenberry through the years:


Star Trek


Star Trek: The Motion Picture


Star Trek: The Next Generation

May you live long, Majel, and prosper.
avatar
Swedgin!
Oldboy
Oldboy

Posts : 270
Join date : 2008-12-16
Age : 45
Location : The Black Hills

View user profile http://www.deadwood.org

Back to top Go down

Re: R.I.P. MAJEL BARRETT-RODDENBERRY, 1932-2008

Post by becs on Fri Dec 19, 2008 10:55 pm

Woah, iIwas just reading 2 days ago about her reprising her role as the ships voice for the Star Trek movie. Truly sad.
avatar
becs
Nick Naylor
Nick Naylor

Posts : 362
Join date : 2008-11-27
Age : 33
Location : STL, MO

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: R.I.P. MAJEL BARRETT-RODDENBERRY, 1932-2008

Post by Shrykespeare on Fri Dec 19, 2008 11:02 pm

Wow. That's very sad. She was one of a kind, that's for sure.

Initially, I HATED her role as Lwaxana Troi on ST:TNG (which, I think, was the point), as she played to the hilt the part of the overweening, mother-knows-best arrogant parent to her fully-grown daughter.

It was only in the later seasons, particularly the episodes where she fell for a doomed scientist (played by David Ogden Stiers) and where the trauma of losing a daughter (Deanna's sister) came back to haunt her, and, additionally, the episodes of DS9 where she developed a fondness for Odo, that she revealed some emotionality and vulnerability, which is a mark of Majel's true acting prowess. She turned Lwaxana, at first a caricature, into a character: flawed, sad, lonely, putting up front after front until she could bear the weight of it no more.

Farewell, Mrs. R, and tell Gene that we all miss him terribly.

Suspect I love you Crying or Very sad
avatar
Shrykespeare
Peter Gibbons
Peter Gibbons

Posts : 1455
Join date : 2008-11-26
Age : 47
Location : Glendale, AZ

View user profile http://www.thelatestmoviereviews.com

Back to top Go down

Re: R.I.P. MAJEL BARRETT-RODDENBERRY, 1932-2008

Post by Swedgin! on Fri Dec 19, 2008 11:45 pm

Responding...


Same here, becs. You hate to think in terms of "I hope they got everything they needed," but look how close The Dark Knight could have come to disaster...

Initially, I HATED her role as Lwaxana Troi on ST:TNG (which, I think, was the point), as she played to the hilt the part of the overweening, mother-knows-best arrogant parent to her fully-grown daughter.
[Nodding] I feel ya, Shryke. The first time she appeared on the Enterprise, I wanted its transporter to suffer a catastrophic failure along the lines of that which puréed those poor Vulcan crewmembers -- "What we got back...didn't live long. Fortunately" -- in Star Trek: The Motion Picture (or befell that poor rock-planet alien space-pig -- "It turned inside out. Then it exploded" -- in Galaxy Quest). It's a hard, thankless, risky thing to play a character designed to generally annoy / irritate / piss off the audience. I always think of Faye Dunaway in Mommie Dearest, a role (as Joan Crawford) that frankly spoiled her for all other films she ever appeared in for me, and effectively ended her previously laudable career. I'm very much in the minority, here -- big surprise, right? -- but in retrospect I feel she ought to have received a Best Actress nom for that role; sure, it was over the top, but so was Anthony Hopkins' Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs. Taking on a truly nauseating role is the hallmark of a truly brave and gifted actor, assuming, of course, that they're actually ACTING... This is how I can continue to malign Tea Leoni while in the same breath applauding Demi Moore's work in Disclosure, Brenda Blethyn's performance in Little Voice and Tilda Swinton's Oscar win for Michael Clayton. The latter are acting... the former's just being her consistently abrasive, vacuous, vomit-evoking self, whether it's in Deep Impact, Jurassic Park III, Spanglish or Fun With Dick and Jane.

...Majel [had] true acting prowess. She turned Lwaxana, at first a caricature, into a character: flawed, sad, lonely, putting up front after front until she could bear the weight of it no more.
Somehow, I'm reminded, inexplicably, of Hillary Clinton.

Farewell, Mrs. R, and tell Gene that we all miss him terribly.
Bet they're watching Star Trek (2009) right now, partner.
avatar
Swedgin!
Oldboy
Oldboy

Posts : 270
Join date : 2008-12-16
Age : 45
Location : The Black Hills

View user profile http://www.deadwood.org

Back to top Go down

Re: R.I.P. MAJEL BARRETT-RODDENBERRY, 1932-2008

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum