George Takei is known around the world for his role in the acclaimed original TV series Star Trek, in which he played Hikaru Sulu, helmsman of the starship Enterprise. But Takei's story, which includes an acting career that spans six decades, goes where few have gone before. From a childhood spent with his family wrongfully imprisoned in Japanese American internment camps during World War II to becoming one of the country's leading figures in the fight for social justice, LGBTQ+ rights and marriage equality, Takei remains a powerful voice on issues ranging from politics to pop culture.
Takei hosts the AARP-produced YouTube series Takei's Take, exploring the world of technology, trends, current events and pop culture, and is the subject of the documentary To Be Takei. On his own YouTube channel, Takei and his husband Brad Takei bring viewers into their personal lives in the "heightened reality" web series It Takeis Two. He was a series regular in the second season of Ridley Scott's anthology drama The Terror: Infamy, which premiered on AMC in August 2019.
His rich baritone has provided narration for the Ken Burns / PBS series The National Parks: America's Best Idea, the Peabody Award-winning radio documentary Crossing East, and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, which garnered Takei a Grammy Award nomination for Best Spoken Word Album. He has also done voiceover work for hundreds of video games, commercials, films and TV series such as Marvel’s Hit-Monkey, Sega’s Yakuza: Like a Dragon, Fox’s The Simpsons and Futurama; Disney’s Kim Possible, Mulan and Mulan 2; Nickelodeon’s Avatar: The Last Airbender, Disney + Star Wars: Visions, and Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
Takei’s acting credits include co-starring in six Star Trek movies and appearances on such TV series as Fresh Off the Boat, Supah Ninjas, Hawaii Five-0, The New Normal, The Big Bang Theory, Heroes, Psych, Will & Grace, Miami Vice, MacGyver, The Six Million Dollar Man, Mission: Impossible and The Twilight Zone, among numerous others.
In 2015, Takei made his Broadway debut in the musical Allegiance, which was inspired by his family’s true-life experiences during World War II. Takei made his London stage debut in “George Takei’s Allegiance” at the Charing Cross Theatre in early 2023. In 2017, he starred in a revival of Stephen Sondheim's Pacific Overtures directed by John Doyle at Classic Stage Company in New York City.
Takei is the author of five books, including his autobiography To the Stars. His fifth book, the Eisner Award winning and New York Times bestselling graphic memoir They Called Us Enemy, was released in July 2019.
Takei has served as the spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign’s Coming Out Project and was Cultural Affairs Chairman of the Japanese American Citizens League. He is also chairman emeritus and a trustee of the Japanese American National Museum. He was appointed to the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission by former President Clinton and the government of Japan awarded Takei the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette, for his contribution to U.S.-Japanese relations.
Takei received both bachelor and master of arts degrees from UCLA (’60, ’64). In June 2019, Takei received the Distinguished Alumni Award in Theater from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television (UCLA TFT). In June 2016, California State University, Los Angeles, presented Takei with an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters. In September 2022, Takei received an honorary doctorate from the University of South Australia in recognition of his distinguished service to the community.
In 2016, Takei was inducted into the California Museum’s California Hall of Fame. The California Museum says George and 96 other individuals inducted into the California Hall of Fame are “legendary people who embody California’s innovative spirit and have made their mark on history.”
George Takei shared a message to congratulate JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles for its fifth-year anniversary in August 2023. JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles is grateful for his support from 2017, when he shared his enthusiasm for the project in this exclusive interview.
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