Elliott Masie is honored to feature his friend, colleague and storytelling icon, George Takei, at Learning 2016!
George Takei is best known for his portrayal of Mr. Sulu in the acclaimed television and film series Star Trek. He's an actor, social justice activist, social media mega-power, star of the Broadway musical Allegiance, and subject of To Be Takei, a documentary on his life and career.
Takei's acting career has spanned nearly six decades, with more than 40 feature films and hundreds of television guest-starring roles to his credit. Takei is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Actors' Equity Association, and Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.
With the outbreak of World War II, Los Angeles, California-born Takei and his family were placed behind the barbed-wire enclosures of United States internment camps along with 120,000 other Japanese Americans. Takei spent most of his childhood at Camp Rohwer in the swamps of Arkansas and at wind-swept Camp Tule Lake in northern California. At the end of the war, Takei's family returned to their native Los Angeles.
Inspired by this difficult chapter of American history, Takei developed the musical Allegiance, an epic story of love, family and heroism in which he stars alongside Tony Award winner Lea Salonga. Allegiance's world premiere at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego in 2012 was followed by a Broadway engagement at the Longacre Theatre where it ran for 150 performances in late 2015 and early 2016.
Now a community activist, Takei serves as chair of the council of governors of East West Players, the nation's foremost Asian Pacific American theater. He is also a member of the Human Rights Campaign, the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender political organization. Takei is Chairman Emeritus of the Japanese American National Museum's Board of Trustees; a member of the US-Japan Bridging Foundation's Board of Directors; and served on the Board of the Japan-United States Friendship Commission under President Clinton. In recognition of his contribution to the Japan-United States relationship, Takei was conferred with the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette by His Majesty the Emperor of Japan in 2004.
To Be Takei, a Jennifer M. Kroot documentary on the life and career of Takei, premiered at Sundance Film Festival in January 2014 and was later released in select theaters across North America. Takei shared a Grammy nomination with the late Leonard Nimoy in 1987 in the Best Spoken Word or Non-Musical Recording category. Takei also received a star on Hollywood Boulevard's Walk of Fame in 1986. And in 1991 he left his signature and hand print, in cement, in front of Grauman's Chinese Theatre. His first book, his autobiography, To the Stars, was published in 1994, and in 2012 and 2013 he published his second and third books, Oh Myyy! There Goes The Internet, and its sequel, Lions And Tigers And Bears: The Internet Strikes Back - both about his forays on social media and the internet, making the Amazon e-book and paperback best-seller lists in 2012 and 2013.
Mashable.com named Takei the most-influential person on Facebook, where currently he has 9.6 million likes. He has 1.8 million followers on Twitter. Takei and his husband, Brad Takei, were married at the Japanese American National Museum on September 14, 2008.