George Takei stars in Broadway musical George Takei’s Allegiance at Charing Cross Theatre in London.
George Takei is best known for his portrayal of Mr. Sulu in the acclaimed television and film series ‘Star Trek’. He is an actor, civil rights activist, social media mega-power, New York Times bestselling author, he originated the role of Sam Kimura and Ojii-Chan in the Broadway musical Allegiance and was subject of ‘To Be Takei’, a documentary on his life and career.
Takei’s acting career has spanned more than six decades, with more than 40 feature films and hundreds of TV guest-starring roles to his credit. He 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.
A community activist, Takei is Chairman Emeritus and a member of the Japanese American National Museum’s Board of Trustees. In recognition of his contribution to the Japan-United States relationship, in 2004, Takei was conferred with the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette, by His Majesty, the Emperor of Japan. Takei formerly served as chair of the council of governors of East West Players, the foremost Asian Pacific American theatre in the United States. He was a member of the US Japan Bridging Foundation Board of Directors; and he served on the Board of the Japan-United States Friendship Commission under President Bill Clinton.
With Takei’s expansion into social media, interest in his personal life grew. In January 2014, ‘To Be Takei’, a Jennifer M. Kroot documentary on George’s life and career, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival that January, and was later released in select cinemas across North America.
Among his many accomplishments is a Grammy nomination Takei shared with Leonard Nimoy, in 1987, in the Best Spoken Word or Non-Musical Recording category. He received a star on Hollywood Boulevard’s Walk of Fame in 1986. And in 1991, Takei left his signature and hand print, in cement, in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.
In addition to the Broadway musical Allegiance, George’s theatrical credits include ‘Undertow’, winner of the Scotsman First Award at the Edinburgh Festival, and ‘The Wash’, written by Philip Kan Gotanda and presented in New York at the Manhattan Theater Club and in Los Angeles at the Mark Taper Forum. He performed in ‘Year of the Dragon’ at the American Place Theater in New York and in ‘Fly Blackbird’ at the Billy Rose Theater in New York and the Metro Theater in Los Angeles. In the UK, George played in a musical version of ‘Snow White’ at the Dome Theatre, Brighton, he was the genie in ‘Aladdin’ at the Hexagon Theatre, Reading, and he was the Emperor of China in ‘Aladdin’ at the Central Theatre, Chatham. In 2017, Takei starred in a revival of Stephen Sondheim’s ‘Pacific Overtures’ directed by John Doyle at Classic Stage Company in New York City.
Takei is well known to longtime fans of ITV’s ‘I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!’ Takei participated in the eighth season of the series, entering camp on the 16th of November, 2008, and coming out 21 days later in third place, losing to runner-up Martina Navratilova and winner Joe Swash.
As an author, Takei’s 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’. The latter two books explored his forays on social media and the Internet, earning placement on the Amazon e-book and paperback best-seller lists in 2012 and 2013, respectively. His fifth book, the Eisner Award winning and New York Times bestselling graphic memoir ‘They Called Us Enemy’, was released in July 2019.
Takei’s social media dominance is best denoted by his numerous awards. Mashable.com named George a “social media superstar” on Facebook in 2012, where he currently has over 19.6 million combined fans. In 2013, Takei won the Shorty Award for Distinguished Achievement in Internet Culture. He has 3.4 million followers on Twitter, and posts on various social media platforms. He expanded his internet presence with the 2015 YouTube series, “It Takeis Two,” starring with husband, Brad Takei. The “reality” series shared the couple’s daily navigation of their world, with George’s vibrant sense of humour and Brad’s less-than-optimistic pragmatism. In 2015, Cosmopolitan Magazine named Takei “One of the Internet’s 50 Most Fascinating People.” Takei and his husband, Brad, were married at the Japanese American National Museum on September 14, 2008. The Takeis reside in Los Angeles, California.
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.