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T–V Entries
George Takei
Rod Taylor
Marshall Thompson
Kenneth Tobey
Ivan Tors
Thomas Tryon
Sonny Tufts
Konstantin Tsiolkovsky
Sir Peter Ustinov
Robert Vaughn
Jules Verne
Gore Vidal
Thea von Harbou
Max von Sydow
 
TAKEI, GEORGE
(1940– ). American actor.

SCIENCE FICTION, FANTASY, AND HORROR FILM CREDITS
Acted in: "The Encounter" (1964), episode of The Twilight Zone; "The Silent Saboteur," episode of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1965); Star Trek (tv series) (1966-69); "The Carriers" (1966), episode of Mission Impossible; "The Coward" (1974), episode of The Six Million Dollar Man; Star Trek: The Motion Picture (Robert WISE 1979); Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (Nicolas MEYER 1982); Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (Leonard NIMOY 1984); Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (Nimoy 1984); Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (William SHATNER 1989); Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (Meyer 1992); "The Return of Sing Ling" (1992), episode of Kung Fu: The Legend Continues; "Flashback" (1996), episode of Star Trek: Voyager; "Hotel Dick" (1996), episode of Third Rock from the Sun; "Spung at Heart" (1996), episode of Space Cases; "The Adventures of Ratman and Gerbil, or Holy Homeboys in Outer Space" (1997), episode of Homeboys in Outer Space; Bug Buster (Lorenzo Doumani 1998); "Blackout" (1998), episode of Early Edition.

Appeared in documentaries: Doctor Who's Who's Who (tv special) (1986); Trekkies (Roger Nygard 1997).

Provided voice for animation: Star Trek (tv series) (1973-75); "One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Bluefish" (1991), "Thirty Minutes over Tokyo" (1994), "Simpson Tide" (1998), episodes of The Simpsons; episode of Freakazoid! (1995); "Dr. Strange" (1995), episode of Spider-Man; Jonny Quest (tv series) (1996); Mulan (Tony Bancroft and Barry Cook 1998); Hercules (tv series) (1998); "Rebirth" (1999), two-part episode of Batman Beyond.

Provided voice for American versions of Japanese films: Gigantis, the Fire Monster (Motoyoshi Oda 1955); Rodan (Inoshiro HONDA 1956).

 
George Takei is such a nice man—so unfailingly friendly and accessible to Star Trek fans, so consistently supportive of Asian-American performers and causes—that it really is such a shame to report that he is such an awful actor, probably the least talented regular in any of the Star Trek series. I hate to say this because, like so many other viewers, I have developed a genuine fondness for the man; but, like the little boy whose pants fall down during the school play, he earns our sympathy because of his ineptitude, not his talents. Thus, it was not entirely due to scheduling conflicts during Takei's filming of The Green Berets (1968) that Star Trek writers began to marginalize Hiraku Sulu and made the somewhat more capable Walter KOENIG's Ensign Chekov a center of attention, and it was not entirely due to a desire for brisk pacing that one of the lengthier sequences cut from the original theatrical release of Star Trek: The Motion Picture was one of Sulu's big scenes. Whenever he is asked to do more than repeat rote commands, it becomes painfully conspicuous that the man simply cannot act ....

Which makes it all the more surprising that Takei has now emerged as the center of a massive fan campaign to install Captain Sulu of the Excelsior as the star of the next Star Trek series. However, while the current masters of the Star Trek franchise can be legitimately criticized for any number of reasons, credit them with enough common sense to flatly reject the whole idea, for one only has to watch what might be regarded as that projected series' failed pilot, the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Flashback," to see that Takei couldn't possibly inspire any confidence in his abilities as a starship commander. Other actors who sit in the captain's chair look straight ahead in a calm, decisive manner; Takei keeps looking around uncertainly, as if still waiting for the real captain to return.

Other than inconsequential dramatic roles and Star Trek-related guest appearances, Takei has most recently been visible, so to speak, as the voice of characters in animated television series and the Disney film Mulan. Indeed, his deep, articulate voice (first heard in the American versions of 1950s Japanese monster movies) remains his only real asset as a performer. If the fans really want Takei to play a recurring role in future incarnations of Star Trek, perhaps they should campaign to have him replace Majel Barrett RODDENBERRY as the ubiquitous voice of the ship's computers; if he cannot command a starship, he could at least serve as its capable spokesperson.

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