76 (passed away Dec. 18th, 2008)
Feb. 23rd, 1932
Columbus, Ohio, USA
Majel Barrett's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Majel Barrett-Roddenberry was a recurring actress in the Star Trek franchise and was the wife of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry from 1969 until his passing in 1991. This association with Roddenberry and his most famous creation has earned Barrett the title "The First Lady of Star Trek."
Barrett was the only performer to have had a role on all of the Star Trek series and some of the movies – usually not as a character but as the voice of the USS Enterprise's computer.
Her most frequent portrayal in Star Trek, besides the computer, was that of Nurse (later Doctor) Christine Chapel on Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: The Animated Series, and in two of the films. She also voiced M'Ress and several other characters on The Animated Series and later played Betazoid Ambassador Lwaxana Troi on Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
Barrett was born Majel Lee Hudec in Columbus, Ohio. She enrolled in an acting workshop when she was ten years old but later attended the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida with the intention of becoming a legal clerk. She attended law school for a year, but, after failing a class in contract law, opted to move to New York to try her luck in acting. She landed parts in several stage plays, including Models by Season and The Solid Gold Cadillac, the latter of which toured across the country for nine months.
Believing the competition in New York to be too stiff, Barrett moved to California in the 1950s where she won parts in stage plays as well as in films. She had a bit part in the 1957 film Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?, after which she made an uncredited appearance in the 1958 Paramount Pictures release The Black Orchid. She then landed a supporting role in the 1958 Paramount film As Young As We Were, along with TOS guest actor Barry Atwater. She also had a brief role in Paramount's The Buccaneer that same year.
One of Barrett's earliest television appearance came in 1959 in an episode of the syndicated adventure/drama series Whirlybirds, which starred Kenneth Tobey. She then made an uncredited appearance as a waitress in a 1960 episode of Desilu's The Untouchables, which aired on NBC. That same year, she guest-starred on the ABC family comedy series Leave It to Beaver, which starred Tony Dow.
In 1961, Barrett was seen in a supporting role in the musical comedy Love in a Goldfish Bowl, another film from Paramount Pictures. This was followed by a supporting role in the 1963 war drama The Quick and the Dead. She also continued making appearances on television shows, including Cain's Hundred (with Anthony Caruso) and a 1962 episode of Bonanza with her future TOS co-star James Doohan, entitled "Gift of Water."
Barrett first met Gene Roddenberry in late 1963 when she was cast in an episode of his Marine Corps drama, The Lieutenant, which starred Gary Lockwood. Incidentally, the episode in which Barrett appeared – titled "In the Highest Tradition" – also featured future TOS regular Leonard Nimoy. In addition, the episode was directed by Marc Daniels, who later directed 25 episodes of TOS.
Although her character was dropped from the second pilot, "Where No Man Has Gone Before", after Star Trek was picked up as a series, Barrett was given the role of Nurse Christine Chapel. Because the network did not like her role in "The Cage," Barrett donned a blond wig for her role and went by the name "Majel Barrett" rather than "M. Leigh Hudec," as she had done for "The Cage." In total, Barrett was featured as Nurse Chapel in twenty-five of the seventy-nine episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series, from the first season's "The Naked Time" to the last episode of the series, "Turnabout Intruder". She also supplied the voice of the USS Enterprise's computer in several episodes of the series.
Barrett and Gene Roddenberry married on 6 August 1969, two months after the final episode of Star Trek was aired. Since they were both in Japan at the time, and because Roddenberry did not adhere to any particular religion, they decided to have a Shinto-Buddhist wedding. Roddenberry's divorce from Eileen Anita Rexroat had not yet been finalized, requiring the pair to make the marriage legal with a civil ceremony held on 29 December 1969. Their son, Eugene "Rod" Roddenberry, Jr., was born on 5 February 1974.
Barrett and Roddenberry continued working together professionally throughout the 1970s. They both ran the catalog company Lincoln Enterprises, which they founded in 1967. In addition, Barrett acted in many of the unsold TV pilots which Roddenberry wrote and produced, the first of which was Genesis II in 1973. In addition to Barrett, this project also featured performances by Star Trek alumni Ted Cassidy, Mariette Hartley, Harvey Jason, and Percy Rodriguez.
- Along with 'Leonard Nimoy' (qv), she was one of only two actors to have appeared in "Star Trek" in every decade from the 1960s to the 2000s.
- Shortly before her death, she completed voiceover work as the voice of the Enterprise's main computer for 'J.J. Abrams' (qv)'s upcoming _Star Trek (2009)_ (qv).
- Stepmother of actress 'Dawn Roddenberry' (qv) and Darleen Roddenberry-Bacha, who died on 29-Oct-1995 in a car accident.
- Along with 'Leonard Nimoy' (qv), she is one of only two actors to appear in both the first and last episodes of the original _"Star Trek" (1966)_ (qv) series.
- In addition to her voiceover work, she also provided the voice of automated railroad-defect detectors for the Union Pacific and other railroads. Her voice can be heard on railroad radio channels throughout the nation.
- Is one of only 32 actors or actresses to have starred in both the original _"Star Trek" (1966)_ (qv) (up to and including _Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)_ (qv)) and then in one of the spin-offs.
- Along with 'Joseph Ruskin' (qv), 'Clint Howard' (qv), and 'Jack Donner' (qv), she is one of only four actors to appear in both _"Star Trek" (1966)_ (qv) and _"Enterprise" (2001)_ (qv).
- Majel and Gene had been lovers for years when he decided it was time to marry her and asked her to join him -- although he happened to be visiting Japan at the time. Gene did not adhere to any particular religion and since they were in Japan they chose to have a Shinto-Buddhist wedding on 6 August 1969. They regarded this as their real wedding, but his divorce was not yet final and they made it legal with a civil ceremony on 29 December 1969.
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