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Takei, George (b. 1937)  
 
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Takei launched a campaign for a seat in the California Assembly in 1980 but withdrew after meeting with the incumbent Assemblyman, Mike Roos, and resolving issues of contention.

In leaving the race, Takei also cited the "substantial financial losses" that would have befallen the actors, writers, and producers of the Star Trek series if Los Angeles television station KTLA stopped broadcasting reruns of the show in response to a demand by Roos that he receive equal time if the program remained on the air.

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Despite its less than impressive original run, Star Trek proved immensely popular in syndication, attracting ever greater numbers of enthusiastic fans. A decade after the television series was cancelled, Takei and many of the other original cast members reunited to make Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979, directed by Robert Wise). Takei was also at the helm of the Starship Enterprise in Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan (1982, directed by Nicholas Meyer), Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984, directed by Leonard Nimoy), Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986, directed by Nimoy), Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989, directed by William Shatner), and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991, directed by Meyer).

Legions of Trekkies flocked not only to the films but also to Star Trek conventions held in cities large and small around the world. Takei and other original cast members continue to appear at many of these events.

"Star Trek has given me the opportunity, if not [of] trekking the galaxy, to at least trek this planet. I've been able to go to places where I never thought I'd be," stated Takei.

Star Trek conventions took him to "great cities: Paris, Kyoto, London, New York, Chicago." He "discovered New Orleans, which is a wonderful place" and enjoyed visiting smaller cities such as Helena, Montana, where he found "some of the architecture . . . absolutely fascinating."

He also traveled to "basket-case cities like Detroit" and was "able to study what makes them basket cases," knowledge that he could put to use in his work with the Transit District.

Takei continued his television career with appearances on numerous series, including Murder, She Wrote, Heroes, Will & Grace, Ironside, The Simpsons, and Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: New Voyages, spin-offs of the original show.

His movie credits include voicing the character of the First Ancestor in the Disney animated features Mulan (1998, directed by Tony Bancroft and Barry Cook) and Mulan II (2004, directed by Darrell Rooney and Lynne Southerland).

In 1995 Takei came out publicly as a gay man, citing California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's veto of a same-sex marriage bill as part of the reason for his decision: "Now that the movement is reaching this point, something unimaginable when I was a teenager, I think I have a responsibility to add my voice."

In a 2005 interview with Frontiers magazine, Takei called the revelation of his sexual orientation "not really a coming out, which suggests opening a door and stepping through. It's more like a long, long walk through what began as a narrow corridor that starts to widen."

He recalled his shame as a Japanese-American after his experiences in the internment camps and his shame upon realizing that he was gay and therefore different in a and often homophobic society, but, he said, "with reading and talking to other people, your understanding of the situation starts to grow. And you think, 'It's wrong; this is not right.' And you start sharing it with more people and you find friends and organizations."

It was through the Los Angeles branch of Frontrunners, a glbtq running club that takes its name from the title of a novel by Patricia Nell Warren, that Takei met his life-partner, Brad Altman. Joining Frontrunners was a somewhat fortuitous event for Takei: "At a bar you see a paper, and you see a gay running club. 'Oh, I'll show up,' you think."

Takei has been a runner since his days on his high school cross-country team. He has run marathons and was a bearer of the Olympic flame during the torch relay prior to the 1984 games in Los Angeles.

At Frontrunners, Takei began training with Altman, then a journalist and now his manager. They soon fell in love and established a household that came to include Takei's mother when she was stricken with Alzheimer's disease. When the couple had first gotten together, Takei said, his mother "had some adjustments to make, but she got to like Brad very much."

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