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Majel Barrett Roddenberry 1932-2008

By Louis Trapani - Posted on 23 December 2008

On the 18th of December 2008, we lost "The First Lady of Star Trek" otherwise known as Majel Barrett Roddenberry. Although I had only met her once, and never had the opportunity to have her on any of our shows or interview her, she touched the lives of many Star Trek fans, myself included.

She was there from the very beginning, and when I say the very beginning, I mean the original pilot of Star Trek, The Cage. Where she played "Number One" (1st Officer), second in command after Captain Pike. Yep, that is Pike, not Kirk. Her and Leonard Nimoy are among the few that were there from the start. For the mid-60's, having a woman as second in command was a progressive step forward at that time. While many women at that time were being portrayed as emotional appendages to their husbands, she was not. She had several traits which were eventually carried over to the Spock character such as relying more on logic than emotion to work out problems. Unfortunately, network executives were not so progressive at the time. It was long before we would ever have a Captain Janeway... and they weren't having a woman as second in command, or for that matter an pointed eared alien. Gene Roddenberry, the creator and producer of the series compromised with the suits and retained the pointed eared alien character we know as Spock, but gone was Majel's character from the original pilot.

Autographed PhotoAutographed Photo

Majel remained in Star Trek, this time playing Nurse Chapel under Doctor McCoy. Not exactly the same character she would have been spearheading in television at the time, but still a role of some substance nevertheless.

Her presence could also be heard as the voice of the Enterprise computers. This remained constant even when the series came back in the form of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Where she also played a recurring character of Lwaxana Troi, the mother to the series' regular character Deanna Troi.

Majel was more than just actress connected with the series, as the wife of Gene Roddenberry she continued to embody Gene's message after his death. She always appreciated the fans and fans took note.

For more on her passing and what you can do in her memory, please visit this official press release page on the Roddenberry website: First Lady of Star Trek Majel Barrett Roddenberry Passes Away at the Age of 76.

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