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Gene Roddenberry Biography and Filmography
Gene Roddenberry
Birthday: August 19, 1921
Birth Place: El Paso, Texas, USA
Height: 6' 1"
Below is a complete filmography (list of movies he's appeared in)
for Gene Roddenberry.
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Though he did other things in the film and television industry, producer/filmmaker/actor Gene Roddenberry will always be best remembered as the father of Star Trek, a relatively short-lived science fiction television series that became a cultural phenomenon of the '70s, '80s, '90s, and on, spawned three sequel series, a string of novels and novellas, a cartoon show, and a highly successful series of feature films. Born in El Paso, TX, Roddenberry originally studied law, then aeronautical engineering in college. He then became a pilot and volunteered for the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1941. Piloting a B-17, he earned medals for his bombing in the Pacific Theater. After the war ended, he became a commercial pilot for Pan Am airlines. The newly developed medium of television intrigued Roddenberry and he wanted to become a writer. When that didn't work out, he joined the Los Angeles Police Department where he eventually became a sergeant. He used his writing skills to write speeches for the department chief and during the '50s, became a writer for two police shows, Dragnet and Naked City. He then became the head writer for the popular Western Have Gun Will Travel. By the early '60s, the idea for Star Trek had begun to grow in Roddenberry's mind. Star Trek was launched on the NBC network in 1966. Produced at Desi-Lu studios on a fairly low budget, the series was a sci-fi excursion like no other. Intelligently written and focused on relationships and modern issues as much as action/adventure, Star Trek was an optimistic, humanist vision of the distant future in which people of all races, humanoid or not, struggled to find peace. Among its innovations was the first interracial/interspecies crew that worked without racial discrimination, a hot topic during the mid-'60s. Roddenberry initially attempted to present women as equals to men (another fairly radical concept back then) as can be seen in the original pilot episode "The Menagerie" (which did not air until the series was established). Unfortunately, the network was uncomfortable about that notion and relegated the female characters to wearing short skirts and playing slightly more "feminine" roles. Despite the attire though, Star Trek's women were strong, intelligent, and courageous. The show was not enormously popular, but it had a devoted core of fans who, in another unprecedented move, launched a tremendous letter-writing campaign that brought the series back for a third year after it was canceled at the end of the second. By the time the show was finally canceled for good, the fan base for Star Trek had grown. Since the early '70s, large groups of fans the world over congregate at enormous Star Trek conventions. Millions of dollars of merchandise have been sold, and the show has spun off into a series of novels and a cartoon show. During the third season, Roddenberry left Star Trek to try other venues. In 1971, he produced and wrote the screenplay for Roger Vadim's black comedy Pretty Maids All in a Row. In the late '70s, Roddenberry returned to the Star Trek venue to produce and write the screenplay for Star Trek: the Motion Picture, the first of a long series of related feature films. On subsequent series entries, he returned as executive consultant. He also served as executive producer on the first television series sequel Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-1994) until his death of cardiac arrest in 1991.
Star Trek: Nemesis (2002)
[ Dina Meyer ][ Whoopie Goldberg ][ Marina Sirtis ][ Gates McFadden ][ Kate Mulgrew ]
The Inner Light (1992)
The Next Phase (1992)
[ Michelle Forbes ]
I, Borg (1992)
[ Whoopie Goldberg ]
Imaginary Friend (1992)
Star Trek 25th Anniversary Special (1991)
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989)
[ Nichelle Nichols ][ Melanie Shatner ][ Barbara Harris ]
Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)
[ Majel Barret-Roddenberry ][ Nichelle Nichols ][ Persis Khambatta ]
Spectre (1977)
[ Majel Barret-Roddenberry ][ Vicki Michelle ][ Jenny Runacre ][ Lindy Benson ]
Planet Earth (1974)
[ Majel Barret-Roddenberry ]
The Questor Tapes (1974)
[ Majel Barret-Roddenberry ][ Dana Wynter ]
Genesis II (1973)
[ Didi Conn ][ Majel Barret-Roddenberry ][ Mariette Hartley ]
Pretty Maids All in a Row (1971)
[ Angie Dickinson ][ Joanna Cameron ][ Barbara Leigh ][ June Fairchild ][ Aimee Eccles ]
The Savage Curtain (1969)
The Cloud Minders (1969)
[ Nichelle Nichols ]
The Way to Eden (1969)
[ Majel Barret-Roddenberry ]
Turnabout Intruder (1969)
All Our Yesterdays (1969)
Police Story (1967)
  • During WWII he had a friend named Kim Noonien Singh; after the war Kim disappeared, and Gene used his name for some characters in the Star Trek series (Khan Noonien Singh from Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan (1982) and Noonien Soong from "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (1987)) in hopes that Kim might recognize his name and contact him.
  • Some of his ashes sent up in a rocket, launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base.
  • Might have died in a house fire when still a toddler along with Bob, Doris, and their mother, but a milkman came along and woke them in time.
  • In 1943 while a US Army Air Corps pilot, his plane crashed on takeoff due to a mechanical failure, killing two crew members.
  • On 19 June 1947 he was deadheading (traveling while not on duty) on a Pan Am plane when it crashed in the Syrian desert, killing 7 of 9 crew and 7 of 26 passengers on board. He rescued the Maharani of Pheleton from the wreck. Rescue came in hours, but too late to save most of the luggage, and the victims' possessions, from local tribesmen and villagers.
  • During the war he wrote a song lyric "I Wanna Go Home", which became popular.
  • His first TV script sale, in 1953, was the episode ``Defense Plant Gambling'' for the show "Mr. District Attorney" (1954). It was broadcast 2 March 1954. In the science-fiction field, his first was "The Secret Weapon of 117", broadcast 6 March 1956 on the anthology series "Chevron Hall of Stars".
  • He had many lovers and was sometimes overt about it. He and Majel Barrett 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.
  • His old pseudonym Robert Wesley was used in the "Star Trek" (1966) episode "The Ultimate Computer" as the name of a character, played by Barry Russo.
  • Served on the Los Angeles Police Force from 1949 - 1956, badge number 6089. This information from "Star Trek Creator" by David Alexander.
  • Died within 48 hours of screening Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991), the last Trek that revolved around his original characters.
  • Shared the same birthday as "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (1987) star Jonathan Frakes.
  • He has a building named in his honor on the Paramount Studio lot.
  • Father of actress Dawn Roddenberry.
  • Father, with Majel Barrett, of Rod Roddenberry.
  • While meeting with George Takei about a role on "Star Trek" (1966), Gene accidentally pronounced George's last name 'Ta-kei', which is similar to the word expensive in Japanese "takai" . He remembered the pronouncation by rhyming it with "OK".
  • Died on 24 October 1991, exactly ten years after Marina Sirtis's father.
  • During his years in the LAPD, he was the spokesman of LAPD Chief W.H. Parker.
  • Was a close friend of Jack Webb.
  • Biography in: "American National Biography". Supplement 1, pp. 521-522. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.

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