Majel Roddenberry, Widow of 'Trek' Creator, Dies

LOS ANGELES (AP) ? MajelBarrett Roddenberry, "Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry's widow whonurtured the legacy of the seminal science fiction TV series after his death,has died. She was 76. Roddenberry died of leukemia Thursday morning at her homein Bel-Air, said Sean Rossall, a family spokesman.

At Roddenberry's sidewere family friends and her son, Eugene Roddenberry Jr.

Roddenberry was involvedin the "Star Trek" universe for more than four decades. She playedthe dark-haired Number One in the original pilot but metamorphosed into theblond, miniskirted Nurse Christine Chapel in the original 1966-69 show. She hadsmaller roles in all five of its television successors and many of the"Star Trek" movie incarnations, although she had little involvementin the productions.

She frequently was thevoice of the ship's computer, and about two weeks ago she completed the samerole for the upcoming J.J. Abrams movie "Star Trek," Rossall said.

Roddenberry also helpedkeep the franchise alive by inspiring fans and attended a major "StarTrek" convention each year, Rossall said.

"I think 'Star Trek'will always be her legacy," Rossall said.

"Star Trek" andits successors often focused on political and philosophical issues of the day.Roddenberry and her husband, who died in 1991, believed in creating"thoughtful entertainment" and were proud of the show and thepassionate devotion of its fans, Rossall said.

"My mother trulyacknowledged and appreciated the fact that 'Star Trek' fans played a vital rolein keeping the Roddenberry dream alive for the past 42 years. It was her lovefor the fans, and their love in return, that kept her going for so long aftermy father passed away," her son said in a statement on the officialRoddenberry Web site.

Born Majel Lee Hudec onFeb. 23, 1932, in Cleveland, she began taking acting classes as a child. Shehad some stage roles, then in the late 1950s and 1960s had bit parts in a fewmovies and small roles in TV series, including "Leave It to Beaver"and "Bonanza."

She met her husband in1964 during a guest role for a Marine Corps drama he produced called "TheLieutenant." That same year, she was cast in the pilot for the "StarTrek" series as the no-nonsense second-in-command. The pilot did notappeal to NBC executives and a second pilot was made, although parts of theoriginal later showed up in a two-part episode called "TheMenagerie."

The couple married in Japan in 1969 after "Star Trek" was canceled. After her husband's death,Roddenberry continued her involvement with the "Star Trek" franchise.

She also was theexecutive producer for two other TV science fiction series, "Andromeda"and "Earth: Final Conflict."

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