Majel Barrett Roddenberry Dies At 76
By MICHAEL HINMAN
Source: SyFy Portal
Dec-18-2008

Majel Barrett Roddenberry, who entertained generations of fans through her various roles in Star Trek, and was the widow of "Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry, died Thursday morning at home. She was 76.

Mrs. Roddenberry had leukemia, a family spokesman told SyFy Portal. The "First Lady of Star Trek" was surrounded by friends and her son, Eugene Roddenberry Jr. when she passed away just after 3 a.m. ET.

Mrs. Roddenberry got her start in the 1950s taking on roles in shows like "Leave it to Beaver," "Bonanza" and "The Lucy Show," but it would be Star Trek she would be best known for. She appeared in the original pilot as "Number One," the second in command of the Enterprise under Christopher Pike, a move that angered NBC brass of the 1960s who in turn demanded Gene Roddenberry to recast her.

Gene Roddenberry used to joke they also demanded he get rid of the devil-like alien played by Leonard Nimoy, so he convinced the network to keep Spock, and he married Number One.

Majel Barrett would remain a part of Star Trek, however, as Nurse Chapel in the original series (donning a blonde wig) and later as Lwaxana Troi in "Star Trek: The Next Generation." She also was the longtime voice of the Enterprise computer, and was even expected to voice the computer for J.J. Abrams' upcoming "Star Trek XI," a role she was able to complete before her death.

"Over the course of their more than quarter-century love affair, she became not only Gene's partner, but also his creative muse," the family said in a statement.

Following her husband's death in 1991, Mrs. Roddenberry would go on to develop some of the Great Bird's other series ideas, playing a key role in the launch of "Earth: Final Conflict" and "Andromeda" in the late 1990s into syndication.

After the run of those shows, Mrs. Roddenberry retired from show business, though she would occasionally voice the Enterprise computer in video games and even in parodies like Fox's "Family Guy."

Funeral plans are incomplete, but family has asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in her name to the CARE Organization or Precious Paws, both of which share Mrs. Roddenberry's love for animals and dedication to animal rescue.

Precious Paws can be reached at 18034 Ventura Blvd., Suite 430, Encino, Calif., 91316, or at www.preciouspaws.org. Donations can be made to CARE at P.O. Box 56631, Sherman Oaks, Calif., 91403, or at www.care4pets.org.

The staff of The SyUniverse Group Inc., parent corporation of SyFy Portal, wishes to extend its heartfelt condolences to the entire Roddenberry family, including Eugene Roddenberry, and the many friends of the family in the loss of a most amazing spirit, mother and entertainer.