R.I.P. Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, ‘First Lady of Star Trek’

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OBITUARY FOR Majel Barrett-Roddenberry (Associated Press file)Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, who was married to Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and is the only actor to appear in every version of the series, has died at age 76, according to The Associated Press.

Just last week we reported that she is reprising her role as the voice of the Enterprise computer in J.J. Abrams’ upcoming feature film, also titled Star Trek.

A fan favorite, Barrett appeared in the very first Star Trek pilot “The Cage” as the Enterprise’s first officer — a role that NBC executives were reportedly uncomfortable giving to a woman in 1964. When the series was retooled, Barrett went on to play Nurse Chapel instead.

Associated Press file

Barrett and Roddenberry wed in 1969 after Star Trek was canceled. When the show’s first spinoff, Star Trek: The Next Generation, debuted in 1987, she provided the computer voice but also found a new role: Betazoid Ambassador Lwaxana Troi, the mother of Enterprise Counselor Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis). The character’s romantic pursuit of Capt. Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) was an ongoing source of comic relief. She reprised the character on the spinoff Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and continued to voice the computers on Star Trek: Voyager and some episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise.

Majel Barrett as Nurse Chapel in Star TrekMajel Barrett-Roddenberry on the Enterprise bridge with husband Gene RoddenberryMajel Barrett-Roddenberry as Lwaxana Troi in Star Trek Deep Space NineMajel Barrett-Roddenberry
Images courtesy Roddenberry.com

Barrett-Roddenberry recently had been battling leukemia. Her husband died in 1991.

She joins original Trek star Leonard Nimoy as the only (so far) returning actors in Abrams’ project. She will be remembered as a graceful woman and a standout actor who brought fun to the franchise her husband created.

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Scott Kirchhofer
One of Nerdvana's founding bloggers, Scott Kirchhofer is a graphic artist and designer of the Nerdvana logo, as well as a gamer and comic book movie fan.