Star Trek's Majel Barrett-Roddenberry Dies

Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, former wife of deceased Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and long time Trek character actor, has died. She was 76. According to the AP and various wire services, cause of death was leukemia. She died earlier today in her Bel-Air, California home.

After Gene’s death Majel found herself charged with protecting the spirit of Trek, and had a big role in protecting her husbands empire. But she’s probably best known to Star Trek fans for her numerous roles in almost all of the various incarnations of the series. In the original, unaired Star Trek pilot she played the Enterprise’s first officer. By the time the show aired in its final Captain Kirk incarnation, she had been relegated to Dr. McCoy’s assistant, Nurse Chapel. In Star Trek: The Next Generation and other Trek series she played the telepath Lwaxana Troi, mother of Deanna Troi, a frequent guest star and without a doubt one of the most beloved and formidable female characters in the history of science fiction.

Majel Barrett’s voice is also the one you usually hear coming out of the Enterprise’s computer. It was only a few days ago that Paramount announced she would again lend her voice to the Enterprise computer in JJ Abrams’ new film, as she has done so many times before. It’s unknown at this time whether her dialogue for the part has already been recorded. If it has been, her last act in Trek will be to launch a whole new universe for Roddenberry’s groundbreaking, decades spanning franchise. I can’t think of anything more fitting.

Josh Tyler