Gene RoddenberryTV Producer
Born: 19 August 1921
Died: 24 October 1991
Birthplace: El Paso, Texas
Best known as: Creator of TV's Star Trek
Gene Roddenberry was the man behind the ultra-successful Star Trek
franchise, the creator and producer of the original television series (1966-69). A combat veteran of World War II, Roddenberry moved to Los Angeles to work as a writer for television in the 1950s. After a successful decade of writing for cop shows and westerns, Roddenberry developed his own television series about space adventurers in the 23rd century. Star Trek
, although not a popular series while on the air, became a cult phenomenon beginning in the 1970s. While syndication of the series was steady in the '70s, Roddenberry launched other projects, including the TV series Genesis II
(1973) and The Questor Tapes
(1974), a feature film (1971's Pretty Maids All in a Row
) and the TV movie Spectre
(1977). Star Trek
was taken to the big screen in 1979, and Roddenberry's novel adaptation became a bestseller. Since then, there have been many additions to the franchise, including feature films, novels and a string of related shows, including Star Trek: The Next Generation
(1987-94), Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
(1993-1999), Star Trek: Voyager
(1995-2001) and Enterprise
(2001). Since his death, Roddenberry-inspired productions have also included Earth: The Final Conflict
(1997) and Andromeda
(2000). In 1997 Roddenberry's ashes, along with those of Timothy Leary
, were shot into outer space aboard a Spanish research satellite, scheduled to orbit the earth for approximately six years.
Roddenberry’s wife, Majel Barret, has appeared in several of his productions: she was in the original pilot as “Number One,” but for the series she was replaced by the studio, who balked at having a woman second in command; she then appeared in the original series as nurse Christine Chapel, whose love for Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy) was unrequited; she appeared in The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine as Lwaxana Troi, mother of Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis); and she has been the voice of the ship’s computer in the TV shows and feature films.
Copyright © 1998-2015 by Who2?, LLC. All rights reserved.
More on Gene Roddenberry from Fact Monster:
- Gene Roddenberry - Roddenberry, Gene Roddenberry, Gene (Eugene Wesley Roddenberry), 1921–91, American television ...
- Gene Roddenberry - Biography of Gene Roddenberry, Creator of TV's Star Trek
- This Day in History: April 21 - April 21 1836 Texan army under Sam Houston defeated Mexicans in the Battle of San Jacinto. 1910 ...
- William Shatner - Biography of William Shatner, Captain James T. Kirk of the Starship Enterprise
- Donald K. 'Deke' Slayton - Biography of Donald K. 'Deke' Slayton, The 'Original Seven' astronaut who later flew Apollo-Soyuz