Both a renowned actor and social media star, Takei is known for his eloquence and signature wit, speaking on issues from pop culture to politics. Known by most as Hikaru Sulu on Star Trek, Takei has accumulated more than 13 million followers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Cosmopolitan calls him “a social media powerhouse, boasting more than 10 million followers across multiple platforms online. His voice–at once knowing, wry, cheeky, geeky, and dignified–embodies the Internet… Like the Internet itself, George Takei online is relentless.”
Takei’s upbringing is unlike most, wrongfully imprisoned in a Japanese internment camp from the age of four to eight during World War II, prompting him to become an extremely influential human rights and community activist. One of Hollywood’s few openly gay celebrities, Takei has served as the spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign Coming Out Project, the Cultural Affairs Chairman of the Japanese American Citizens League, chairman emeritus and trustee of the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles and a part of the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission, appointed by former president Bill Clinton.
Named as “one of the Internet’s 50 Most Fascinating People” by Cosmopolitan, he has inspired many through both his acting career and social media presence. In 2007, Takei was commemorated for his social work, having Asteroid 7307 Takei (between Mars and Jupiter) named after him.
Takei’s acting credits include appearances on Lost Girl, The Neighbors, Hawaii Five-O, The New Normal, Supah Ninjas, Malcom in the Middle, Scrubs, Miami Vice, MacGyver, The Six Million Dollar Man, Mission: Impossible, My Three Sons, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Twilight Zone, The Big Bang Theory, Psych, 3rd Rock from the Sun and Will & Grace. With Tony Award winner Lea Salonga, Takei developed and stars in the Broadway Musical Allegiance – A New American Musical, a heroic story of love, family and courage inspired by the true events of Takei’s life during the Japanese American internment, which will play in select cinemas February 19.
In addition to acting, Takei is also known for his voice, narrating the PBS series The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, Crossing East and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, of which he won a Grammy nomination for Best Spoken Word Album. He has also been the voice of many popular characters in media, such as those in Mulan, Batman Beyond: The Movie, The Simpsons, the video game Free Birds and Kim Possible.
In January 2014, To Be Takei, a Jennifer M. Kroot documentary on his life and career, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, receiving critical acclaim. Takei also has a new YouTube series produced by AARP, Takei’s Take, where he considers the world of technology, trends, current events and pop culture.
For tickets and more information about this event, call UCSB Arts & Lectures at 805/893-3535 or visit www.ArtsAndLectures.UCSB.edu, or contact the Arlington Theatre at 805/963-4408 or thearlingtontheatre.com