[[caption-width-right:250:It's okay to be Takei!]]

->''[[CatchPhrase "Oh myyy!"]]''

Trilingual civil rights activist and all-around awesome human being who also happened to play Hikaru Sulu on ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries''.

George Hosato Takei was born on April 20, 1937, in California. During his childhood, he and his family were sent to World War II internment camps for Japanese Americans. It was a miserable time, but at least George was too young to understand that and was content enough under the circumstances. It was there that young Takei's desire to act was born: the camp would screen Japanese movies for the internees, and there would be a single man off to the side of the projection screen providing an English dubbed voice ''for all the characters.'' Takei wanted to be that guy.

Returning to Los Angeles after this, Takei and his family endured residual hatred for Japanese-Americans that lingered after World War II; they also moved into a primarily Latino neighborhood, where Takei picked up fluency in Spanish. He would go on to minor in Latino studies in college.

In the 1960s he made appearances on shows like ''Series/MissionImpossible'' and ''Series/{{The Twilight Zone|1959}}'', and he got some movie parts (''Film/WalkDontRun''). But it was his groundbreaking role as Hikaru Sulu on ''Series/{{Star Trek|The Original Series}}'' that made him a cultural icon, as one of the first and only non-stereotypical Asian characters on mainstream American television. Reportedly ''every'' Asian-American actor wanted the role, since Sulu had no accent, didn't do (Asian) martial arts,[[note]]Sulu had an interest in fencing, which may or may not be considered a martial art (depending on whether he did sport fencing or historical European fencing or both), but no matter what, fencing definitely isn't Asian.[[/note]] and was not a crude caricature (remember: this was more or less contemporary with the yellowface characters in ''Film/BreakfastAtTiffanys'' and Film/CharlieChan).

However, when Takei took some time off to appear in the Creator/JohnWayne film, ''Film/TheGreenBerets'', prepared 2nd season ''Trek'' plots that would have featured Sulu were reworked to put the new character, Pavel Chekov, in that spotlight. That was initially a cause for some friction for Takei with the new castmember, Creator/WalterKoenig, but they soon settled their differences and became close friends as their characters became an iconic pair at the helm of the USS ''Enterprise''.

Takei campaigned heavily to helm a TOS-era spinoff, ''Excelsior'' (named after Sulu's own Excelsior-class starship), but 'twas not to be. However, he would go on to portray Sulu in ''WesternAnimation/StarTrekTheAnimatedSeries'', in six subsequent ''Franchise/StarTrek'' movies, and led the ''Excelsior'' into action in ''Star Trek''[='s=] 30th Anniversary special, "Flashback" (''Series/StarTrekVoyager''). He also co-starred in an episode of the fan work ''WebVideo/StarTrekNewVoyages''.

After ''Star Trek'', he ran for City Council in Los Angeles, losing by only about 1500 votes.[[note]]In one of those odd circumstances, the race that led stations in the area that were planning to air reruns of ''Star Trek'' or episodes of ''The Animated Series'' to delay the airing so as not to fall afoul of the Fairness Doctrine, on the grounds that Takei's appearance and especially his voice were simply too recognizable not to have an impact.[[/note]] However, his civic hopes were not in vain, as he would later be appointed to the board of directors of the Southern California Rapid Transit District.

In the 2000s, Takei gained new fame by appearing regularly on Radio/TheHowardSternShow, giving birth to his own MemeticMutation: "Ohhhhhh myyyyyy." He also appeared as Hiro's dad on ''Series/{{Heroes}}'' and voiced animated Asian characters such as the Fa ancestor from ''Disney/{{Mulan}}'', a Fire nation jailor in ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'', and Emperor Yoshiro, leader of the Empire of the Rising Sun in ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRedAlert3'', where he gave us [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yytbDZrw1jc this lovely bit of]] MemeticMutation. He voiced Separatist general Lok Durd in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars'', making him one of the first actors to have a role in both of the two largest "Star" franchises. He has played two mentorial roles in the ''Franchise/{{Transformers}}'' franchise, first as Master Yoketron, Prowl's cyber-ninja mentor from ''WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated'', and Optimus Prime's mentor, the archivist Alpha Trion in ''WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime''. Oh, and he also voiced ComicBook/{{Galactus}}, the Devourer of Worlds himself, in ''WesternAnimation/TheSuperHeroSquadShow''.

In 2006, he officially came out of the closet as a gay man, although many of his friends, family, and coworkers had long known this (for instance, by their account, pretty much the entire cast of ''Star Trek'' knew or at least strongly suspected, but never said anything). In 2008, he married his partner of twenty years, journalist Brad Altman. Takei continues to be an advocate for civil rights, gay rights and Asian-American issues. In 2012, he starred in the musical ''Theatre/{{Allegiance}}'', which deals with UsefulNotes/WorldWarII internment of Japanese Americans. He has also protested the [[RaceLift Race Lifting]] of Asian characters in Hollywood adaptations such as ''Film/TheLastAirbender'' and ''Manga/{{Akira}}.''

He has a ''huge'' Facebook following. By March 2012, his page had [[http://www.forbes.com/sites/alexknapp/2012/03/23/how-george-takei-conquered-facebook/ nearly 1.4 million]] followers. The page surpassed 5 million followers late in 2013. He has been a semi-cast member of ''Radio/TheHowardSternShow'' since the show's move to satellite in 2005, officially the show's announcer and sits in for week-long stints when he's in New York.

In 2015, ''Theatre/{{Allegiance}}'' opened on Broadway with Takei in the dual role of the present day Sam Kimura and "Ojii-san" (Grandfather) in the flashback to the 1940s.
!This actor provides examples of the following tropes:

* ActuallyPrettyFunny: Takei probably laughed the hardest, of anyone, at the gay jokes directed at him during "The Comedy Central Roast of Creator/WilliamShatner".
* AdamWesting: And he'll more or less freely admit to it. Most obvious in his appearance as "himself" on ''Series/MalcolmInTheMiddle''.
* ArousedByTheirVoice: ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'''s Star Trek episode invokes this when a sexy voice is required, and he interrupts Creator/NichelleNichols to speak.
* BadassBaritone
* BadassGrandpa: On an episode of Conan he appeared as part of an infomercial for a service to help people come out to their family. He ended his part saying "And if any of you mother*beep*ers gives him any *beep* I will come back here and [[PunctuatedForEmphasis *beep*! Your! *beep*! Up!]]
* BecomingTheBoast: His famous "shirtless fencer" scene from Star Trek was originally meant to be done with a Japanese sword, but Takei (in addition to wanting to avoid Asian stereotypes) was a big fan of old swashbuckling films of the Errol Flynn type, so he told them he was a skilled fencer to get to use a fencing sword instead. After it was agreed, he immediately took up a fencing class to pull off a good showing.
* CampGay: When he's AdamWesting. He will also not hesitate to discuss his love of musical theater, acknowledging it as being fitting with the stereotype.
* CatchPhrase: "Ohhhhh my."
* CoolOldGuy: One of the most popular personalities on social media.
* DirtyOldMan: He plays it for laughs, of course.
* EverybodyKnewAlready: While the general public may have not known until he came out, George's sexuality was an open secret among Trekkers since the seventies. His husband Brad was usually by his side at cons, and he would answer "Yes" if asked directly by fans. Takei has also said that he would bring his partners (at that time) to TOS parties and no one ever said anything.
* ExactWords[=/=]LoopholeAbuse: When Tennessee tried to say "Don't say gay", George told LGBT Tennesseans "It's okay to be Takei!".
* EnemyMine: States that ''Star Trek'' and ''Franchise/StarWars'' fans [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=mvTCr5Z-0lA should unite]] against a [[Literature/{{Twilight}} greater threat]].
* FollowTheLeader: After hearing about Creator/GilbertGottfried's "audio book" of ''Literature/FiftyShadesOfGrey'', Takei decided to do one of his own - only to be surprised [[spoiler: that the narrator is a ''woman'', after having gotten very-much into one of the sex scenes]]. [[invoked]]
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: {{Invoked}} by Takei by lending his name as an UnusualEuphemism to teachers in Tennessee to [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRkIWB3HIEs get around the state's "Don't Say Gay" bill]] (which, since it was his own name he used as a substitute, certainly didn't hurt from a self-promotion standpoint).
* HeterosexualLifePartners: With Creator/WalterKoenig, even asking Walter to be his Best Man.
* ItIsPronouncedTroPay: It's "Ta-kay" not "Ta-kai" as he delighted in pointing out to William Shatner during the latter's roast.
-->My name is George ''Ta-kay''. Not ''Ta-kai'', as you've insisted on pronouncing it for the last forty years! Remember: ''Ta-kaaayyyyy.'' Like in [[TakeThat ''toupeé'']].
** In an earlier interview, Takei noted that 'takai' is the Japanese word for 'expensive' and that he was trying to convince his agent to promote a name change.
* LustObject: During a bit on Stern, fell completely in lust with skateboarder/[[UsefulNotes/MixedMartialArts Mixed Martial Artist]]/radio show host [[Radio/TheJasonEllisShow Jason Ellis]] when he ended up naked in the studio, to the point of not being able to talk at first, and then not being able to shut up about him.
-->Ohhhhhhh... myyyyyyyyyyy...
* MissingEpisode: Takei's ''Series/TheTwilightZone1959'' episode "The Encounter" was one of five episodes not syndicated until the early 90s. [[invoked]]
* MoodWhiplash: Takei's Twitter account alternates between social activism and gleefully DirtyOldMan jokes. [[TropesAreNotBad Which arguably makes it funnier to follow]].
** Sometimes he hits both nails on the head:
-->"I tell young people today, I broke that [[AsianDrivers Asian driver]] stereotype decades ago by being [[HypocriticalHumor the best helmsman in the galaxy]]."
* NamedAfterSomebodyFamous: Like many Japanese of this generation, George's father was an Anglophile, and named his son after [[UsefulNotes/TheHouseOfWindsor King George VI]].
* NiceCharacterMeanActor: Done for laughs in any show where he is AdamWesting. Fortunately, [[RealLife/MeanCharacterNiceActor he's not like that in real life]].
* NotWhatItLooksLike: Takei, upon hearing he would have a ShirtlessScene in the ''Star Trek'' episode "The Naked Time," immediately started working out.
-->"During the next few days, people walking past my dressing room may have wondered what sort of nefarious activity might be going on inside that was making the portable structure rock with such sensuous rhythm. Whatever wild imaginings they might have had, the truth was that I was pumping up the pectorals for my shirtless fencing scenes with a conscientious push-ups regimen."
* OlderThanTheyLook: Takei is 78, but could easily pass for late 40s.
* OneOfUs: Of course he was on ''Star Trek'', but he also makes posts like [[http://news.icanhascheezburger.com/2011/05/18/political-pictures-george-takei-strikes-again/ these]]. He's also a fan of anime, such as ''Manga/{{Akira}}'', and has posted a Franchise/HarryPotter [[https://www.facebook.com/georgehtakei/photos/a.223098324386295.105971.205344452828349/1637174099645370/?type=3 reference]]. [[invoked]]
* PatrickStewartSpeech: He often delivers these.
* PungeonMaster: His Facebook page, which usually contains at least one {{pun}} per post, and expects LamePunReaction.
* SophisticatedAsHell: In his [[MemeticMutation most famous]] anti-bullying [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UACK93xF-FE video]]:
-->"No person, let alone an elected school official, whatever their personal or religious beliefs, should ever wish death upon another human being. You apologized for your 'poor choice in words', but you are always going to be a ''total [[PrecisionFStrike douchebag]]''."
* StraightGay: When not AdamWesting or playing his part on ''Radio/TheHowardSternShow''.
* {{Troll}}: He loves making homophobic people look silly, such as in [[http://chandra75.tumblr.com/post/50672357118/george-takei-you-rule this awesome series of pictures.]]
* TooSoon: He posted a photo of the ''Enterprise'' crashed in the sand with the caption "Go home, Sulu; You're Drunk." on Facebook, apparently unaware that on the same day a [[http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/06/us/california-plane-incident/ plane crash in San Francisco]] (the location of Starfleet Headquarters coincidentally) left two dead and many injured. Takei either didn't hear about the tragedy or didn't put the two together in his mind, but [[https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=697367906959332&set=a.223098324386295.105971.205344452828349&type=1 took the post down]] as soon as he realized it. [[invoked]]
* WhatCouldHaveBeen: Before Creator/LeonardNimoy was cast, he was supposed to appear as himself in ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' episode "Marge vs. the Monorail", but he refused to be on anything that satirized public transportation, as he's an advocate of it. [[invoked]]
* WordOfGay: {{Inverted}}. After he came out of the closet, many people assumed that Takei's character Sulu must also be gay. But Takei himself has insisted in interviews that Sulu was/is/[[TimeTravelTenseTrouble will be]] straight. [[invoked]]
** He was reportedly disappointed at the announcement that Sulu is gay in ''Film/StarTrekBeyond'', saying that he would have preferred for them to introduce a new LGBT character. In the original timeline, Sulu had a daughter, and is portrayed as being straight.