George Takeion April 17, 2007 at 1:18 am
From Creation’s Grand Slam SciFi Summit guest list:
He is best known for his role on the original Star Trek as Sulu. And most recently guest starred on the hit show Heroes, as Hiro’s father.
George’s acting career has spanned five decades. It began in the summer of 1957, between his freshman and sophomore years at the University of California at Berkeley, when George answered a newspaper advertisement placed by a company casting voices for a motion picture. The film was Rodan, a Japanese science-fiction classic about a prehistoric creature terrorizing Tokyo. In a sound stage on the MGM lot in Culver City, Calif., George dubbed the original Japanese lines into English, creating distinct voices for eight characters.
GeorgeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s professional acting debut occurred on live television in
the pioneering drama series, Playhouse 90. His motion picture
debut was in Ice Palace starring Richard Burton, released by
Warner Bros. in 1959. Films include six Star Trek motion pictures
(Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Star Trek: The Motion Picture), DC 9/11, The Green Berets, Majority of One, Noon Blue Apples, Who Gets the House?, Mulan and Mulan II, Trekkies, The Best Bad Thing, Patient 14, Chongbal aka Vanished, Live by the Fist, Bug Busters, Kissinger and Nixon, Prisoners of the Sun, Return From the River Kwai, Red Line 7000, Never So Few, Walk DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t Run, An American Dream, P.T. 109, Oblivion, The Loudmouth, Which Way to the Front?, Bicycle Built for Three, and Hell to Eternity.
In addition to his role in the original Star Trek series, television roles include guest-starring appearances on Heroes, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Cory in the House, Psych, Comedy Central Roast of William Shatner, Will & Grace, Malcolm in the Middle, Freddie, Scrubs, 3rd Rock From the Sun, Murder She Wrote, Watching Ellie, Grosse Pointe, Early Edition, Diagnosis Murder, The Young and the Restless, Alienated, In the House, John Woo’s Once a Thief, Homeboys in Outer Space, Muppets Tonight, Brotherly Love, Mission: Impossible, Twilight Zone, Perry Mason, Hallmark Hall of Fame, Miami Vice, I Spy, Son of the Beach, Marcus Welby, M.D., Hawaiian Eye, Hawaii Five-O, Ironside, Kung Fu, Mr. Novak, Mr. Roberts, The Six Million Dollar Man, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Wackiest Ship in the Army, Death Valley Days, Baa Baa Black Sheep, BrackenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s World, Combat, Chico and the Man, The Courtship of EddieÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Father, MacGyver, Californians, Chrysler Theatre, U.S. Steel Hour, My Three Sons, and many others.
GeorgeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s talents extend to writing. In 1979, he co-wrote with
Robert Asprin a science-fiction novel, Mirror Friend, Mirror Foe.
As told in his autobiography, To the Stars, published by Pocket
Books in 1994, George was born in Los Angeles, California. With
the outbreak of World War II, he and his family together with
120,000 other Japanese Americans were placed behind the barbed-wire enclosures of United States internment camps. George spent most of his childhood at Camp Rohwer in the swamps of Arkansas and at wind-swept Camp Tule Lake in northern California.
GeorgeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s family eventually returned to his native Los Angeles,
which shaped his acting career. The motion picture studios —
their magical back lot sets visible behind tall fences — were
alluring presences. Every grammar school skit, junior high drama
club, and high school play became a stepping stone to realizing
his not-so-secret dream of becoming an actor.
Always a political activist, George ran for the Los Angeles City
Council in 1973, losing by a small percentage. At a crossroads, he had to decide whether to pursue a political career or an acting career. He decided on acting, but to remain involved in civic affairs to whatever extent he could.
George is a dedicated long-distance runner since his high school
cross-country team days. He has completed five 26.2-mile marathons and carried the Olympic Flame in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Torch Relay. George and his life partner, Brad Altman, are residents of Los Angeles.