Dec 19 2008
Often referred to as the First Lady of Star Trek, Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, has died of leukemia at her home age 75.
Majel has been part and parcel of the Star Trek franchise since day one; her roles included Nurse Christine Chapel in the original Star Trek, Lwaxana Troi (Deanna’s Mother) in The Next Generation and the voice of the USS Enterprise computer in almost every spin-off of the 1966 series. She recently confirmed that she would reprise the voice role in the upcoming Star Trek film directed by J.J. Abrams.
When Gene Roddenberry made his first pilot for Star Trek it was very different to the Kirk and Spock story we all know. Jeffrey Hunter was to play Christopher Pike, Captain of the Enterprise, while Majel was his second in command, referred to as Number One. Naturally, in 1966 studio execs didn’t want to have a woman in charge, so Majel was demoted to nurse and Hunter was replaced by Shatner.