Remembering The First Lady Of Star Trek
Majel Barrett, the widow of Gene Roddenberry, founding father of the Star Trek franchise, died on Dec 18th from complications of Leukemia at the age of 76 in her home in Bel Air, California. A devoted wife to Gene who died in 1991, she is survived by their only son.
She acted in almost every spin off series from the original classic Star Trek first as Number One in the pilot episode under Captain Christopher Pike. The role stirred controversy among network executives who could not accept a female commander so she was reintroduced as Nurse Christine Chapel, assistant to Dr. Leonard McCoy, with a secret crush on Mr. Spock.
She went on to star in The Next Generation as Ambassador Lwaxana Troi, daughter of the fifth house, holder of the Sacred Chalice of Rixx, Heir to the Holy Ring of Betazed. Often providing a complex dilemma for her daughter, Lt. Commander Deeana Troi, chief counselor and the longtime paramour of Commander Riker. Mrs. Barrett’s last appearance on The Next Generation was in the seventh and final season in “Dark Page”, a complex character study when her meta conscious mind collapses upon itself as a result of awakening guilt over the death of her first daughter, Kestra, an episode that featured a young Kirsten Dunst. It was filled with psychological imagery as Deeana enters her mother’s mind to help her deal with the guilt of the loss of a young child. She also appeared as Lwaxana Troi in Deep Space 9 and as the voice of the computer on TNG, Voyager and in the movies.
Before Star Trek, she had guest starring roles in such shows as Bonanza, The Untouchables and Leave It To Beaver. Ten days before her death it was announced that her voice would be in the new Star Trek film due out in May 2009 in already completed voice-over work. She will always be remembered as The First Lady Of Star Trek.