December 18, 2008

‘First Lady of Star Trek’ dead at 76

Majel Barrett Roddenberry, the widow of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, died early Thursday in her Bel Air, Calif., home, her family said.

Roddenberry died in her sleep, surrounded by loved ones, a message posted on Roddenberry.com announced. She was 76.

E! News said the cause of her death was leukemia.

Known as the First Lady of Star Trek, Roddenberry played Nurse Chapel on the original Star Trek television series from 1966 to 1969, and lent her voice to the U.S.S. Enterprise's computer in other Trek projects, including J.J. Abrams' upcoming big-screen prequel, Star Trek. Her resume also included appearances on Leave it to Beaver, Bonanza, The Untouchables and The Lucy Show.

The Roddenberrys were married from 1969 until Gene Rodenberry died in 1991 at the age of 70.

My mother truly acknowledged and appreciated the fact that 'Star Trek' fans played a vital role in keeping the Roddenberry dream alive for the past 42 years, her son, Eugene Roddenberry Jr., said in a message posted on Roddenberry.com. It was her love for the fans, and their love in return, that kept her going for so long after my father passed away.

In lieu of flowers or gifts, the family requests donations may be made in Roddenberry's memory to Precious Paws, 18034 Ventura Blvd., Ste. 430, Encino, Calif., 91316; or C.A.R.E., P.O. Box 56631, Sherman Oaks, Calif., 91403.