Actor, social justice activist and social media mega-power George Takei will share his story with Willamette University on Nov. 11 as part of the Atkinson Lecture Series. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for the 6:30 p.m. talk in Smith Auditorium.
A Japanese American who was unjustly interned as a child in two U.S. World War II internment camps, Takei went on to a five-decade career in television, film and social activism. He is known world-wide for his role as Hikaru Sulu on the original Star Trek TV series, a role he played on three seasons of the show and in six movies.
More recently, he is host of the AARP-produced YouTube series “Takei’s Take,” which explores the world of technology, trends, current events and pop culture; and he will star in the upcoming Broadway musical “Allegiance,” a story of love, family and heroism during the Japanese American internment. “To Be Takei,” a documentary on his life and career, premiered last January at the Sundance Film Festival and was released in theaters at the end of August.
Takei is chairman emeritus and a trustee of the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, and the government of Japan awarded him the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette, for his contribution to U.S.-Japanese relations. Additionally, the openly gay Takei has served as the spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign’s “Coming Out Project.”
Takei has also made his mark in social media, with more than 1.3 million Twitter followers and more than 7.4 million likes on Facebook — garnering him the title of “most-influential person on Facebook” in 2012 from Mashable.com.
He has numerous television and voiceover credits to his name, and has authored several books, including “Lions and Tigers and Bears: The Internet Strikes Back” and “Oh Myyy! There Goes the Internet.”
Tickets will be available at willamette.edu/go/takei beginning Oct. 20. Campus community members with ID can have up to five tickets. The first one is free, additional ones cost $5. Alumni may purchase tickets for $10 each.