It was the role of Sulu on Star Trek that brought him national fame through the years.
About his Sulu role, Takei told Terry Gross that he remarked "I smell quality with this script" when he was shooting the pilot. She's a good interviewer. I'm assuming she's way younger than I. She missed the Desilu connection in regards to the notable racial diversity of the Star Trek TV and film cast.
There's some casting we rarely -- if ever -- see in movies or on television. How many times have you seen a production in which the actor's agent or manager was an Asian-American, African-American or Latino? Think of movies like Tootsie and Postcards from the Edge. Think of TV shows like Entourage and the Kirstie Alley sitcom, Fat Actress.
George Takei was closeted early in his career when he witnessed how rumors of being gay could cripple an actor's healthy career. He mentioned top 1950s Warner Brothers movie star, Tab Hunter. Hunter came out in his later years.
Today Takei is out of the closet, he's in his 60s, he has a husband and Takei seems to be more popular now that ever before in his career. He's the subject of a new documentary that opens in August. Its title is To Be Takei.
Takei also worked in a film with Hollywood legend John Wayne. Takei was anti-Vietnam War. Wayne for pro-Vietnam War. They discussed their political differences briefly on the set. This came up in today's Terry Gross interview.
I wonder if the Star Trek star ever talked about John Wayne's performance as Asian emperor Genghis Kahn in The Conqueror (1956).
As George Takei would say, "Oh myyyyy."