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Gene Roddenberry

Eugene Wesley Roddenberry (August 19, 1921 - October 24, 1991) is best known as the creator of the science fiction television series Star Trek.

He was married twice. He had two children by his first wife, Eileen Rexroat (to whom he was married 26 years) -- Dawn, and the late Darleen. His second marriage was to Majel Barrett, who played Nurse Christine Chapel in the original series, and is well known for her portrayal of Lwaxana Troi and the voice of the computer in the later three series.

He died on Thursday, October 24, 1991, at the age of 70. A lipstick-sized capsule of his ashes was sent into space to orbit the earth for six years (after which they burned up in the earth's atmosphere).

Star Trek

Star Trek ran for three seasons. Although it was canceled prematurely due to low ratings, the series gained wide popularity in syndication. This led to a fearure film, and a spinoff television series in the 1980s, "Star Trek: The Next Generation". Roddenberry was deeply involved with creating and producing this new show, althoug his involvement lessened in seasons 2 and 3 due to deteriorating health. Over time, more Star Trek tv series were created.

Roddenberry only produced the first Star Trek film. As a result of cost overruns, and a problematic relation with the Paramount management, Roddenberry was ousted, and replaced by Harve Bennett. He continued in an advisory capacity on all the subsequent films.

According to some, his contributions to "Star Trek" are very controversial. Some of the writers on the show report that ideas they developed were later passed off by Roddenberry as his own ideas. These issues are discussed in the book Gene Roddenberry: The Myth and the Man Behind Star Trek by Joel Engel, a man who never actually met Gene Roddenberry. A more accurate portrayal of Roddenberry was written by his close associate for 17 years, Susan Sackett, in the book, "Inside Trek: My Secret Life with Star Trek Creator Gene Roddenberry."

Later works

He also did previous work in westerns and tried to get other science fiction series off the ground, mostly without success. Since his death, two of his projects, Earth: Final Conflict and Andromeda, have become reality under the guidance of his widow.

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