Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Movies Sci-Fi Television Entertainment

Majel Roddenberry Dies At 76 356

Posted by timothy
from the her-voice-prints-will-live-on dept.
unassimilatible writes "If there was ever a sad day for nerds, it's today, as Majel Barrett-Rodenberry has passed away. The widow of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry is best remembered as the gorgeous Nurse Christine Chapel from the original series, the pesky and officious Lwaxana Troi from The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, and of course the ubiquitous voice of Star Trek computers in movies, TV, and animated films (who hasn't used her voice as a system sound on their PC?). Majel also attended Star Trek conventions yearly and was a producer of Andromeda. Fortunately, Majel just finished her voice over work for the computers in J.J. Abrams' latest Trek movie. I have to admit, this made me sad, just having caught up on the entire TNG and DS9 series on DVD."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Majel Roddenberry Dies At 76

Comments Filter:
  • by iSzabo (1392353) <tyler...szabo@@@gmail...com> on Thursday December 18, 2008 @10:59PM (#26168689)
    Her voice was unique - ironically I don't think a digital voice would do the computer justice, and posers ain't cool. :(
    • Nobody can, and that's a very bad thing

      Because the only modern Star Trek set before voice-interactive computers is Enterprise - so we're destined to have 15 Enterprise movies now (to make up for the DS9 & Voyager movies that we haven't had yet, and now can't have). Crap.

      • by WCLPeter (202497) on Friday December 19, 2008 @12:00AM (#26169141) Homepage

        so we're destined to have 15 Enterprise movies now (to make up for the DS9 & Voyager movies that we haven't had yet, and now can't have). Crap.

        Whether it's "Crap" or not depends on if they ignore the first three seasons. If they do, movies based on Enterprise could be good.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        When they use a different voice actor or actress for the computer voice in the next Star Trek movie (after the one that's currently in production), at least one of the main characters should remark that they miss the old voice from before the main computer upgrade, as a salute.
    • by Matt Perry (793115) <perry,matt54&yahoo,com> on Thursday December 18, 2008 @11:58PM (#26169117)

      Who will replace her?

      Sound Forge [sonycreativesoftware.com] and a dialogue editor [wikipedia.org]. There is enough of her computer dialog from all the trek episodes and movies that an editor could splice together a variety of sentences without much effort.

      • by Tekoneiric (590239) on Friday December 19, 2008 @12:42AM (#26169363) Journal
        I'm suprised she didn't market her voice to the electronics industry for products like GPS devices.
        • by Baricom (763970) on Friday December 19, 2008 @01:10AM (#26169479)

          I wouldn't be surprised if she was under a non-compete preventing exactly that.

          • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Given she sorta owned the whole Star Trek franchise, that'd be amusing...

        • by FuturePastNow (836765) on Friday December 19, 2008 @01:16AM (#26169517)

          I would love to have a Star Trek -licensed GPS unit. LCARS for your car...

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            I would love to give Majel Roddenberry in my car. The woman was wonderfully hot, even when I saw her as a child, in a mature and seasoned sort of way. Watching her appearances in every Star Trek, and in Babylon Five, was a treat.

            She was wasted on Spock.....

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by spungebob (239871)

              I would love to give Majel Roddenberry in my car.

              I can go you one better - I once held her in my arms...

              I was working as a PA for a movie called Mommy [imdb.com]. Majel played the role of Mrs. Withers, a schoolteacher who gets killed by the movie's lead villainess.

              In her final scene, Mrs. Withers is hanging up decorations after hours in her classroom when she is confronted by the murderous lead character. After a brief argument with her would-be killer, Majel's character climbs back up a stepladder to resume h

    • by dontmakemethink (1186169) on Friday December 19, 2008 @05:04AM (#26170539)

      Actually Louise Fletcher's voice (Kai Winn from DS9) is close enough that I actually thought she did the computer voice in Voyager. Unfortunately she's up there at 74 years old, but she's still active. She was nurse Ratched in One Flew Over The Cookoo's nest (1975).

      Just don't let George Lucas have any say on who does the voice, or we'll get some squeaky Jar Jar Binks nonesense to sell Star Trek touchscreen computer monitors to kids with matching appearance themes for Vista...

  • Number One! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Bieeanda (961632) on Thursday December 18, 2008 @10:59PM (#26168691)
    Let's not forget that she was cast as the first officer in the original Star Trek pilot episode too.
    • Re:Number One! (Score:5, Informative)

      by JackieBrown (987087) <dbroome@gmail.com> on Thursday December 18, 2008 @11:01PM (#26168707)

      And in Babylon 5!

      • Re:Number One! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Zibblsnrt (125875) on Thursday December 18, 2008 @11:50PM (#26169061)

        I loved the kind of stealth eulogy for Gene she gave in her appearance there.

        • by Erioll (229536)

          Explain please. Do you mean her statements about greatness?

        • by Shivetya (243324) on Friday December 19, 2008 @06:52AM (#26170987) Homepage Journal

          http://www.ntua.gr/lurk/countries/co/guide/053.html [www.ntua.gr]

          About halfway down the page is some discussion of the quote and Majel's appearance on B5.


          # Was Morella's speech about greatness intended as a tribute to Gene Roddenberry?
          There's probably a fair amount there that could apply to Gene, yes...

          # If a word comes out of a character's mouth, it's usually mine. The bit about greatness was one of them; had a number of different subtexts going on behind it.

          If anything I would say that while there might have been some rivalry among the crews the people who create are more likely to be friendly than anything else. It is a small world when it comes to finding truly creative people.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Leafheart (1120885)

            You know, that was written in 1996, and yet JMS was almost a visionary for the things that were to come. And had a such deep understand of politics that is incredible. I quote from that page and emphasis are mine.

            As for the USA-western perspective...during WW II we saw Japanese civilians interned in camps along the West Coast...afterward we saw people prosecuted for being Reds, saw careers and lives destroyed by even the hint of "commie" influence. If you look at newsreels and documentary footage from the time, you see a populace, fresh out of a war, who survived by focusing on the Enemy, given a new enemy. Might they have gone along with some kind fo martial law if they thought that if they *didn't* cooperate, the nation might be vulnerable to Russian nukes or invasion? I think the climate was perfect for it.

            Could it happen right here, right now? No, because the surrounding climate isn't right. Could it happen if the conditions *were* right? Of course it could. We're not genetically or evolutionarily different from the Germans or the Russians or the Cubans or the Iraquis. If we think we'd never fall for that, we place ourselves in *exactly* the position of guaranteeing that we *will* fall for it. Because we won't recognize it when it happens. We can justify and rationalize it as something else.

            Here's the number one rule: a population will always stay passive for as long as they perceive that they stand to lose more by opposing the government than by staying quiet. It's when they have little or nothing left to lose that they rise up; the politicos first, then, more reluctantly, the general population.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 18, 2008 @11:15PM (#26168791)

      Little known fact... Had the original Star Trek pilot cast gone to series and into a second season, she like Jonathan Frakes would've grown a beard.

    • But I was trying to be concise in my submission, and I did say, "best known as." Besides, I knew all you nerds would fill in the blanks.

      We'll miss you, Majel. - Submitter.
    • by Haoie (1277294)

      I've got to say, that's a role she's not really remembered for [but that again, that episode was really off the wall continuity wise].

      In any case, she'll be missed.

    • Number One! Go take a number two!
  • A fitting epitaph (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dr_dank (472072) on Thursday December 18, 2008 @11:02PM (#26168709) Homepage Journal

    Computer...

    End program.

  • details (Score:5, Funny)

    by flynt (248848) on Thursday December 18, 2008 @11:03PM (#26168715)

    Were there any further details? Truly a Klingon icon.

  • Roddenberry (Score:3, Funny)

    by stokessd (89903) on Thursday December 18, 2008 @11:16PM (#26168799) Homepage

    Isn't that one of the syrup flavors at IHOP?

    Sheldon

  • Turn in your card.
  • by Azgaard (950415) on Thursday December 18, 2008 @11:18PM (#26168811)

    in which one exists only in the memory of others." - Natasha Yar

    Thankfully we have DVDs.

    God speed Majel. Say hi to Gene for us.

    • by msobkow (48369)

      A fitting quote at a sad time. The Star Trek and other universes will never be the same without her.

      However, I doubt we've seen the end of Star Trek the movies. Hopefully they've plenty of audio footage of her doing the computer so we don't have to suffer a poor imitation.

  • Majel,
    Thank you for all of your contributions to Star Trek and Sci Fi in general. No computer ever sounded better. You will be missed.

    -k

  • Little known fact (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 18, 2008 @11:35PM (#26168927)

    The couple married in Japan in 1969 after "Star Trek" was canceled.

    The wedding party was naked.

  • "She's dead, Jim"
  • Iconic... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sirroc (1157745) on Thursday December 18, 2008 @11:37PM (#26168947)

    My wife and I were just discussing her the other evening; while watching WALL-E. Feeling sad that pixar didn't cast her as the voice of the ship's computer. Instead we got a vague homage to Alien in Sigourney Weaver.

    What I am now coming to realize by digesting this sad news; is that playing the voice of such a seemingly mundane role -of a starship's computer, Has become an icon of the Sci-Fi genre. While certainly not the first to play such a role. She certainly changed the entire paradigm of how the role was portrayed.

    Her efforts to continue her husbands work and support of the genre will be sorely missed.

    • by cavefrog (1015175) on Friday December 19, 2008 @12:05AM (#26169167) Homepage
      "My wife and I were just discussing her the other evening; while watching WALL-E. Feeling sad that pixar didn't cast her as the voice of the ship's computer. Instead we got a vague homage to Alien in Sigourney Weaver."

      Hmm. And Sigourney Weaver played the part of Gwen DeMarco in Galaxy Quest [imdb.com] - a person who's job it was to repeat what the computer was saying.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by nEoN nOoDlE (27594)

        Hmm. And Sigourney Weaver played the part of Gwen DeMarco in Galaxy Quest - a person who's job it was to repeat what the computer was saying.

        ...and Galaxy Quest also costars Sam Rockwell who stars alongside none other than Kevin Bacon. I win!! Oh wait... We were playing 6 Degrees To Kevin Bacon right?

  • Vale, Majel. You were sexy, you were smart. And you kept the good man inspired. We owe you, take it out of the karma bank.
  • by Bananatree3 (872975) on Thursday December 18, 2008 @11:43PM (#26169015)

    "Every one of us has a thousand different kinds of... of little people inside of us. And some of them want to get out and be wild, and some want to be sad or happy or inventive or... or even just go dancing. That's why we all have so many different urges at different times. And all those different little people inside of us... we must never be afraid to take them with us, wherever we go."

    "Life's true gift is the capacity to enjoy enjoyment."

    Thank you for your humor, your kindness and quirky insights into life.

  • I've never seen anyone more dedicated to keeping her husbands dream, and those of us who shared in it, alive.

    Second star to the right and straight on till morning!

  • Godspeed Majel.
  • Though.. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Seraphim_72 (622457) on Friday December 19, 2008 @12:35AM (#26169319)
    Though HAL was the voice of AI, I had always hoped that we would be able to get to the point where we could perfectly replicate her voice. It would have been fitting that in the 24th century that her voice really would have been the voice of the computer. God Speed and God Bless Majel, we are all richer for your life here.

    Seraphim
  • by patryn20 (812091) on Friday December 19, 2008 @12:47AM (#26169397)
    ...make you realize just what you take for granted. That voice was the same from day one. Yet it never dawned on me there was a person (and, it turns out, a relatively prominent one) behind that sound. Another talent gone. Another memory created. Another ubiquitous item in our lives that will have to be replaced. The voice will never be the same. Godspeed, Majel.
  • She's dead, Jim.

    (Yes, you are supposed to laugh, making sad people sadder at a funeral is wrong, you should be making them smile.)

  • ... silence

  • Pics (Score:4, Informative)

    by Thaelon (250687) on Friday December 19, 2008 @01:45AM (#26169673)

    Wiki links (with pics):
    Christine Chapel [wikipedia.org] from the original series, and Lwaxana Troi [wikipedia.org] from The Next Generation.

  • Can anyone think of another actress who's done this much for science fiction?

    We're not talking a role here - we're talking Lifetime Achievement.

    Majel Barrett isn't just an icon - she's AWESOME. I personally can't think of another acting talent whose passing has diminished the genre to such a degree.

    No matter how you choose to spin it, this woman has done a LOT for science fiction, and her passing deserves to be marked.

    * Dan sheds a tear for the Voice Of Star Trek, Now Silenced.

Vax Vobiscum

Working...