In 1966 actor George Takei became the first Asian American to play a major, nonstereotyped character on an American television series when Gene Roddenberry cast him as astrophysicist-turned-helmsman Hikaru Sulu on Star Trek. Takei rode to fame along with the crew of the Starship Enterprise in the short-lived but immensely popular television series, appearing in fifty-one of seventy-nine episodes that aired during Star Trek’s three seasons on NBC (1966–69). He later reprised the Sulu role in six Star Trek feature films released between 1979 and 1991.Takei spent his early childhood in Japanese American internment camps in Arkansas and California, where his family was imprisoned during World War II. That experience inspired Allegiance, the musical that Takei brought to Broadway in 2015. Long active in politics and civic affairs, he “came out” in 2005 and remains a vocal advocate for LGBTQ and social justice issues.