Best known for creating the American science fiction series Star Trek, the American television screenwriter, producer and futurist”Gene” Roddenberry was born August 19th, 1921 in El Paso, Texas.
He grew up in Los Angeles, California where his father worked as a police officer. During World War II, His father flew 89 combat missions in the United States Army Air Forces and once he was demobbed he worked as a commercial pilot after the war. Frakes later followed in his father’s footsteps, joining the Los Angeles Police Department to provide for his family, but began focusing on writing scripts for television.
As a freelance writer, Roddenberry wrote scripts for Highway Patrol, Have Gun–Will Travel, and other series, before creating and producing his own television program, The Lieutenant. In 1964, Roddenberry created Star Trek, which premiered in 1966 and ran for three seasons before being canceled. Syndication of Star Trek led to increasing popularity, and Roddenberry continued to create, produce, and consult on Star Trek films and the television series, Star Trek: The Next Generation until his death. Roddenberry received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and he was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ Hall of Fame. Years after his death, Roddenberry was one of the first humans to have his ashes “buried” in outer space.
The fictional Star Trek universe Roddenberry created has spanned over four decades, producing six television series, 725 episodes and eleven films, with a twelfth film currently in post-production and scheduled for a May 2013 release. Additionally, the popularity of the Star Trek universe and films inspired the gentle parody/homage film Galaxy Quest (1999), as well as many books, video games and fan films set in the various “eras” of the Star Trek universe. Gene sadly passed away on October 24th, 1991 but the Star Trek universe he created has left a long lasting legacy, and continues to be very popular
While we are on the sublect of Star Trek,American actor, author and director Jonathan Frakes was also born August 19th, a few years later in 1952. Best known for his portrayal of Commander William T. Riker in the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation and subsequent films. Frakes also narrated the television series Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction, challenging viewers to discern his alternating stories of fact-based phenomena, or fabricated tales. In June 2011, Frakes narrated the History Channel documentary, Lee and Grant. Moving on to directing in recent years, Frakes directed and also starred in Star Trek: First Contact as well as Star Trek: Insurrection. He is also the author of a book called The Abductors: Conspiracy.