Page last updated at 09:01 GMT, Friday, 19 December 2008

Trek creator's widow dies aged 76

Majel Barrett Roddenberry
Barrett Roddenberry provided the voice for the USS Enterprise computer

Actress Majel Barrett Roddenberry, the widow of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, has died aged 76.

She died of leukaemia on Thursday at her home in Los Angeles, her family said in a statement.

The actress, who featured in nearly every Star Trek TV show and film, nurtured the legacy of the sci-fi series after her husband died in 1991.

She recently finished her role as the voice of the USS Enterprise computer in the new Star Trek film, due out in May.

Barrett Roddenberry was involved in the Star Trek universe for more than four decades.

She played the dark-haired Number One in the TV show's original pilot, The Cage, but was recast as the blonde, mini-skirted Nurse Christine Chapel for the series, which launched in 1966.

During this time, she was romantically involved with creator Gene Roddenberry, and the couple married in Japan after the show was cancelled in 1969.

'Vital role'

She went on to play smaller roles in all five Star Trek TV spin-offs and many of the Star Trek movie incarnations. She is perhaps best known, however, as the voice of the ship's computer.

Barrett Roddenberry helped keep the franchise alive by inspiring fans and attending a major Star Trek convention each year.

"My mother truly acknowledged and appreciated the fact that Star Trek fans played a vital role in keeping the Roddenberry dream alive for the past 42 years," her son Eugene Roddenberry Jr said in a statement on the official Roddenberry Web site.

"It was her love for the fans, and their love in return, that kept her going for so long after my father passed away."

The website added that in lieu of flowers, the family have asked for donations be made to two animal rescue charities.

The actress is survived by her only son, Eugene.

A public memorial is expected to be scheduled for sometime after Christmas.

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