George Takei and seven others were inducted into the California Museum’s California Hall of Fame during a ceremony Wednesday evening in Sacramento.
Takei — a second-generation Californian best known for his activism and acting, including the roles of Lt. Hikaru Sulu in “Star Trek” and Sam Kimura in “Allegiance” — joins 96 other individuals, who the California Museum calls “legendary people who embody California’s innovative spirit and have made their mark on history.”
“Over the course of his career, Mr. Takei has inspired fans around the world to make a mark on history,” Brenna Hamilton, the California Museum’s director of communications, told NBC News in an email. “From his rise to stardom as Sulu on the 1960s ’Star Trek‘ series, where he broke barriers as one of TV's first Asian American actors, to his Broadway musical ‘Allegiance’ and his work with human rights organizations, Mr. Takei’s life and legacy embody the spirit of California’s rich diversity and celebrate equality for all.”
In addition to acting, Takei has advocated for LGBTQ issues, been involved in politics, and chairs the council of governors at East West Players. He also developed the musical “Allegiance,” which was based on his experience in a Japanese-American incarceration camp during World War II.
“To be inducted to join the inspiring trail blazers in the arts, industry, academia, sports and political affairs is an honor beyond words,” Takei said in a statement in October.
Takei’s Hikaru Sulu costume from 1986 film “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home” will also be displayed in the California Museum’s 10th annual California Hall of Fame Artifact Exhibit, which opened on Thursday and will run through Sept. 10, 2017.
Other inductees this year included Chilean author Isabel Allende, former First Lady of California Maria Shriver, National Baseball Hall of Fame member Tony Gwynn, Corita Kent — a nun known for her silkscreen art and died in 1986, actor Harrison Ford, former Secretary of Defense William J. Perry, and Tower Records founder Russ Solomon.
“These individuals exemplify the unique and boundless creativity of California,” California Gov. Jerry Brown said in a statement. “Their work has enriched the lives of others and remains an inspiration to all Californians.”
Takei is among a handful of Asian-American hall of famers, including actor and martial artist Bruce Lee, Olympic figure skating champion Kristi Yamaguchi, writer Amy Tan, and Dr. David D. Ho, founding scientific director and CEO of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center.
The California Hall of Fame was established in 2006 by then First Lady Maria Shriver and the California Museum. The state’s governor and first lady make the selections for inductees annually. The Hall of Fame recognizes people from diverse backgrounds and fields who have made distinguished achievements and contributions on a state, national, and global level that inspire others to continue pursuing their own dreams.