In a more enlightened age, Majel Barrett Roddenberry might have rated a Federation command. As it was, she helped rule the Star Trek universe.
Roddenberry, the actress whose best-known role was the wife and, later, widow of Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, died today at her Bel-Air, Calif., home, Roddenberry.com said. The reported cause of death was leukemia.
Billed through much of her acting career as Majel Barrett, the dark-haired Roddenberry played Dr. McCoy's blonde, beehived assistant, Nurse Chapel, on the original 1966-69 Trek series. She also supplied the voice of the USS Enterprise's computer—a service she continued to provide through the franchise's various offshoots, including J.J. Abrams' upcoming big-screen reboot, Star Trek.
As prominent as those roles were, Roddenberry very nearly played a much larger one.