Actor and activist George Takei, best known for his role as Mr. Sulu in the Star Trek television series and franchise celebrates a birthday today. The actor and gay activist is 78.

Take was born in Los Angeles, California in 1937, but moved to Arkansas and Northern California when his family was uprooted and forced to live in Japanese internment camps during World War II. His acting career began in the 1950 as a voiceover artist in the english language version of the Japanese monster movie "Rodan." His big career break came in 1966 when he was cast in the role of ship navigator Mr. Sulu on the television series "Star Trek" - a role that he reprised over the course of several decades in the show's popular film franchise.

The 1990's saw Takei turn his eye to social activism. He served on the board of the Japan-United States Friendship Commission for President Bill Clinton and received the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette by the Emperor of Japan in 2004.

In 2005, Takei publicly came out, and has since become a leading voice in the fight for LGBT equality. His funny and insightful Facebook posts have turned him into a social media maven with over 8 million followers.

In the fall of 2015, Takei will make his Broadway debut in "Allegiance," a musical based upon his family's struggles during the years they spent in internment camps during World War ii.

From our media partner EDGE