George Takei and his husband are part-time Arizonans

Depending on your age or interests you probably know George Takei for one or more of these reasons.

As a Star Trek original cast member and comicon legend, Howard Stern Show regular, Gay icon, and social media guru.

No matter how you know him, two things are clear, George Takei has a fan following that spans all ages, and it's not hard to love the guy.

FOX 10 caught up with George and his husband Brad here in Arizona where they live part time.

The smile is the first thing you notice, the booming voice is the next, but it's the laugh that stays with you.

"It is so wonderful to be here, where you have the warmth of the sun, and you don't have to tighten up like this, you can just let loose and relax," said George Takei.

George and Brad Takei met with FOX 10 at the Phoenician resort, the couple has been together for 27 years and are part time Arizonans.


"Because Arizona is the state I was born in, George and I decided to get our wedding bands at the Heard Museum, it always reminds us of our Arizona connection no matter where we are on earth," said Brad Takei.

"Brad had his mother up there in Show Low, and we are constantly visiting her... we started looking and we found one cabin that was convenient, but then my relatives wanted to come visit, and so we decided to get a bigger four bedroom cabin as we call it," said George.

Arizona is even featured in To Be Takei, the very entertaining documentary about George's life.

The trip to Arizona is even more special. 

"We are especially happy to be in Arizona because since October it has been a marriage equality state," said Brad.

"Arizona's been my birth state, I'm 60 years old, and I think this is one of my happiest moments of my whole association with Arizona, knowing that equality has come to Arizona... our marriage is recognized by the federal government, we pay our federal taxes, we pay our state taxes," he said.

The couple is active in fighting for LGBTQ rights, and have changed a lot of minds along the way through some very unlikely avenues.

Takei often appears  on the Howard Stern radio show. FOX 10 asked him if he had any regrets about going on the show. "I knew nothing about Howard; no one warned me. It was 1990, and I didn't know who Howard was, but you're doing a play in New York City, and when you're doing a play the publicist gives you your assignment for the week. So I went there at the appointed time, I was in the waiting room flipping thru magazines, and they had the radio on. It was the most disgusting discussion going on, and I said to the other guest why can't they get some nice music on, this discussion is really repulsive, and he said that's the show we're waiting to go on. My jaw dropped," said George.

"I walked in and here is this skinny guy with a mane of curly hair, I said good morning. He said you've got a deep voice, and anyone with a deep voice that deep has to have a big ****, I said are we on the air, he said yup. I said "Oh My," and he had that on tape and he's been playing it ever since," he said. 

That was the beginning of a George Takei catchphrase and a long relationship between George and a predominantly straight audience. "There was that bond of common ground established there... so many people sent me e-mails after that from places unexpected, like Oklahoma City, Raleigh North Carolina, the deep south, saying I'm straight, married with children, but if there's something that comes up in my community to harm you, we will vote against it," said George.

"We were really touched by that," said Brad.

The Takei's have a busy year ahead. "2015 is the year of Allegiance, we're going to be on Broadway with a musical which has content as opposed to so many Broadway musicals and a still little-known chapter of American history," said George.

It's a musical about the Japanese-Americans who were forced into American internment camps during World War Two. George was one of the tens of thousands imprisoned.

"I can never forget that morning, my parents got up very early, and they dressed us, and they were packing in the back bedroom. My brother and I were told to be in the living room, and we saw two soldiers with bayonets on the rifles, we saw it flashing in the sun. I remember it vividly, they stomped up the front porch and banged on the door. My father answered it, and literally at gunpoint we were ordered out. My father gave us small luggage to carry, and we waited for our mother and when she came out she had our baby sister, not even a year old on one arm, a duffle bag in the other, and tears were streaming down both of her cheeks," he said.

He is now doing what he can to educate others on the often-forgotten chapter of American history.

"I did grow up behind American barbed wire fences simply because we happened to look like the people who bombed Pearl Harbor, and I remember after the war was over, how hard my parents worked to get back on their feet," said George.

At 77, Takei looks back at it with no bitterness, only amazement at all he has experienced. "It has been a fantastic life," he said.

With his attitude, outlook, and some laughter, he knows there are many more exciting things ahead, and maybe even more time here in Arizona. The state they both love so much.

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