When he was five in 1942, Los Angeles-born George Takei and his family were sent to an Arkansas internment camp for Japanese Americans. Relocated to a camp in Tule Lake, California, they were not allowed to return to Los Angeles until after the war. Takei attended Berkeley and graduated from UCLA, where he stayed on to get his masters in theater. He speaks English, Japanese, and Spanish fluently. In addition to his career-defining role as Sulu on Star Trek, he ran for mayor of Los Angeles in 1973. Of seventeen candidates, he came in second, behind Tom Bradley. Since 2006 he has been the official announcer on Howard Stern’s satellite radio show. He met Brad Altman, his partner of twenty-two years, at Frontrunners. They were married in California in September 2008 at the Japanese American National Museum, which Takei co-founded. He is 75 today and currently on Donald Trump's Celebrity Apprentice.
Novelist Katherine V. Forrest, 73, writes the Kate Delafield detective books, often cited as the first lesbian mystery series. Her debut novel, Curious Wine, has become an lgbt classic, selling more than 300,000 copies. She has won three Lambda awards, including their Pioneer Award. Forrest also writes science fiction novels, most notably the Daughters of a Coral Dawn trilogy. She and her longtime partner Jo Hercus now live in Palm Springs.
Preeminent among R&B and soul singers, Luther Vandross won eight Grammys and sold more than 25 million albums worldwide. Initially Vandross preferred to stay in the background, writing songs, producing, and singing backing vocals for Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler, Carly Simon, Chaka Khan, Chic, Diana Ross, Donna Summer, and for Roberta Flack, who finally insisted he sing for himself. After two unsuccessful albums with his group Luther, he released his first solo album, Never Too Much, which went double platinum. From then on he has been a major presence on R&B charts and radio. Among his greatest hits are “The Glow of Love,” which spent sixteen weeks at number one, “Power of Love/Love Power,” “Here and Now,” “Best Things in Life Are Free,” with Janet Jackson, and “Dance with My Father” which won four Grammys including Song of the Year. A diabetic suffering from hypertension, Vandross struggled with his weight which sometimes exceeded 300 pounds. In April 2003 he had a stroke and never regained his health, dying in July 2005. Although he avoided questions about his personal life, his homosexuality was a wide open secret.