You know, I was honoured to be a dinner guest in Majel Barrett's Bel-Air mansion in December 1991, when it was decorated for Christmas. Gene had passed away just a few months earlier. I was driven there in Gene's yellow limousine (by their driver, Ernie Over), and Majel was a most gracious and friendly hostess, with a delightfully wacky sense of humour.
Also at dinner was Majel's mother - and Rod Roddenberry, then an unassuming but friendly teenaged, longhaired, Californian skater dude.
Coincidentally, it was the night of an important Superbowl final, and Majel asked if I minded her having the game on during dinner, since "her team" was playing. (Who was I to argue? But please don't ask me who won; it's a night that's kind of hard to remember, because I was floating in a bizarre haze of disbelief, and there was a traditional house rule that "Star Trek" not be mentioned.) I did get a tour of Gene's office from Ernie and, when I got home, I wrote a column on the highlight of that US trip for my Australian Trek club. My piece was called, "For the Wallet is Hollow and I have Touched the Car."
It truly felt like I was meeting Mrs Troi - ie. Majel Barrett-Roddenberry wasn't acting whenever she played that character. Majel WAS Lwaxana Troi!
I understand that Majel recently recorded the Enterprise computer voice for JJ Abram's new ST film, which opens in May 2009. A fitting and timely reprise.
Star Trek fans the world over will miss her. Vale Majel.