'Star Trek's' George Takei recalls day his family was taken at gunpoint
George Takei is well known for playing Sulu on the big and small screens in "Star Trek," for being a beloved semi-regular on "The Howard Stern Show" and for his endlessly entertaining tweets, but there's more to the actor and LGBT rights activist than that.
As Takei explained during a Thursday morning visit to TODAY — and as he highlights in a new documentary on his life — he was far less fortunate in his early years.
George Takei on 'Star Trek': 'We really are a family'Play Video
Downton Abbey Stars Speak Out About Show's Final Curtain
NTSB: Driver in Tracy Morgan Crash Hadn't Slept for 28 Hours
NFL MVP and Broadcaster Frank Gifford Dies at 84
NFL and Broadcast Legend Frank Gifford Dies at 84
In 1942, Takei and his family met the same fate as other Japanese Americans living on the West Coast of the United States. Thanks to an executive ordered signed by then-President Franklin Roosevelt after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the Takei family was interned for the duration of the war.
"I remember that scary morning," he said. "I'd just turned 5 years old. ... My parents got my younger brother and my baby sister and me up very early one morning and hurriedly dressed us. ... We saw two soldiers marching up our driveway; they had bayonets on their rifles. ... Literally at gunpoint, we were ordered out of our home."
Takei recalled the sight of his mother clutching his sister, both crying, and said it was "a memory I will never forget."
The actor's fans can learn more about that experience and other major moments in his life in "To Be Takei," which opens in select theaters Aug. 22.
Want to catch more from the star before then? Well, just watch his second visit to TODAY on Thursday, when he stopped by to surprise "Star Trek" superfan Mira Sorvino.
Mira Sorvino gets surprise visit from George TakeiPlay Video
It's time to Give It Away! See which viewers won
Tick tock! Better not be late if you're meeting Kathie Lee…
KLG to Hoda: 'I don't like to bite things!'
See KLG and Hoda's favorite Ambush Makeover reactions
Follow Ree Hines on Google+.