As one of the fortunate little people who was hired to portray an Ewok in George Lucas’ Return of the Jedi, Warwick began his remarkable career at the young age of 11. It was truly a lucky break for Warwick, having responded to a radio advertisement soliciting undersized actors to audition for the film. Warwick was chosen partly due to his diminutive stature, and he quickly caught the attention of director Richard Marquand with his childish innocence and abundant fascination. The intense interest he displayed towards everything on the set was especially focused on the R2-D2 robot. Warwick was amazed with the workings of the droid and was always found investigating and examining it closely. Marquand transformed Warwick’s childhood curiosity into one of Jedi’s most memorable scenes: the little Ewok Wicket, on tiptoe, cautiously peering into the eye of R2D2 amid the trees of the Endor forest.
Warwick’s role as Wicket was reprised with two more Ewok movies, The Caravan of Courage an Ewok Adventure and The Battle for Endor. Warwick continued his rapport with Lucasfilm when he was invited by producer George Lucas and director Ron Howard to take the title role in the fantasy theme film Willow. As the character Willow, Warwick proved that even the tiniest of people could be the biggest of heroes when he fulfills his destiny protecting the baby princess and delivering her to safety.
Warwick’s acting career took a very different turn, however, when he donned the horrifying make-up and green suit, replete with striped tights and buckled shoes, that comprise his frightening costume in the movie, Leprechaun. The horror film became so popular with younger audiences and teens that it spawned five, all having Warwick in the starring role.
His relationship with Lucasfilm was sparked again as he returned to the set of the box office smash film, Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace. Warwick managed four roles in Lucas’ long-awaited prequel, including Wald, the alien friend of Anakin Skywalker’s, and Weasel, the unsavory scoundrel friend of Anakin’s master Watto that cheers for the villainous Sebulba during the heart pounding podracing sequence.
Warwick has thrilled fans of science fiction and fantasy films for the past 20 years, and his career continued with his role in Warner Bros. motion pictures Harry Potter. He co-starred as Professor Flitwick, the warlock of levitation, in the film adaptation of the best-selling series of novels by author J.K. Rowling. And for all you Leprechaun fans check out Back to tha Hood (a.k.a Leprechaun 6). You can also see Warwick in a very serious role in the Academy Award winning film Ray.
George Takei is known around the world for his role in the acclaimed original TV series Star Trek, in which he played Hikaru Sulu, helmsman of the starship Enterprise. But Takei’s story, which includes an acting career that spans six decades, goes where few have gone before. From a childhood spent with his family wrongfully imprisoned in Japanese American incarceration camps during World War II to becoming one of the country’s leading figures in the fight for social justice, LGBTQ+ rights and marriage equality, Takei remains a powerful voice on issues ranging from politics to pop culture.
Takei’s acting credits include co-starring in six Star Trek movies and appearances on such TV series as Fresh Off the Boat, Supah Ninjas, Hawaii Five-0, The New Normal, The Big Bang Theory, Heroes, Psych, Will & Grace, Miami Vice, MacGyver, The Six Million Dollar Man, Mission: Impossible and The Twilight Zone, among numerous others.
In 2015, Takei made his Broadway debut in the musical Allegiance, which was inspired by his family’s true-life experiences during World War II. Takei made his London stage debut in “George Takei’s Allegiance” at the Charing Cross Theatre in 2023. In 2017, he starred in a revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Pacific Overtures directed by John Doyle at Classic Stage Company in New York City.
Takei hosts the AARP-produced YouTube series Takei’s Take, exploring the world of technology, trends, current events, and pop culture, and is the subject of the documentary To Be Takei. On his own YouTube channel, Takei and his husband Brad Takei bring viewers into their personal lives in the “heightened reality” web series It Takeis Two. He was a series regular in the second season of Ridley Scott’s anthology drama The Terror: Infamy, which premiered on AMC in August 2019.
His rich baritone has provided narration for the Ken Burns / PBS series The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, the Peabody Award-winning radio documentary Crossing East, and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, for which Takei shared with Leonard Nimoy a Grammy Award nomination for Best Spoken Word Album. He has also done voiceover work for hundreds of video games, commercials, films and TV series such as Marvel’s Hit-Monkey, Sega’s Yakuza: Like a Dragon, Fox’s The Simpsons and Futurama; Disney’s Kim Possible, Mulan and Mulan 2; Nickelodeon’s Avatar: The Last Airbender, Disney+ Star Wars: Visions, and Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
Takei is the author of five books, including his autobiography, To the Stars. Takei’s Eisner Award winning and New York Times bestselling graphic memoir They Called Us Enemy was released in July 2019. Takei’s children’s picture book, My Lost Freedom: A Japanese American World War II Story, illustrated by Michelle Lee, will go on-sale on April 16, 2024.
Takei has served as the spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign’s Coming Out Project and was Cultural Affairs Chairman of the Japanese American Citizens League. He is also Chair Emeritus and a trustee of the Japanese American National Museum. He was appointed to the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission by former President Clinton and the government of Japan awarded Takei the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette, for his contribution to U.S.-Japanese relations. Takei received both bachelor and master of arts degrees from UCLA (’60, ’64). In June 2019, Takei received the Distinguished Alumni Award in Theater from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television (UCLA TFT). In June 2016, California State University, Los Angeles, presented Takei with an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters. In September 2022, Takei received an honorary doctorate from the University of South Australia in recognition of his distinguished service to the community. In June 2023, the Graduate Center of The City University of New York conferred upon Takei the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.
In 2016, Los Angeles-born Takei was inducted into the California Museum’s California Hall of Fame. The California Museum says George and 96 other individuals inducted into the California Hall of Fame are “legendary people who embody California’s innovative spirit and have made their mark on history.”
With over 100 film and television credits on his resume, Ernie Hudson has always been a unique screen presence, capable of inhabiting any role. Hudson is strongly identified with his starring role as Warden Leo Glynn on the critically acclaimed HBO series Oz. For his portrayal of the fair-minded warden, Hudson won the International Press Academy Golden Satellite Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Drama Series. Hudson just wrapped the highly prestigious original TNT film The Ron Clark Story starring opposite Matthew Perry. During this same year, Hudson starred in a wide variety of films including the award-winning HBO film Lackawanna Blues, Miss Hotchiss’ Charm School, and Miss Congeniality 2 reprising his role as FBI Asst. Director Harry McDonald. Hudson also starred in the ABC series 10-8 as Senior Deputy John Henry Barnes. Hudson is especially proud of his portrayal of simple-minded handyman Solomon in the box-office smash The Hand that Rocks the Cradle. On the opposite side of the spectrum, Hudson remains a beloved icon as Winston Zeddemore, one of the original Ghostbusters. Born in Benton Harbor, Michigan, a career as a performer seemed like an unlikely path for young Ernie Hudson, who was already married with a young son when he enrolled at Wayne State University as a Speech and English major. Hudson’s early ambition was to be a writer, and for a time served as the resident playwright at Detroit’s Concept East, the oldest black theater company in the country. Later, he founded Actors Ensemble Theater, where he and other black performers staged and appeared in their own original works. After attending Wayne State, Hudson accepted a full writing/acting scholarship to the prestigious Master of Fine Arts Program at Yale University. This led to a number of regional theater roles and critical acclaim, and his feature film debut in Leadbelly.
Hudson earned roles in feature films like The Main Event with Barbra Streisand, The Jazz Singer with Neil Diamond, and television projects like Abby Mann’s acclaimed mini-series King and the highly-rated Roots II. In 1983, Hudson was anointed as original Ghostbuster, Winston Zeddemore and his star was born. Hudson subsequently starred in films such as Weeds with Nick Nolte, Leviathan, Sugar Hill, The Cowboy Way, Speechless, The Basketball Diaries opposite Leonardo DiCaprio, Congo, and The Crow opposite the late Brandon Lee.
When he’s not working, Hudson likes to spend time relaxing at home with his wife and family and remains committed to developing all facets of his creativity, including his writing.
Mary McDonnell is a two-time Oscar-nominated actress known for bringing powerful and complex female characters to the film and television landscape.
McDonnell most recently starred as Madeline Usher in the hit Netflix Miniseries The Fall of the House of Usher, written and directed by Mike Flanagan. She has been nominated for a Critics Choice Award for her portrayal of the powerful matriarch of the Usher family.
McDonnell recently starred as “Commander Sharon Raydor” on TNT’s hit series, Major Crimes, where she earned an Emmy Nomination for her portrayal of a woman at the pinnacle of her career navigating leadership in the traditionally male-dominated field of law enforcement. The series was honored by multiple community organizations including the LAPD, LAPD Reserve Foundation, GLSEN, Imagen Foundation and Covenant House.
McDonnell starred in Syfy’s AFI and Peabody award-winning Battlestar Galactica in her critically-praised performance as ‘President Laura Roslin’ (2008 Saturn Award – Best Actress on Television). An allegory of 9/11 and the War in Iraq, the series was widely acclaimed for its examination of the issues of war and human rights, and in 2009 McDonnell appeared on a panel at the United Nations to discuss the parallels between the show and real-world issues of terrorism, race relations and gender equality. McDonnell’s Broadway credits include Tennessee Williams’ Summer and Smoke, the title role in Wendy Wasserstein’s Pulitzer Prize-winning The Heidi Chronicles and Emily Mann’s Execution of Justice.
Extensive film credits include Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for her portrayals of “Stands with Fist” in the Academy Award-winning film Dances with Wolves and as a paraplegic soap opera star in John Sayles’ Passion Fish. Other films include Lawrence Kasdan’s Grand Canyon and Mumford , Sneakers opposite Robert Redford and Sidney Poitier and Independence Day.
In 2015 McDonnell received the Gina Award from Women in Film, and the Leadership Excellence Advocacy (LEA) Award in 2017 from Women in Cable Telecommunications. In 2018 McDonnell was honored with the Pell Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts, presented by Trinity Repertory Company. Currently McDonnell is producing projects for TV and film.
Felicia DayGuest Host
Felicia Day has acted in numerous television shows and films. She starred in Eureka, Supernatural, and The Magicians. She is currently appearing in her third season in the cult classic Mystery Science Theatre: 3000. Felicia also does extensive Voiceover work in animation and video games. Her IMDB, with over 100 credits, can be found here.
However, Felicia is best known for her work in the web video world, behind and in front of the camera. She co-starred with Neil Patrick Harris in the Emmy award winning musical Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. She also created and starred in the seminal web series The Guild (PGA nominated for “Best Web Series”) which ran for six seasons. The Guild won numerous awards for digital video excellence. Recently, costume and props from the show were admitted to the Smithsonian American History collection. She also founded a digital brand and production company called “Geek and Sundry” which subsequently sold to Legendary Entertainment.
Felicia currently works as an actor, writer, streamer and host. She hosts the official companion podcast for Amazon’s Rings of Power show, and conducts interviews with the casts of Netflix series such as Stranger Things and The Witcher for the Unlocked series.
Felicia has written two New York Times bestselling books, “You’re Never Weird On the Internet,” and “Embrace Your Weird.” She also recently wrote the hit Audible Original “Third Eye”. She has over 6 million followers across social platforms.
Edward Michael Trucco is an American actor known for his role as Samuel T. Anders on the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica and as Justin Patrick on the USA Network television series Fairly Legal.
Born and raised the son of a police officer in San Mateo, California, Michael graduated with a BA in Theatre Arts and worked in the San Francisco Bay Area for a couple of years until the desire to reach for bigger parts drove him to Los Angeles. He appeared in six plays over the next 2 years, but it was his appearance in “A Few Good Men” that got Michael noticed by a talent manager and thus began his upward climb in film and television.
Trucco became active in television in the late 1990s with appearances in episodes of Touched by an Angel, Silk Stalkings, Beverly Hills, 90210, Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman, and Pensacola: Wings of Gold with James Brolin among others. He continued appearing in shows of similar genres like CSI, Heartbeart, Strong Medicine, CSI: Miami, and others into the 2000s. He played Cooper Lee in six episodes of One Tree Hill from 2005 to 2006.
In 2002, Trucco starred in Wishmaster 4: The Prophecy Fulfilled. In 2005, he joined the drama Battlestar Galactica in the role of Samuel T. Anders, and in 2007 played Jessica Biel’s boyfriend on the Sony/Revolution feature Next starring Nicolas Cage. In 2008, he guest-starred on NBC’s Law & Order: Special Victims and The Big Bang Theory. In 2010, he guest-starred on ABC’s series Castle, as Detective Tom Demming, and in the same year Trucco was cast as a series regular in the USA Network series Fairly Legal. Trucco went on to guest star in a season 6 episode of How I Met Your Mother in 2011, and got a recurring role in the show’s eighth season.
Most recently Trucco has recurred on ABC’s hit series The Rookie, The Paramount Plus series Fire Country, and had a series regular role on BET’s Average Joe. A frequent collaborator with Mike Flanagan, Trucco has appeared in three of his horror series, including Midnight Mass, The Midnight Club, and the world-wide Netflix hit The Fall of the House of Usher as Rufus Griswold.
Robb PearlmanAuthor / Industry Insider
Robb Pearlman is a pop culturalist, Trekspert, publishing professional, and a #1 New York Times bestselling author, host, interviewer, editor, and award-winning author of over 70 books. Robb brings an authentic and celebratory look at pop culture. His unique brand of engaging, interactive, and fun events, panel discussions, book clubs, crafting activities, scavenger hunts, games, and even workouts are always fun, interactive, inclusive, and memorable.
Robb has written books based on characters and stories from fan-favorite properties including Marvel Comics, DC Comics, Star Trek, The Golden Girls, The Office, The Smurfs, Rick and Morty, Bob’s Burgers, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, Alien, Game of Thrones, and Bob Ross. He is the author of original books including “Live Like a Vulcan, Love Like a Wookiee, Laugh Like a Hobbit,” “I Adulted,” “101 Ways to Kill a Zombie,” “Movie Night Trivia,” and “Nerd Haiku,” and stewarded books based on The Princess Bride, Hamilton, The Joker, Parks and Recreation, All in the Family, and Variety Magazine, as well as memoirs and monographs by acclaimed pop culture icons including Don Bluth, Ralph Bakshi, Bill Plympton, and Charles Busch.