George Takei Says the Secret to His Happy Marriage Is ‘Sharing’ These Two Emotions with Husband Brad (Exclusive)

“We understand each other,” says the 'Star Trek' icon, who penned the new children’s book 'My Lost Freedom' about his time in a U.S. prison camp during WWII

<p>Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty</p> Brad and George Takei in 2021

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty

Brad and George Takei in 2021

George Takei and his husband Brad Takei have been married for 16 years of the nearly four decades they have been a couple.

The secret to their longevity, according to the Star Trek icon? “He keeps me laughing and he keeps me getting angry. I think it’s sharing these emotions.”

According to George, 86, the pair are “opposites” so a disagreement is bound to happen from time to time. But ultimately, the actor, activist and author, who penned the new children’s book My Lost Freedom, appreciates their differences.

“Brad is a strict disciplinarian,” he says.  “Brad is detail-oriented, he's organized and he brings that detail and organization to my life so that I can do what I do.”

Related: George Takei Recalls 'Laughing and Crying' As He Wrote About His WWII-Era Imprisonment In New Book (Exclusive)

Brad, 70, will say, “‘We got to leave the apartment in five minutes,’” George explains, as an example. “And that's about 20 minutes before I need to leave.”

“We understand each other,” he continues. “When he's giving me only five minutes, I know we have 20 minutes.”

If George stays up late and gets lost in his writing, Brad will come get him. “Once I get going, I won't come to bed,” says George. “And writing is worth it because I have Brad to fuss over me. I love the fussing.”

<p>Amanda Edwards/Getty</p> Brad and George Takei in 2003

Amanda Edwards/Getty

Brad and George Takei in 2003

Brad, a former financial journalist, is also a valuable editor for his husband's work. He even got a first peek at George’s new book about the years he and his Japanese American family, like thousands of others, were imprisoned on American soil during World War II.

“I always have him read it,” Takei, who has penned several other books, says of Brad's help with his book projects. “He’s good at editing. I shouldn’t tell my editor!”

The pair has been together since the 1980s, when they met at an LGBTQ+ athletic group called the L.A. Frontrunners.

<p>VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty </p> Brad and George Takei in 2008


Brad and George Takei in 2008

“He was the best runner in the club," George recalled to Oprah Winfrey on an episode of Oprah: Where Are They Now?. "And also great-looking. So I went up to him and I asked him to train me for my first marathon. Before long, we became partners.”

They kept their relationship private from the public until George came out in 2005. They wed three years later, with George’s late Star Trek costar Nichelle Nichols serving as their maid of honor.

Since then, the pair have been vocal about their support for LGBTQ+ rights and were even invited by then-President Barack Obama to a state dinner in 2015.

<p>Penguin Random House</p> 'My Lost Freedom,' by George Takei

Penguin Random House

'My Lost Freedom,' by George Takei

“There we were in the East Room [of the White House] with Michelle Obama; Obama, the first African American President of this country; and me, a kid who grew up in an American prison camp,” George recalled to PEOPLE in 2022.

“Across from me sat the man that I love, Brad. [This was] undreamt of when I was a child. It can happen. It did happen.”

George credits Brad for much of his success and happiness: “I would not be who I am today without Brad.”

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