Susan Sackett, 2015
18 December 1943|
New York City, USA
|Occupation||Author, screenwriter and Humanist celebrant|
|Alma mater||University of Florida|
|Genre||Film and television, Biography|
|Subject||Star Trek, Hollywood|
Susan Sackett was born in New York City on December 18, 1943, raised in Connecticut and moved to Florida after graduating from Hillhouse High School in New Haven. She received her Bachelor of Arts (1964) and Master of Education (1965) degrees from the University of Florida at Gainesville. After teaching elementary school in Miami for two years, she moved to Los Angeles, where she taught for a short time. She quit her teaching job to work in the entertainment industry, spending four years with the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) as a Publicity Assistant and Commercial Coordinator.
In 1974, she began an association with Gene Roddenberry, creator of the television legend Star Trek, serving as his personal executive assistant for over 17 years until his death in October 1991. She also served as his production assistant on Star Trek: The Motion Picture and worked closely with him on the next five Star Trek films. In addition, she served as Production Associate during the first five seasons of the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation. Sackett and her writing partner, Fred Bronson, wrote the TNG episodes "Menage a Troi" (teleplay) and "The Game" (story credit only). Additionally, while working full-time as Roddenberry's assistant, Sackett wrote three books about Star Trek: Letters to Star Trek, Star Trek Speaks!, and The Making of Star Trek: The Motion Picture (with Gene Roddenberry).
Another book, Star Trek: The First 25 Years, co-authored with Gene Roddenberry, was purchased by Pocket Books, although not published due to the publisher's legal entanglements. Instead, it became the basis of the 1994 book, Star Trek: 'Where No One Has Gone Before': A History in Pictures, by J. M. Dillard. In the Fall of 1993, Billboard Books published Prime-Time Hits, her third Billboard book, and Sackett's book Hollywood Sings! was released in 1995.
In 2002, her autobiography, Inside Trek: My Secret Life with Star Trek Creator Gene Roddenberry (Hawk Publishing Group) was released, detailing her decade-and-a-half-long romantic and intimate involvement with her mentor. In 2013, Amazon published a revised and updated eBook version for Kindle.
She is author of other books also related to the film and television industry, including You Can Be a Game Show Contestant and Win! (Dell Books, 1982), co-written with Cheryl Blythe. Following her own advice as outlined in the book, in 1985 Susan went on Jeopardy! and won $10,000 in cash and prizes.
Sackett and Blythe also co-authored Say Goodnight, Gracie! - The Story of Burns and Allen (E. P. Dutton, 1986; paperback edition, Prima Publishing, 1989). A revised and updated eBook version for Kindle was released by Amazon in 2016.
In 1990, The Hollywood Reporter Book of Box Office Hits was published by Billboard Publications, with an updated and revised version released in 1995.
Although raised as a reform Jew, Susan Sackett considers herself a secular humanist and has been active in Humanism since 1989. She was first introduced to secular humanism by Gene Roddenberry after finding on his desk a copy of Isaac Asimov's book Asimov's Guide to the Bible. "I discovered that I was in line with this way of thinking without knowing there was a name for it". The two began attending conventions together and met prominent skeptics such as James Randi. From 2000 to 2010 she was president of Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix. She is on the Board of Directors of the American Humanist Association, a member of Mensa, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS), and Writers Guild of America (WGA).
She currently resides in Arizona.
- Inside Trek: My Secret Life with Star Trek Creator Gene Roddenberry, (Amazon.com, Kindle e-book, 2013)
- Inside Trek: My Secret Life with Star Trek Creator Gene Roddenberry, (Hawk Publishing Group, 2002)
- Hollywood Sings!, (Billboard Books, 1995)
- Prime-Time Hits, (Billboard Books, 1993)
- Star Trek: The First 25 Years, (with Gene Roddenberry, purchased by Pocket Books but not published, 1991)
- The Hollywood Reporter Book of Box Office Hits, (Billboard Books, 1990)
- Say Goodnight, Gracie! - The Story of Burns and Allen, (with Cheryl Blythe, E.P. Dutton, 1986); paperback edition (Prima Books, 1989)
- Say Goodnight, Gracie! - The Story of Burns and Allen, (Amazon.com, Kindle e-book, 2016)
- You Can Be a Game Show Contestant and Win! (with Cheryl Blythe, Dell Books, 1982)
- The Making of Star Trek: The Motion Picture (with Gene Roddenberry, Pocket Books, 1980)
- Star Trek Speaks! (with Fred and Stan Goldstein, Pocket Books, 1979)
- Letters to Star Trek (Ballantine Books, 1977)
- "Susan Sackett - The Secular Humanism of Star Trek". Point of Inquiry. Center for Inquiry. Retrieved 27 September 2016.
- "The AHA Speakers Bureau: SusanSackett". American Humanist Association. Retrieved 27 September 2016.
- "Directory of celebrants". The Humanist Society. Retrieved 27 September 2016.
- "Board members". International Humanist and Ethical Union. IHEU. Retrieved 27 September 2016.