As some may be aware, during his life, Ray Bradbury was occasionally mistaken by fans for STAR TREK creator Gene Roddenberry, who was Ray's good friend. Ray took these cases of mistaken identity with good humor. After Roddenberry died in 1991, Ray wrote a touching piece in the Los Angeles Times about his friend and these cases of mistaken identity:
"For Ray Bradbury, Proud of a Case of Mistaken Identity
By RAY BRADBURY
OCT. 26, 1991 12 AM PT
Gene Roddenberry asked me to be part of the "Star Trek" family as a writer 25 years ago. He showed me the pilot, and I looked at it and liked it but said at that time that I’ve never been able to adapt other people’s characters--no matter how much I admire them. So, one of the sad things of my life is I was never able to participate in the love and joy that made "Star Trek" so special.
But, ironically, for many years people have thought I was Gene Roddenberry. It never bothered me because I loved him as a friend and admired him as a creator. I was always very proud every time a bunch of young people ran up to me and said, “Oh, Mr. Roddenberry, we all love you and we love ‘Star Trek’.” It happened all the time. I learned over the years to simply say, “Oh, I’m so glad that you like the show. I wrote it for you and I created it for you.” And I let them run off thinking I was Mr. Roddenberry....
I don’t know how much longer I can go on pretending that I’m Gene Roddenberry, now that he’s gone, but I will carry the sweet burden to the end of my life."
Attached below is a link to a page that appears in the book DARK DREAMERS, a book of photos (taken by photographer Beth Gwinn) of horror writers and published by Cemetery Dance in 2001. The link takes you to Ray's photo as it appears in the book. As you can tell from the way he signed the page, Ray continued to take the cases of mistaken identity with his friend Gene Roddenberry with humor and grace:
IMG_0477.jpg (23 Kb, 20 downloads)
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