Actor George Takei has said the response to his coming out gay was overwhelming but not all of it was positive.

The 74-year-old Takei, who is best known for playing Hikaru Sulu, helmsman of the USS Enterprise on the science fiction series Star Trek, came out in 2005.

In a wide-ranging interview with the Tallahassee Democrat, Takei said that while he was out to family, friends and some co-workers in 2005, then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's veto of a gay marriage bill approved by lawmakers spurred him to speak out.

“I watched it on TV with my blood boiling. That's when I decided to speak to the press, so I've been out since 2005. You're not really out until the press says you are out, I guess,” he said.

“[When I came out] it was overwhelmingly positive – my computer exploded with emails,” Takei said. “But 10 percent were hate mails that were very ugly and ominously threatening. I'm talking about death threats.”

Takei married his husband Brad Altman in 2008 before Proposition 8, California's gay marriage ban, was narrowly approved by voters.