Entertainment

Nichelle Nichols, “Star Trek” Star, Passes Away At 89

Nichelle Nichols, "Star Trek" Star, Passes Away At 89

Nichelle Nichols, “Star Trek” Star, Passes Away At 89

Nichelle Nichols, a “Star Trek” Star, Passes Away At 89

A trailblazing Black actress  Nichelle Nichols, who portrayed communications officer Nyota Uhura on the well-liked series “Star Trek” in the 1960s, passed away at the age of 89.

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Kyle Johnson, her son, posted a notice about her passing on the official uhura.com website saying “Last night, my mother, Nichelle Nichols, succumbed to natural causes and passed away. Her light, however, like the ancient galaxies now being seen for the first time, will remain.”

A family spokesman said Nichols died in Silver City, New Mexico, where she had been living with her son.

Tributes poured in quickly, including from a long list of devoted “Trekkies.”

Nichelle Nichols, a “Star Trek” Star, Passes Away At 89

William Shatner, who played the USS Enterprise’s Captain James T. Kirk, sent his condolences to Nichols’ family.

“She was a beautiful woman & played an admirable character that did so much for redefining social issues both here in the US & throughout the world. I will certainly miss her.”

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George Takei, who as helmsman Sulu shared the bridge with Lieutenant Uhura, called her “trailblazing and incomparable.”

And US President Joe Biden said Nichols “redefined what is possible for Black Americans and women.”

Nichelle Nichols, “Star Trek” Star, Passes Away At 89

“Our nation is forever indebted to inspiring artists like Nichelle Nichols, who shows us a future where unity, dignity, and respect are cornerstones of every society,” he said in a statement.

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Nichols made history with one of the first interracial kisses on US television — a 1968 embrace shared with Shatner (a kiss deemed worthy of a separate entry in Wikipedia).

Martin Luther King Jr. himself once praised Nichols, who broke ground with her powerful performance at a time when Black actors more often were cast as servants or criminals.


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