Pioneering ‘Star Trek’ actress Nichelle Nichols dies at 89
Nichols died of natural causes, he said.
Nichols portrayed communications officer Lt. Nyota Uhura in the television series « Star Trek » and many of its film offshoots.
When « Star Trek » began in 1966, Nichols was a television rarity: a black woman in a notable role on a primetime television series. There had been African American women on television before, but they often played servants and had small roles; Nichols’ Uhura was an integral part of the multicultural « Star Trek » team.
The Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. called it « the first non-stereotypical role played by a black woman in the history of television ».
After the three-season run of « Trek, » Nichols devoted herself to the space program. She helped NASA diversify the agency, helping recruit astronauts Sally Ride, Judith Resnik, and Guion Bluford, among others.
George Takei, who played USS Enterprise helmsman Hikaru Sulu, has posted a touching tribute to his co-star.
« We have lived long and prospered together, » he added along with a photo of the couple giving the iconic Vulcan salute.