Star Trek star Nichelle Nichols has passed away at the age of 89.
“I regret to inform you that a great light in the firmament no longer shines for us as it has for so many years,” Nichelle Nichols’ son Kyle Johnson wrote on Facebook.
“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 for us and future generations to enjoy, learn from, and draw inspiration.” he added.
“Hers was a life well lived and as such a model for us all.”
ABC News reported:
Nichelle Nichols, who broke barriers for Black women in Hollywood when she played communications officer Lt. Uhura on the original “Star Trek” television series, has died at the age of 89.
Her son Kyle Johnson said Nichols died Saturday in Silver City, New Mexico.
Her role in the 1966-69 series as Lt. Uhura earned Nichols a lifelong position of honor with the series’ rabid fans, known as Trekkers and Trekkies. It also earned her accolades for breaking stereotypes that had limited Black women to acting roles as servants and included an interracial onscreen kiss with co-star William Shatner that was unheard of at the time.
She often recalled how the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was a fan of the show and praised her role and personally encouraged her to stay with the series.
Like other original cast members, Nichols also appeared in six big-screen spinoffs starting in 1979 with “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” and frequented “Star Trek” fan conventions. She also served for many years as a NASA recruiter, helping bring minorities and women into the astronaut corps.
More recently, she had a recurring role on television’s “Heroes,” playing the great-aunt of a young boy with mystical powers.
BREAKING: Nichelle Nichols, who broke ground for Black women with her role as communications officer Lt. Ntoya Uhura on the original “Star Trek” TV series, has died, her family says. She was 89. https://t.co/ke9jtAx9QN pic.twitter.com/LYvIJD9W1n
— ABC News (@ABC) July 31, 2022