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Tributes Continue for ‘Star Trek’ Actress Nichelle Nichols

Nichelle Nichols: Trailblazing ‘Star Trek’ Actress Dies at 89

Tributes continue to pour in for “Star Trek” legend Nichelle Nichols. She passed away at 89 from natural causes. Nichols was one of the first Black women on primetime TV in the 1960s, when she played Lieutenant Uhura on the original “Star Trek.” Back in 2015, Nichols spent the day with Inside Edition. At the time, the 82-year-old woman was preparing to become a passenger on NASA’s SOFIA aircraft. Her adventure came just three months after she recovered from a minor stroke.

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Nichelle Nichols, who played Nyota Uhura on Star Trek, dies at age 89

Nichelle Nichols 

Nichelle Nichols and son Kyle Johnson attend Day 3 of the 2021 Los Angeles Comic Con held at Los Angeles Convention Center on December 5, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)

*(CNN) — Actress and singer Nichelle Nichols, best known for her groundbreaking portrayal of Lt. Nyota Uhura in “Star Trek: The Original Series,” has died at age 89, according to a statement from her son, Kyle Johnson

When “Star Trek” began in 1966, Nichols was a television rarity: a Black woman in a notable role on a prime-time television series. There had been African-American women on TV before, but they often played domestic workers and had small roles; Nichols’ Uhura was an integral part of the multicultural “Star Trek” crew.

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. called it “the first non-stereotypical role portrayed by a Black woman in television history.Nichols is widely known for participating in one of the first interracial kisses on US television when her character kissed James T. Kirk, portrayed by White Canadian actor William Shatner. In an interview with CNN in 2014, Nichols said the kiss scene “changed television forever, and it also changed the way people looked at one another.”

Nichelle Nichols - GettyImages
Nichelle Nichols – GettyImages

After “Trek’s” three-season run, Nichols dedicated herself to the space program. She helped NASA in making the agency more diverse, helping to recruit astronauts Sally Ride, Judith Resnik and Guion Bluford, among others.

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Comment by vaughn mitchell on August 1, 2022 at 7:28pm
A legend. Gorgeous as F***.
Comment by John Smith on August 1, 2022 at 7:34am

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