The Hollywood Industry loses another star icon. We are talking about Nichelle Nichols who passes away at the age of 89. Her son, Kyle Johnson, informed her fans in a post on Nichols’ Instagram account.
The post reads
“Last night, my mother, Nichelle Nichols, succumbed to natural causes and passed away,” Johnson writes. “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 continued, “Hers was a life well lived and as such a model for us all. I, and the rest of our family, would appreciate your patience and forbearance as we grieve her loss until we can recover sufficiently to speak further.” Nichols’ services will be held for family and close friends.
Nichelle Nichols died at the age of 89
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Nichelle Nichols is best known for her iconic and historic role as Nyota Uhura in the original Star Trek series. 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.
Nichols was born on December 28th, 1932 in Robbins, Illinois. Before joining the cast of Star Trek, Nichols toured with jazz artist Duke Ellington as a dancer and singer. Nichols joined the cast of Star Trek in 1966 as Lieutenant Nyota Uhura.
She became the first Black woman to play a leading role on TV.
Nichols’ legacy reaches far beyond Star Trek. She partnered with NASA to encourage the recruitment of astronauts from underrepresented backgrounds. Her work helped bring the first woman, Sally Ride, and the first Black man, Colonel Guion Bluford, to space. The 2019 film, Woman in Motion, is dedicated to the impact of Nichols’ advocacy on NASA. Last December, Nichols announced her retirement from space advocacy after making a final appearance at the LA Comic Con.
Celia Rose Gooding, who currently plays Uhura in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, wrote on Twitter that Nichols “made room for so many of us. She was the reminder that not only can we reach the stars, but our influence is essential to their survival. Forget shaking the table, she built it.”
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