Nichelle Nichols, Nyota Uhura on the original Star Trek series, dies at 89

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The Star Trek community has lost a true legend. The news is just coming in that Nichelle Nichols, best known for her role as Nyota Uhura on the original Star Trek series, has died at the age of 89. News of her passing came via social media on her Facebook page.

Nichols’ son, Kylee Johnson, posted a heartfelt note about his mother’s passing and asked her fans to respect the family’s privacy at this time:

“I regret to inform you that a great light in the firmament no longer shines for us as it has for so many years.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. 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. Her services will be for family members and the closest of her friends and we request that her and our privacy be respected. Live Long and Prosper.”

Nichelle Nichols made history as Uhura on Star Trek as she became one of the first Black women to be featured in a major television series. Her kiss with William Shatner’s Captain Kirk in the episode “Plato’s Stepchildren” is also widely recognized as the first interracial kiss on American television. Nichols maintained her ties to Star Trek after the show’s cancellation by lending her voice to the animated series, and she co-starred alongside William Shatner and the rest of the crew in six Star Trek movies.

Beyond Star Trek, Nicholes had many recurring roles in television as a live-action and voice actress for shows like Futurama and the soap opera The Young and the Restless. Her role on Star Trek also made her iconic enough that NASA eventually turned to her for help in recruiting women into its space program.

Nichelle Nichols certainly made history for women of color, and she will be deeply missed by a legion of Star Trek fans worldwide. Our thoughts are will her family, friends, and fans during this difficult time.

Source: Facebook

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