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

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. The news of her passing came to her via social media Facebook page.

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

“I am sorry 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 will yet, like the ancient galaxies now seen for the first time, remain for us and future generations to enjoy, learn from and draw inspiration from. 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. Her services will be for family members and the closest of her friends, and we request that her and our privacy is respected. Live long and prosper.”

Nichelle Nichols continued to make history as Uhura Star Trek when she became one of the first black women to appear 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 his ties to Star Trek after the show’s cancellation by lending her voice to the animated series, she starred alongside William Shatner and the rest of the cast in six Star Trek movie.

In addition to Star Trek, Nicholes had many recurring roles in television as a live-action and voice actress for shows such as Futurama and the soap opera The young and the restless. Her role on Star Trek also made her iconic enough that NASA eventually approached her for help 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 go out to her family, friends and fans at this difficult time.

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