Local

Nichelle Nichols, Lt. Uhura on ‘Star Trek,’ has died at 89

Nichelle Nichols, who broke barriers for black women in Hollywood when she played communications officer Lt. Uhura in 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. “Last night, my mother, Nichelle Nichols, succumbed to natural causes and passed away. However, its light, like the ancient galaxies we are now seeing for the first time, will remain for us and future generations to enjoy, learn from and draw inspiration from,” Johnson wrote on her official Facebook page on Sunday . “Her life was a good life and as such a model for us all.” Her role on the 1966-69 series as Lt. Uhura earned Nichols a lifelong place of honor with the show’s rabid fans, known as Trekkers and Trekkies. She also won her accolades for breaking stereotypes that limited black women to maid roles and included an on-screen interracial kiss with co-star William Shatner that was unheard of at the time. “I’ll have more to say about the ground-breaking, incomparable Nichelle Nichols , who shared the bridge with us as Lt. Uhura of the USS Enterprise and who passed away today at the age of 89,” George Takei tweeted. “For today, my heart is heavy, my eyes shine like the stars that now you rest among my dearest friend.” Like other original cast members, Nichols also appeared in six big screen spinoffs beginning 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 minorities and women in the astronaut corps. The original “Star Trek” premiered on NBC on September 8, 1966. Its multicultural, multiracial cast was creator Gene Roddenberry’s message to viewers that in the distant future – the 23rd century – human diversity would be fully accepted. “I think a lot of people took it to heart … that what was being said on television at the time was a reason to celebrate,” Nichols said in 1992, when a “Star Trek” exhibit was shown at the Smithsonian Institute. She often recalled how Martin Luther King Jr. was a fan of the show and praised her role. She met him at a civil rights rally in 1967, at a time when she had decided not to return for the show’s second season. “When I told him I was going to miss my co-stars and was leaving the show, he got very serious and said, ‘You can’t do this,'” he told The Tulsa (Okla.) World in a 2008 interview. the face of television forever, and as a result, you’ve changed people’s minds,” she said the civil rights leader told her. “That foresight that Dr. King had was a lightning bolt in my life,” Nichols said. Most recently, she had a recurring role on TV’s “Heroes,” playing the aunt of a young boy with mystical powers.

Nichelle Nichols, who broke barriers for black women in Hollywood when she played communications officer Lt. Uhura in the original “Star Trek” TV series, has died at age 89.

Her son Kyle Johnson said Nichols died Saturday in Silver City, New Mexico.

“Last night, my mother, Nichelle Nichols, succumbed to natural causes and passed away. However, its light, like the ancient galaxies we are now seeing for the first time, will remain for us and future generations to enjoy, learn from and draw inspiration from,” Johnson wrote on her official Facebook page on Sunday . “Her life was a good life and such a model for us all.”

Her role in the 1966-69 series as Lt. Uhura earned Nichols a lifelong honor with the show’s rabid fans, known as Trekkers and Trekkies. It also won her awards for breaking stereotypes that limited black women to maid roles and featured an on-screen interracial kiss with co-star William Shatner that was unheard of at the time.

“I’ll have more to say about the groundbreaking, incomparable Nichelle Nichols, who shared the bridge with us as Lt. Uhura of the USS Enterprise and who died today at the age of 89,” George Takei tweeted. “For today, my heart is heavy, my eyes shine like the stars among which you now rest, my dear friend.”

Like other members of the original cast, 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 to bring minorities and women into the astronaut corps.

The original “Star Trek” premiered on NBC on September 8, 1966. Its multicultural, multiracial cast was creator Gene Roddenberry’s message to viewers that in the distant future – the 23rd century – human diversity would be fully accepted.

“I think a lot of people took it to heart … that what was being said on television at the time was a reason to celebrate,” Nichols said in 1992 when a “Star Trek” exhibit was on display at the Smithsonian Institution.

She often recalled how Martin Luther King Jr. was a fan of the show and praised her role. She met him at a civil rights rally in 1967, at a time when she had decided not to return for the show’s second season.

“When I told him I was going to miss my co-stars and was leaving the show, he got really serious and said, ‘You can’t do this,'” she told The Tulsa (Okla.) World in a 2008 interview.

“You changed the face of television forever, and as a result, you changed people’s minds,” the civil rights leader said he told her.

“That insight that Dr. King had was a lightning bolt in my life,” Nichols said.

Most recently, she had a recurring role on TV’s “Heroes,” playing the aunt of a young boy with mystical powers.

Nichelle Nichols, Lt. Uhura on ‘Star Trek,’ has died at 89 Source link Nichelle Nichols, Lt. Uhura on ‘Star Trek,’ has died at 89

Related Articles

Back to top button