The Star Trek community has lost a true legend. News has just arrived that Nichelle Nichols, best known for her role as Nyota Uhura in the original star trek series, died at the age of 89. The news of his passing came through social media on his Facebook page.
Nichols’ son, Kylee Johnson, posted a heartfelt note about his mother’s passing and asked his 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 seen for the first time, will remain for us and future generations to enjoy, learn and be inspired in. His life was well lived and as such a model for all of us. I and the rest of our family would appreciate your patience and indulgence as we mourn his loss until we can recover enough to speak further. His services will be for members of his family and those closest to him. friends and we ask that it and our privacy be respected.Live long and prosper.
Nichelle Nichols made history as Uhura star trek as 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 credited as the first interracial kiss on American television. Nichols maintained his ties with 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 cast in six star trek movies.
Beyond Star Trek, Nicholes has had many recurring television roles as a live and voice actress for shows like Futurama and the soap opera The young and the restless. His role on star trek also made her iconic enough that NASA eventually turned to her for help recruiting women into its space program.
Nichelle Nichols has certainly made history for women of color, and she will be deeply missed by a legion of Star Trek fans around the world. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and fans during this difficult time.