Aug 01, 2022

By Steve Kee

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Nichelle Nichols, who broke ground for Black women acting on television as the beautiful, no-nonsense communications officer Lt. Ntoya Uhura on the original “Star Trek” TV series, has died at the age of 89.

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 racial stereotypes and included an interracial onscreen kiss with co-star William Shatner that was unheard of at the time.

Canadian actor William Shatner said, “I am so sorry to hear about the passing of Nichelle. She was a beautiful woman & played an admirable character that did so much for redefining social issues both here in the US & throughout the world.”

Trailblazer was a word used by many to mourn the passing of actor Nichols and paved the way not just for future television actors of color but astronauts as well.

Tributes from fellow actors have poured in. Her Star Trek  co-star George Takei said “My heart is heavy, my eyes shining like the stars you now rest among, my dearest friend.”

Celia Rose Gooding, who plays Uhura on the current “Star Trek” wrote that, “She made room for so many of us.”

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