‘Star Trek’ Icon Nichelle Nichols Dead at 89

Nichelle Nichols as Uhura in the STAR TREK episode, "Journey to Babel." Season 2, episode 10 originally broadcast November 17, 1967. (Photo by CBS via Getty Images)
CBS via Getty Images

July 31 (UPI) — Star Trek icon Nichelle Nichols, a trailblazing actress who was one of the first black women to play a major role on a TV show, has died in Silver City, N.M. She was 89.

Gilbert Bell, Nichols’ talent manager and business partner of 15 years, confirmed the sad news Sunday.

As communications officer Lt. Nyota Uhura on the flagship Star Trek series, Nichols’ shared one of TV’s first interracial kisses with William Shatner’s Captain James T. Kirk in 1968.

Nichols also voiced the character on Star Trek: The Animated Series and in the first six Star Trek films.

She was the first African-American woman to have her handprints immortalized at the TCL Chinese Theatre in 1991.

Her other screen credits include Made in Paris, Mr. Buddwing, Doctor, You’ve Got to Be Kidding, Truck Turner, Antony and Cleopatra, The Supernaturals, Snow Dogs, Are We There Yet?, Heroes, Tru Loved, and The Torturer. She also voiced characters in the cartoons Gargoyles, Spider-Man, and Futurama.

In addition to her acting, Nichols was a singer and appeared in NASA ads intended to recruit diverse candidates to be astronauts.

She made her final high-profile public appearance at L.A. Comic-Con in December.


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