Tributes pour in after Star Trek actress Nichelle Nichols dies aged 89
The "trailblazing" actress played Nyota Uhura in Star Trek: The Original Series and its film sequels.
Tributes are pouring in to honour Star Trek actress Nichelle Nichols following her death at the age of 89.
Her son Kyle Johnson confirmed in a statement that she passed away from natural causes.
"Her light, however, like the ancient galaxies now being seen for the first time, will remain for us and future generations to enjoy, learn from, and draw inspiration," he wrote.
"Hers was a life well lived and as such a model for us all."
Nichols was best known for playing Nyota Uhura in Star Trek: The Original Series from 1966 to 1969, a role which she reprised in the show's six film sequels.
In being cast in the show, the actress became one of the first black women to be featured in a major TV series.
Outside of Star Trek, she also worked with NASA on a successful programme to recruit more African-American and female personnel for the space agency.
Nichols' Star Trek co-star William Shatner paid tribute to her in a Twitter post that reads:
"I am so sorry to hear about the passing of Nichelle. She was a beautiful woman and played an admirable character that did so much for redefining social issues both here in the US and throughout the world.
"I will certainly miss her. Sending my love and condolences to her family."
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. I will certainly miss her. Sending my love and condolences to her family. Bill
— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) July 31, 2022
Fellow Star Trek: The Original Series cast member George Takei also paid tribute, describing Nichols as "trailblazing" and "incomparable".
"I shall have more to say about the trailblazing, incomparable Nichelle Nichols, who shared the bridge with us as Lt. Uhura of the USS Enterprise, and who passed today at age 89," he wrote.
"For today, my heart is heavy, my eyes shining like the stars you now rest among, my dearest friend."
We lived long and prospered together. pic.twitter.com/MgLjOeZ98X
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) July 31, 2022
Meanwhile, NASA called the actress a "role model" and said she "symbolised to so many what was possible".
"She partnered with us to recruit some of the first women and minority astronauts, and inspired generations to reach for the stars," it said.
We celebrate the life of Nichelle Nichols, Star Trek actor, trailblazer, and role model, who symbolized to so many what was possible. She partnered with us to recruit some of the first women and minority astronauts, and inspired generations to reach for the stars. pic.twitter.com/pmQaKDb5zw
— NASA (@NASA) July 31, 2022
You can read more tributes to Nichols below.
Nichelle Nichols told us that we belonged in outer space. We are limitless. The heavens have gained an Uhura today.
— Colman Domingo (@colmandomingo) July 31, 2022
My love for the original Star Trek is profound. Nichelle Nichols was a ground-breaker and a glorious ambassador for her show, her role and science all her life. And a truly lovely person. May she have a wonderful adventure to the final frontier.#ripnichellenichols
— jason alexander (@IJasonAlexander) July 31, 2022
A remarkable woman in a remarkable role. Nichelle, you will be deeply missed. Sending much love and respect. pic.twitter.com/ZRnMblXx0Z
— JJ Abrams (@jjabrams) July 31, 2022
Many actors become stars, but few stars can move a nation. Nichelle Nichols showed us the extraordinary power of Black women and paved the way for a better future for all women in media. Thank you, Nichelle. We will miss you. pic.twitter.com/KhUf4YM6pX
— Lynda Carter (@RealLyndaCarter) July 31, 2022
This woman was a pioneer. Her significance not only to the world of science fiction but to television as a whole cannot be overstated. Not to mention the mountain of charm and magnetism she brought to the screen. Nichelle Nichols will be greatly missed. pic.twitter.com/o7KPZNoUiL
— Seth MacFarlane (@SethMacFarlane) August 1, 2022
RIP Nichelle Nichols! You inspired whole generations of Black girls. Your beauty, grace, quiet intelligence.....YOUR presence was seen, felt and received! Godspeed!! 🖖🏿❤️🙏🏿 pic.twitter.com/3P66HnzV9U
— Viola Davis (@violadavis) August 1, 2022