Nichelle Nichols, an Icon From the Original Star Trek, Dies at 89

Nichelle Nichols, singer, mother, and Nyota Uhura in Star Trek: The Original Series, has died aged 89.

The sad news was confirmed by Nichols’ son, Kyle Johnson, on his mother’s website. Johnson wrote, “I regret to inform you that a great light in the firmament no longer shines for us as it has for so many years.”

How Did Nichelle Nichols Die?

“Last night, my mother, Nichelle Nichols, succumbed to natural causes and passed away,” stated Johnson. “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.”

According to The New York Times, some additional details about this matter have been provided. Sky Conway, a film producer who was requested to speak on behalf of the family, stated that Nichols had died due to heart failure.

The Many Tributes to Nichelle Nichols

The outpouring of eulogies in honour of Nichols and her work have been many. “Nichols was a trailblazer,” tweeted journalist Yashar Ali. “She was one of the first Black actors to play a major role on a television series and the type of role she had on Star Trek was groundbreaking.”

Nichols’ Star Trek co-star, George Takei, stated, “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. For today, my heart is heavy.” He also noted, “We lived long and prospered together.”

NASA also noted what an inspirational woman Nichols was. On Twitter, they said, “We celebrate the life of Nichelle Nichols, Star Trek actor, trailblazer, and role model, who 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.”

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