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Nichelle Nichols, the African-American actress who became a civil rights icon as Lieutenant Uhura in the original “Star Trek” television series, died Sunday at the age of 89.
His high-ranking role in the cult series “Star Trek” had made him an icon. African-American actress Nickel Nichols passed away on the night of Saturday July 30 to Sunday July 31 at the age of 89, her family announced in a press release.
“Last night my mother Nickel Nichols passed away of natural causes,” shared her son Kyle on the actress’s official website, uhura.com. “His life was well lived and a role model for all of us.”
A spokesperson for the family said the actress died in Silver City, New Mexico, where she lived with her son.
This former dancer and singer, who starred in the 1960s science fiction series Lieutenant Nyota Uhura, an officer of African descent and fluent in Swahili, quickly became a symbol of civil rights.
Her role as an upper-class black woman earned her the praise of Martin Luther King, who was assassinated in 1968, who told her not to leave “Star Trek” as she had planned. , stating that it was the only series he was allowed his children to watch, she said.
In 1968, when William Shatner and Nickel Nichols, who played the famous Captain Kirk, kiss, it is the first kiss between a white man and a person of color on American television.
In the 1970s, Nichelle Nichols made a video to help NASA recruit astronauts, especially women and minorities.
We celebrate the life of Nickel Nichols, the Star Trek actor, trailblazer and role model who was the epitome of what was possible. She partnered with us to recruit some of the first female and minority astronauts, and inspire generations to reach for the stars. pic.twitter.com/pmQaKDb5zw
—NASA (@NASA) 31 July 2022
“My heart is heavy,” tweeted George Takei, another person in the series. “My eyes shine like stars where you rest now, my dear friend”.
Born on December 28, 1932, in Chicago, Grace Dale Nichols began her career as a dancer and singer with the Duke Ellington Orchestra at the age of 14.
Best known for his role in the first “Star Trek” series, he danced with Sammy Davis Jr. to “Porgy & Bess”, played in other television series and recorded two albums. .
She played Uhura in the first six Star Trek films, a name derived from the word “Freedom” in Swahili.