Legendary Star Trek actress Nichelle Nichols has died.
The star’s son, Kyle Johnson, issued a statement on Sunday announcing that Nichelle had passed away of natural causes on Saturday. She was 89.
“I regret to inform you that a great light in the firmament no longer shines for us as it has for so many years. Last night, my mother, Nichelle Nichols, succumbed to natural causes and passed away. 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. I, and the rest of our family, would appreciate your patience and forbearance as we grieve her loss until we can recover sufficiently to speak further.”
Nichols played Nyota Uhura in 70 episodes of Star Trek between 1966 and 1969, making her one of the first Black women to feature in a major TV show.
In addition, she volunteered her time to promote several NASA programmes focused on promoting diversity within the space agency.
Following the sad news, former Star Trek actor George Takei posted a tribute on Twitter.
“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 noted. “For today, my heart is heavy, my eyes shining like the stars you now rest among, my dearest friend.”
Meanwhile, Wonder Woman actress Lynda Carter praised Nichols’s commitment to championing inclusivity within the entertainment industry.
“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,” she added.
– Cover Media