‘Star Trek’ Legend Nichelle Nichols Died at 89

August 01, 2022

By: Matthew Burkhead

Nichelle Nichols, who played Lieutenant Nyota Uhura on ‘Star Trek’ for years, died on Sunday, as reported in a post shared by her son Kyle on her official Facebook page. 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," he wrote.

"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."

Though Nichols was well known, her popularity exploded with her iconic role as Lieutenant Nyota Uhura on all three seasons of the original show, running from 1966 to 1969. She also starred in each of the six ‘Star Trek’ films from 1979 through 1991.

Kyle added in the post: "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. Her services will be for family members and the closest of her friends and we request that her and our privacy be respected.”

He signed off with the signature "Star Trek" send-off, "Live Long and Prosper."

Her representatives confirmed that memorial flowers would be placed on her Hollywood Walk of Fame star on Monday, August 1, 2022, at 1 p.m., dedicated to Nichols on Jan. 9, 1992.

Nichols’s health was in decline following a minor stroke in 2015.

George Takei spoke out and said, "We lived long and prospered together," Takei wrote. "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, my eyes shining like the stars you now rest among, my dearest friend."

What is more interesting is that Nichols broke the stereotypes for black women, with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. personally encouraging her to stay with the TV series when she thought about leaving.

He said, 'You cannot do that,'" Nichols recalled. "You've changed the face of television forever, and therefore, you've changed the minds of people," she said the civil rights leader told her during a meeting.

During the third season of "Star Trek," Nichols and another series star, William Shatner, who played Capt. James Kirk made TV history when they shared an interracial kiss.