Death of Nichelle Nichols, unforgettable Uhura of Star Trek

Mourning Trekkies: American comedian Nichelle Nichols, who played Lt. Uhura in the Star Trek series and movies, has died at the age of 89.

Uhura joined the stars and the last “frontier of infinity”: a huge figure in science fiction and American television thanks to his role as Uhura in the Star Trek series and films (one of the first major roles for an African-American actress), Nichelle Nichols passed away on Saturday July 30 at Silver City in New Mexico according to variety. She was 89 years old.

I am sad to learn of Nichelle’s death. She was a beautiful woman who played an admirable character who did so much to address social issues here in the United States and around the world. She’ll miss me. I send my love and condolences to his family. Bill

After a singing and dancing debut alongside Duke Ellington in particular, and a few roles on the boards, Nichelle Nicholsborn Grace Dell Nichols in 1932, appeared in 1964 in an episode of the series The Lieutenant (S1E21), signed Gene Roddenberry. The showrunner entrusts him two years later with the role of Nyota Uhura, officer in charge of communications of the USS Enterprise in the series star trek.

With this role, Nichelle Nichols breaks down barriers and becomes a true icon. She is thus one of the first African-American actresses to appear in a main role on television (Roddenberry threatened the producers, reluctant because of her skin color, to leave the series if she was not selected). She then offers, with William Shatnerone of the first “interracial” kisses on American television in 1969 (S3E10), when the country was still living in full segregation (many Southern television networks therefore decided not to broadcast the episode).


The one who planned to leave the series after the first season to devote herself to other projects (it was Martin Luther King, a big fan, who convinced her of the importance of this role without stereotypes or references to her skin color) will camp Lieutenant Uhura for three seasons and 69 episodes, before finding the character in the 22 episodes of the animated series (1973-1975), in six feature films between 1979 and 1991 as well as in various video games derived from the franchise.

Inspirational figure, immortalized on the walk of fame and on the forecourt of the legendary Chinese Theater in Los Angeles, Nichelle Nichols was a major supporter of NASA and space programs, encouraging many astronauts of color to follow in his footsteps. A science fiction icon, she also appeared in heroes, Futurama (in his own role), The Simpsons and recently Star Trek Renegades Ominara. Her role as Uhura was reprized by Zoe Saldana in the 2009 film reboot.

Chris Delmas / Bestimage

Nichelle Nichols and Sonequa Martin-Green and at the premiere of the “Star Trek Discovery” series in 2017

Nichelle Nichols, who pushed the song twice during the first season of star trekhad released two albums of songs in 1967 (Down to Earth) and in 1991 (Out of This World) and co-wrote and sang the track Embarrassed at the funeral of Gene Roddenberry in 1991. A main-belt asteroid, discovered in 2001, was named in his honor: 68410 Nichols.

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