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Here’s what former ‘Star Trek’ cast members and others are saying about the late Nichelle Nichols

George Takei, William Shatner and NASA remember Nichols as a trailblazer and a role model

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Original “Star Trek” cast member Nichelle Nichols poses at the premiere of the new television series “Star Trek: Discovery.”

Original “Star Trek” cast member Nichelle Nichols poses at the premiere of the new television series “Star Trek: Discovery” on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017, in Los Angeles. Nichols died Saturday at age 89.

Chris Pizzello, Invision via Associated Press

Nichelle Nichols, cast member of the original “Star Trek” series in the 1960s, died Saturday at age 89.

Nichols helped break barriers as Lt. Uhura, showing a Black woman in a position of authority on TV. She also shared one of the first interracial kisses on American prime-time television with William Shatner, per The Washington Post.

Her son, Kyle Johnson, announced her death on her website, uhura.com, on Saturday.

“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,” Johnson wrote.


Members of the “Star Trek” crew — James Doohan, back right, Walter Koenig, George Takei and Nichelle Nichols, and DeForest Kelley, front right, William Shatnter and Leonard Nimoy — toast the newest “Trek” film — in which Shatner makes his directorial debut — “Star Trek V: The Final Frontier,” during a news conference at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles on Dec. 28, 1988.

Bob Galbraith, Associated Press

After Nichols starred in “Star Trek” for three seasons, she immersed herself in the space program. “She helped NASA in making the agency more diverse, helping to recruit astronauts Sally Ride, Judith Resnik and Guion Bluford, among others,” according to CNN.

NASA recognized Nichols’ trailblazing contributions to the world in a tweet:

“We celebrate the life of Nichelle Nichols, Star Trek actor, trailblazer, and role model, who symbolized 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.”

Her “Star Trek” costar George Takei paid tribute to the actress, tweeting:

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.

Shatner, another “Star Trek” costar, tweeted:

I am so sorry to hear about the passing of Nichelle. She was a beautiful woman & played an admirable character that did so much for redefining social issues both here in the US & throughout the world. I will certainly miss her. Sending my love and condolences to her family. Bill.

Renowned director J.J. Abrams, who directed the 2009 and 2013 “Star Trek” reboots, tweeted his respects.

A remarkable woman in a remarkable role. Nichelle, you will be deeply missed. Sending much love and respect.

The original “Wonder Woman” actress, Lynda Carter, tweeted her appreciation for Nichols.

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.

Former “Seinfeld” star Jason Alexander tweeted his love for the “Star Trek” actress.

My love for the original Star Trek is profound. Nichelle Nichols was a ground-breaker and a glorious ambassador for her show, her role and science all her life. And a truly lovely person. May she have a wonderful adventure to the final frontier.


Celia Rose Gooding, who plays Uhura in “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds” on Paramount+, tweeted:

She made room for so many of us. She was the reminder that not only can we reach the stars, but our influence is essential to their survival. Forget shaking the table, she built it! #RIPNichellNichols.