American Actress Nichelle Nichols died at the age of 89. She was also a singer, and dancer best known for her portrayal of Nyota Uhura in Star Trek: The Original Series, and its film sequels.
Nichols’ portrayal of Uhura was ground-breaking for African American actresses on American television. Her son Kyle Johnson give a statement on social media, “Last night, my mother, Nichelle Nichols passed away.
Nichols’ death was confirmed by Gilbert Bell, her talent manager and business partner of 15 years. Nichols shared one of the first interracial kisses in television history on “Star Trek.”
That moment, with her co-star William Shatner, was a courageous move on the part of her, “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry and NBC considering the climate at the time, but the episode “Plato’s Stepchildren,” which aired in 1968.
Nichols portrayed communications officer Lt. Nyota Uhura in the “Star Trek” TV series and many of its film offshoots.
When “Star Trek” began in 1966, Nichols was a television rarity: a Black woman in a notable role on a prime-time television series. There had been African-American women on TV before, but they often played domestic workers and had small roles.
Nichelle Nichols Cause Of Death
The statement did not give the cause of death. A cause of death is not yet known and will be determined by the medical examiner. Police investigate her death cause.
Nichols is widely known for participating in one of the first interracial kisses on US television when her character kissed James T. Kirk, portrayed by White Canadian actor William Shatner.
There had been a couple of interracial kisses on American television before. A year earlier on “Movin’ With Nancy,” Sammy Davis Jr. kissed Nancy Sinatra on the cheek in what appeared to be a spontaneous gesture but was in fact carefully planned.
After “Trek’s” three-season run, Nichols dedicated herself to 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.