Nicole Nichols, who broke barriers for black women in Hollywood as communications officer Lt. Uhura on the original Star Trek television series, has died at age 89.
Nichols died Saturday in Silo City, New Mexico, his son Kyle Johnson said.
“Last night, my mother, Nicole Nichols, succumbed to natural causes. But her light, like an ancient galaxy now seen for the first time, is one we and generations to come can enjoy. Let’s take, learn and live. Be inspired. Johnson wrote on his official Facebook page on Sunday. His life is full and an example for us all.”
His performance in the 1966-1969 series earned Nichols a lifetime of praise from die-hard fans known as Trekkers and Trekkies. It also broke stereotypes that limited black women to the role of maids and earned her accolades, including a then-unprecedented on-screen interracial kiss with co-star William Shatner.
Shatner tweeted Sunday: “So saddened to hear of Nickel’s passing. She was a beautiful woman and a good character who did so much to redefine social issues in the US and around the world. I played.”
George Takei, who shared the bridge with him on the USS Enterprise as a soloist on the original “Star Trek” series, called him a pioneer and one of a kind. My dearest friend, my eyes shine like stars in the sky.”
Nichols’ impact was felt far beyond his immediate co-stars, and many others in the “Star Trek” universe also expressed their condolences on Twitter.
Celia Rose Gooding, who currently plays Uhura on Star Trek: Strange New World, tweeted that Nichols made a place for many of us. Forget shaking the table, he made it.”
“Star Trek: Voyager” scientist Kate Mulgrew tweeted.
Like the rest of the main cast, Nichols appeared on the big screen in six spin-offs