Nichelle Nichols, best known for playing Lt. Uhura in Star Trek: The Original Series, has died at age 89. Nichols' role as Uhura in Star Trek, a Black woman serving on the bridge crew of the USS Enterprise, inspired countless people, including many actors who later follow in her footsteps. She broke down barriers with her kiss with William Shatner's Capt. Kirk in the episode "Plato's Stepchildren," which is widely recognized as the first interracial kiss on American television. She became iconic enough through her role as Uhura on Star Trek that NASA later turned to her for help in recruiting women and minorities into its space program, covered in the recent documentary film Woman in Motion about Nichols' life.
Several of those who have worked on Star Trek in the past, or who have are inspired by Nichols and working on Star Trek today, have taken to social media to share tributes to the actor. These include current Star Trek head Alex Kurtzman, NIchols' former co-star George Takei, several current stars of Paramount+'s Star Trek streaming franchise, and even politician Stacey Abrams.
We've collected those tributes here. We'll continue to update this story as more people share their thoughts.
We stand in her light and honor her today and every day. Thank you, dear Nichelle, for leading the way. 2/2— Alex Kurtzman (@Alex_Kurtzman) July 31, 2022
Alex Kurtzman is the producer currently in charge of the Star Trek franchise. He co-created Star Trek: Discovery, Star Trek: Picard, and Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. He also co-wrote 2009's Star Trek movie and its sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness.prevnext
A remarkable woman in a remarkable role. Nichelle, you will be deeply missed. Sending much love and respect. pic.twitter.com/ZRnMblXx0Z— JJ Abrams (@jjabrams) July 31, 2022
J.J. Abrams rebooted the Star Trek film series by directing 2009's Star Trek. He returned ot helm the sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness.prevnext
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.— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) July 31, 2022
Takei co-starred with Nichols in Star Trek: The Original Series. He played Sulu in the series and its six films.prevnext
Nichelle Nichols was The First. She was a trailblazer who navigated a very challenging trail with grit, grace, and a gorgeous fire we are not likely to see again.July 31, 2022
Kate Mulgrew followed in NIchols' footsteps, becoming the first woman to lead a Star Trek series as Capt. Kathryn Janeway in Star Trek: Voyager. She has since returned to the franchise to voice the same character in the animated series Star Trek: Prodigy.prevnext
Celia Rose Gooding
Rest well, legend 🕊✨🤍 pic.twitter.com/OdKjlCtB69— ALIEN SUPERSTAR CRG (@celiargooding) July 31, 2022
Celia Rose Gooding is the third actor to play Uhura in live-action. She stars as Cadet Uhura in the Star Trek prequel series Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.prevnext
Before we understood how much #RepresentationMatters #NichelleNichols modeled it for us. With her very presence & her grace she shone a light on who we as people of color are & inspired us to reach for our potential. Rest well glittering diamond in the sky https://t.co/DmeLFbg825— Wilson Cruz (@wcruz73) July 31, 2022
Wilson Cruz plays Dr. Hugh Culber in Star Trek: Discovery. He's one-half of the first gay couple to be part of the regular cast of a Star Trek series.prevnext
Anthony Rapp plays Paul Stamets in Star Trek: Discovery. The character is married to Dr. Hugh Culber.prevnext
One of my most treasured photos – Godspeed to Nichelle Nichols, champion, warrior and tremendous actor. Her kindness and bravery lit the path for many. May she forever dwell among the stars. #RIPNichelle #Uhura pic.twitter.com/nFXHif8HEC— Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams) July 31, 2022
Stacey Abrams is a politician, activist, and avowed Star Trek superfan. She had a cameo appearance in Star Trek: Discovery Season 4's season finale as the president of Earth.prevnext
✨Nichelle Nichols✨ Her light will keep shining. Brighter & stronger than ever. All the rest to her now and peace to her family. Cannot wait for the celebration of her life that is to come and all the stories that those who knew her best will share. https://t.co/lK07CTahJx— Melissa Navia (@melissaCnavia) July 31, 2022
Melissa Navia plays Erica Ortegas on Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. Aaron J. Watke is a writer and producer on Star Trek: Prodigy, which featured Uhura in a surprise guest role using archival audio from Nichols' previous appearances.prev