Friends and Fans of Nichelle Nichols Celebrate Her Life After Her Passing

We got the sad news this weekend that Nichelle Nichols, who played Nyota Uhura on Star Trek: The Original Series, passed away. Nichols’ Uhura was a groundbreaking character, and one that was an inspiration for many, especially other women of color.

Her role was so influential on TOS that Martin Luther King Jr. convinced her to say on after the first season the show, even though she was planning to quit. King’s daughter, attorney Bernice King, emphasized the impact Nichols’ had in her Trek role.

“Representation matters,” King wrote on Twitter. “Excellence in representation matters even more. Thank you #NichelleNichols. Rest well, ancestor.”


In addition to playing Uhura, Nichols also worked with NASA to improve recruitment of women and people of color to join the astronaut program. Dr. Mae Jemison, the first woman of color in space, also knew Nichols and shared on Twitter that the actor “is forever for me the embodiment of grace, daring, intelligence, fun, inspiration, beauty, talent & the future.” Jemison also added that she was understandably “heart-sad at her passing” and that she considered her friendship with Nichols to be “a great treasure & privilege in my life.”


Within the world of Trek,  Leonard Nimoy’s son, Adam Nimoy, also shared a lovely photo of her and his dad on set:


Nichols TOS surviving co-stars also shared their remembrances of her. “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,” said William Shatner (a.k.a. James T. Kirk) via Twitter.

George Takei, who played Sulu on TOS, also shared his regret at Nichols’ passing. “My heart is heavy,” he wrote. “my eyes shining like the stars you now rest among, my dearest friend.”


Wonder Woman herself, Lynda Carter, also expressed her appreciation for Nichols’ impact. “Many actors become stars, but few stars can move a nation,” she wrote on Twitter. “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.”


See below for additional Twitter tributes to Nichols.



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