Tuesday August 02, 2022

‘Star Trek’ actress Nichelle Nichols dies at 89

‘Star Trek’ actress Nichelle Nichols dies at 89

Fan Desirae Rogers brings flowers to honor actor Nichelle Nichols in Los Angeles, on Monday. AP

Actress Nichelle Nichols, who portrayed communications officer Uhura on the original 'Star Trek' series passed away aged 89.

She died on Saturday night. Her death was confirmed by Gilbert Bell, her talent manager and business partner of 15 years, reports Variety.

Nichols shared one of the first interracial kisses in television history on 'Star Trek'.


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That moment, with her co-star William Shatner, was a courageous move on the her part, 'Star Trek' creator Gene Roddenberry and NBC considering the climate at the time, but the episode 'Plato's Stepchildren', which aired in 1968, was written to give all involved an out: Uhura and Captain Kirk did not choose to kiss but were instead made to do so involuntarily by aliens with the ability to control the movements of humans. Nevertheless, it was a landmark moment.

Nichols remained a supporter of the space programme for decades.

‘Star Trek’ actress Nichelle Nichols dies at 89
Fans place Resurrection lilies to honour actor Nichelle Nichols on her Hollywood Walk of Fame star in Los Angeles. AP

In 1991, Nichols became the first African American woman to have her handprints immortalised at the TCL Chinese Theatre.

The ceremony also included other members of the original 'Star Trek' cast.

Born Grace Nichols in Robbins, Ill. on December 28, 1932, Nichols began her show business career at age 16 singing with Duke Ellington in a ballet she created for one of his compositions. Later, she sang with his band.

The actress played the mother of Cuba Gooding Jr.'s lead character in 2002's 'Snow Dogs' and Miss Mable in the 2005 Ice Cube comedy 'Are We There Yet?'

Nichols suffered a stroke in 2015 and was diagnosed with dementia in 2018, touching off a conservatorship dispute between her manager Bell and her son as well as a friend.

Nichols was married and divorced twice. She is survived by her son, Kyle Johnson.

Indo-Asian News Service

 

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