Actress and singer Nichelle Nichols, best known for her groundbreaking portrayal of Lt. Nyota Uhura in "Star Trek: The Original Series," has died at age 89, according to a statement from her son, Kyle Johnson.That's pretty comprehensive, but the segment didn't cover everything and it didn't feature an expert who had a more personal connection to Nichols. For that, I turn to ABC News' Remembering trailblazing actress Nichelle Nichols.
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; Nichols' Uhura was an integral part of the multicultural "Star Trek" crew.
The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. called it "the first non-stereotypical role portrayed by a Black woman in television history." 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. In an interview with CNN in 2014, Nichols said the kiss scene "changed television forever, and it also changed the way people looked at one another."
ABC News contributor Mike Muse joins ABC News Live to celebrate the lasting impact of "Star Trek" actress Nichelle Nichols, who died Saturday at age 89.The ABC News clip mentioned that Nichols recruited for NASA. NASA released their own video Nichelle Nichols: Woman on a NASA Mission about her work for NASA, including testimony from the people she influenced earlier this year.
NASA celebrates the life and career of Nichelle Nichols, famous for her role of Lieutenant Uhura on Star Trek, as she retires from public life.Rest in peace and power. You were an inspiration.
Not only did Nichols portray a character that was an incredible role model, but in 1977, she also partnered with NASA to recruit minority and female personnel for the space agency's shuttle program.
Nichols symbolized to so many what was possible and inspired young minds to pursue science, technology, engineering, and mathematics careers.