Who was Nichelle Nichols?
Nichelle Nichols was an American actress, singer and dancer. She is famous for playing the role of Nyota Uhura in Star Trek: The Original Series, and its film sequels. This role was a breakthrough for African American female characters on American television.
Nichelle Nichols Date of Birth
Nichols was born on December 28, 1932. She was 89 years old at the time of her death that occurred on July 30, 2022.
Nichelle Nichols Parents
Nichols’ mother, Lishia Mae was a homemaker while her father, Samuel Earl Nichols was a factory worker who was elected both town mayor of Robbins in 1929.
Nichelle Nichols Cause of Birth
Nichols was diagnosed with dementia sometime in 2018. She died as a result of natural causes at the age of 89.
Nichelle Nichols School
Nichols attended Englewood High School.
Nichelle Nichols Star Trek
On Star Trek, Nichols was one of the first black women to appear in major television series. She played a unique recurring role as a bridge officer. She considered quitting the show during the first season because she wanted to pursue a career on Broadway, but a chat with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. convinced her otherwise.
Nichelle claimed that Martin Luther personally urged her to continue watching the show by expressing his love for Star Trek. He even went so far as to relate her work on the series positively to the marches of the ongoing Civil Rights struggle since she was portraying an essential role model for black children and young women across the nation as well as for other children who would see black people portrayed as equals.
Nichols was given the chance to pursue a job on Broadway during the close of the first season of Star Trek. She chose to accept the part because she enjoyed performing on stage more than in a television studio. Nichols delivered her resignation letter and informed Gene Roddenberry that she would be leaving his office.
After unsuccessfully attempting to persuade Nichols to stay, Roddenberry advised her to take the weekend off and promised to give her his approval if she choose to leave. Nichols learned that a fan was sincerely interested in seeing her while she was at an NAACP banquet that weekend.
Despite the series’ termination in 1969, Star Trek persisted in other forms and continued to influence Nichols’ life. In Star Trek: The Animated Series, she voiced Uhura once more; in the episode “The Lorelei Signal,” Uhura takes over as captain of the Enterprise.
Nichols expressed her disappointment that this never occurred on the original series in her autobiography. The most recent Star Trek movie with Nichols as a co-star was Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. Nichols was one of the four cast members still alive when Leonard Nimoy passed away in 2015; the others were William Shatner, George Takei, and Walter Koenig.