By Chris King •
Updated: 31 Jul 2022 • 22:10
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Nichelle Nichols, the actress who played the iconic part of Lieutenant Nyota Uhura in the original series of Star Trek, has passed away today, Sunday, July 31, at the age of 89. Nichelle appeared from 1966 to 1969 as the translator and communications officer on the legendary Starship Enterprise.
“Friends, Fans, Colleagues, World”, began a post on Instagram from her son Kyle Johnson. “I regret to inform you that a great light in the firmament no longer shines for us as it has for so many years”.
He continued: “Last night, my mother, Nichelle Nichols, succumbed to natural causes and passed away. Her light, however, like the ancient galaxies now being seen for the first time, will remain for us and future generations to enjoy, learn from, and draw inspiration”.
“Hers was a life well lived and as such a model for us all. I, and the rest of our family, would appreciate your patience and forbearance as we grieve her loss until we can recover sufficiently to speak further”, Kyle concluded.
Nichelle’s role in the long-running Gene Roddenberry sci-fi series was ground-breaking in its day. She was one of the first African American female characters to be portrayed on American television. In an acting and singing career that spanned more than 40 years, Nichelle also reprised the role of Lieutenant Uhura for the first six Star Trek feature films.
In 2021, for inspiring and recruiting diverse communities to join their space programmes, she was awarded the NASA Exceptional Public Achievement Medal.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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