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Star Trek Legend Nichelle Nichols Has Died At The Age Of 89

Star Trek Legend Nichelle Nichols Has Died At The Age Of 89

The actor who played the iconic Nyota Uhura has been hailed as a trailblazer and a role model.

Nichelle Nichols, the actor who played Nyota Uhura in Star Trek: The Original Series, has died at the age of 89.

The legendary star's death was sadly confirmed in a statement from her family.

Her son, Kyle Johnson, wrote on Facebook: "I regret to inform you that a great light in the firmament no longer shines for us as it has for so many years.

'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.

"Her services will be for family members and the closest of her friends and we request that her and our privacy be respected."

He signed off with the iconic Star Trek line 'Live long and prosper'.

George Takei, who played Hikaru Sulu in the Star Trek series, wrote on Twitter: "I shall have more to say about the trailblazing, incomparable Nichelle Nichols, who shared the bridge with us as Lt. Uhura of the USS Enterprise, and who passed today at age 89.

"For today, my heart is heavy, my eyes shining like the stars you now rest among, my dearest friend."

Nichols was groundbreaking for her time.

When she was cast as Nyota Uhura back in the mid-60s, she became one of the very few Black women to star on a mainstream and primetime television show.

Because she was such an icon in the show, she decided to help raise awareness for inclusivity and diversity.

The Daily Mail says she worked with NASA from 1977 to 2015 to get women and people of colour involved in the space industry.

NASA posted a statement following news of her death, saying: "We celebrate the life of Nichelle Nichols, Star Trek actor, trailblazer, and role model, who symbolized to so many what was possible.

"She partnered with us to recruit some of the first women and minority astronauts, and inspired generations to reach for the stars."

Featured Image Credit: dpa picture alliance/Alamy Live News. United Archives GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: Star Trek, Celebrity