A pioneering Black actress who portrayed communications officer Nyota Uhura on the well-known "Star Trek" series from the 1960s has passed away.
Kyle Johnson, her son, posted a notice about her passing on the official uhura.com website.
Nichols passed away in Silver City, New Mexico, where she shared a home with her son, according to a family spokesman.
On the USS Enterprise, Lieutenant Uhura and Helmsman Sulu shared the bridge. George Takei described Lieutenant Uhura as "trailblazing and unequalled," while renowned Georgia politician Stacey Abrams praised her as "a champion, warrior, and a brilliant actor."
In 1968, William Shatner's Captain Kirk and Nichols enjoyed one of the first interracial kisses on American television, making television history.
Nichols, who pioneered with her forceful performance at a time when Black performers were more frequently cast as servants or criminals, was once hailed by Martin Luther King Jr.
Nichols, who had a background in ballet and musical theatre, had expressed her desire to leave "Star Trek" and go back to the theatre to its creator, Gene Roddenberry.
But in a coincidental encounter described by the Hollywood Reporter, she told King about that: "He lost all of his smile and said, "You can't do that." Don't you realise that we are being perceived the way we ought to be for the first time? You do not play a Black character. You play an equal part."
Nichols was a NASA recruiter who was successful in persuading a number of gifted African-Americans and women of all races to think about employment with the space agency after the agency contacted her after she criticised it for its lack of diversity.
Read More Stories