Nichelle Nichols Dead at 89: Star Trek Co-Star George Takei and Others Pay Tribute to Actress

Celebrity

“My favorite photo of Dad and Nichelle Nichols on set,” he wrote. “The importance of Nichelle’s legacy cannot be over-emphasized. She was much loved and will be missed.”

Koenig and William Shatner, who played Captain James T. Kirk, are the only surviving members of the original Star Trek. Neither has commented on Nichelle’s death.

Nichelle was one of the first Black actors to play a major role on television. She and William also broke a cultural barrier when they engaged in American TV’s first interracial kiss, on a 1968 episode of Star Trek.

In addition to George, Celia Rose Gooding, who plays Uhura on the new Paramount+ series Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, also paid tribute to Nichelle following news of her death.

“She made room for so many of us,” she tweeted. “She was the reminder that not only can we reach the stars, but our influence is essential to their survival. Forget shaking the table, she built it! #RIPNichelleNichols”

See more tributes to Nichelle below:

Melissa C. Navia, who plays Erica Ortegas on Star Trek: Strange New Worlds: “Nichelle Nichols…Her light will keep shining. Brighter & stronger than ever. All the rest to her now and peace to her family. Cannot wait for the celebration of her life that is to come and all the stories that those who knew her best will share.”

Wilson Cruz, who plays Hugh Culber on Star Trek: Discovery: “Before we understood how much #RepresentationMatters #NichelleNichols modeled it for us. With her very presence & her grace she shone a light on who we as people of color are & inspired us to reach for our potential. Rest well glittering diamond in the sky.”

Tawny Newsome, who voices Beckett Mariner on Star Trek: Lower Decks: “Thank you for giving so many of us a place in the universe. #NichelleNichols.”

Kate Mulgrew, who played Captain Kathryn Janeway, Star Trek‘s first female captain, on Star Trek: Voyager: “Nichelle Nichols was The First. She was a trailblazer who navigated a very challenging trail with grit, grace, and a gorgeous fire we are not likely to see again. May she Rest In Peace. #NichelleNichols”

Lynda Carter, star of the 1970s TV show Wonder Woman: “Many actors become stars, but few stars can move a nation. Nichelle Nichols showed us the extraordinary power of Black women and paved the way for a better future for all women in media. Thank you, Nichelle. We will miss you.”

Nana Visitor, who played Kira Nerys on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: “Rest In Peace Nichelle.”

Marina Sirtis, who played Counselor Deanna Troi on Star Trek: The Next Generation and its movies: “RIP @NichelleIsUhura. You led the way and opened the door for the rest of us who followed in your wake. We will be forever grateful. My heart is broken.”

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