Star Trek heroine Nichelle Nichols dies at 89

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 Star Trek heroine Nichelle Nichols dies at 89

Actress and singer Nichelle Nichols, best known for her role as Lieutenant Nyota Uhura on Star Trek, died Sunday at the age of 89.

“Last night, my mother, Nichelle Nichols, passed away of natural causes. However, her light, like the ancient galaxies we see for the first time, will remain for us and future generations to enjoy, learn and be inspired by. Her life was well lived and became an example for all of us”, — said her son, Kyle Johnson.

Nichols played the role of communications officer Lieutenant Nyota Uhura in the television series Star Trek. and its sequels.

Nichols was born Grace Dell Nichols near Chicago in 1932. Dissatisfied with the way her parents called her, she took the name Nichelle when she was a teenager. Her grandfather was a white southerner who married a black woman, which caused a rift in his family.

Possessing a vocal range of four octaves Nichols was performing in local clubs by the age of 14. Among the performers she met was Duke Ellington, who later took her on tour with him.

She subsequently moved to Los Angeles, where she landed a role on The Lieutenant in the early 1960s. ;, which was produced by Gene Roddenberry.
When Roddenberry decided to make Star Trek, he thought of Nichols and offered her the role.

The name of his character in Star Trek invented by Nichols herself. At that time she was reading a book called “Uhuru” — “freedom” in Swahili — and offered to give her character this name.

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