George Takei leads the tributes to the “pioneering” Star Trek actor

George Takei leads the tributes to the “pioneering” Star Trek actor

Actor Nichelle Nichols (Barry Brecheisen / Invision / AP) (AP)

Actor Nichelle Nichols (Barry Brecheisen / Invision / AP) (AP)

George Takei is among the Star Trek actors who paid tribute to “pioneer” Nichelle Nichols after her death at the age of 89.

The actress was best known for her role as communications officer, Lieutenant Uhura in the original Star Trek television series, which aired from 1966 to 1969.

Her son Kyle Johnson shared the news on his official Facebook page Sunday that she had died the day before in Silver City, New Mexico.

Takei, who played Lt. Hikaru Sulu in the fictional starship USS Enterprise, said his “heart is heavy” after his death.

She shared a photo of them together and wrote, “I will have more to say about the pioneering and incomparable Nichelle Nichols, who shared the bridge with us as Lieutenant Uhura of the USS Enterprise and who died today at the age of 89.

“For today, my heart is heavy, my eyes shine like the stars between which you now rest, my dearest friend.”

Kate Mulgrew, who played Captain Kathryn Janeway on Star Trek: Voyager, praised Nichols for pioneering female actresses.

Sharing a photo of Nichols in his role as Lieutenant Uhura on Twitter, Mulgrew wrote, “Nichelle Nichols was the first.

“She was a pioneer who walked a very challenging path with grit, grace and a beautiful fire that we will probably never see again. You may rest in peace. “

While actress Jeri Ryan, who played the Borg Seven of Nine drone in Star Trek: Voyager, said, “RIP to a true legend. His legacy will live on forever” in his tribute.

The official Star Trek Twitter account also wrote: “We are deeply saddened to report the passing of Nichelle Nichols: a pioneer, an inspiration and more. We will miss her deeply.”

NASA also celebrated Nichols’s life by reflecting on his partnership with them which helped recruit some of the first minority women and astronauts.

Sharing on Twitter a photo of the actress wearing a NASA jumpsuit as she sat behind the monitors, the agency said: “We celebrate the life of Nichelle Nichols, actor, pioneer and model of Star Trek, who symbolized for so many. what was possible.

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

Wonder Woman star Lynda Carter agreed she believed Nichols had helped “pave the way for a better future for all women in the media.”

In his tribute, he said: “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 the media. Thanks, Nicola. We will miss you.”

Bernice King, who is the daughter of civil rights leaders Martin Luther King Jr, also reflected on the importance of representation on television in her tribute, saying, “Representation is important. Excellence in representation matters even more.

“Thanks, #NichelleNichols. Rest well, ancestor.

Dave Blass, production designer on Star Trek, added, “Nichelle Nichols changed the world. How many people can tell.

“It was a beacon of representation, which inspired people to reach for the stars. He embodied everything Star Trek stands for. He has to watch a movie about his work with NASA. “

To announce the news, Nichols’ son wrote on his official Facebook page: “Last night my mother, Nichelle Nichols, died of natural causes and died.

“Its light, however, like the ancient galaxies now seen for the first time, will remain for us and future generations to enjoy, learn and inspire.

“His was a life well lived and as such a model for all of us”.

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