‘Star Trek’ Actress Nichelle Nichols, Who Made History On The Show, Dies At 89

  • Nichelle Nichols passed away at the age of 89.
  • She has died of natural causes.
  • She was best known for being in the ‘Star Trek’ franchise.


Star Trek actress Nichelle Nichols passed away on Sunday at the age of 89. She died of natural causes and her death was confirmed by her son Kyle on her official Facebook page. He wrote, “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.”


Kyle continued, “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. Live Long and Prosper.”


‘Star Trek’ actress Nichelle Nichols has passed away at 89 years old

STAR TREK IV: THE VOYAGE HOME, Nichelle Nichols, 1986, ©Paramount/courtesy Everett Collection

Nichelle was best known for being a part of the original Star Trek series as Lieutenant Nyota Uhura. She made history with William Shatner, who played Capt. James Kirk when they had an interracial kiss, which wasn’t common on television in the ’60s when the series aired.

RELATED: ‘MASH’ And ‘Star Trek’ Star Sally Kellerman Dies At 84

STAR TREK, from left: Nichelle Nichols, William Shatner, ‘Plato’s Stepchildren’ Season 3, ep 10, aired: 11/22/1968, 1966-69 / Everett Collection

Nichelle returned for all six of the Star Trek films from 1979 to 1991. She continued acting up until her death and her final film will be Renegades: Ominara, which will also be her final Star Trek appearance.

WOMAN IN MOTION, Nichelle Nichols, 2019. © Fathom Events / Courtesy Everett Collection

In addition to making history on television, she was also encouraged by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to continue on Star Trek as she was breaking stereotypes for black actresses. She was considering leaving the show after the first season but recalled that he told her, “You cannot do that. You’ve changed the face of television forever, and therefore, you’ve changed the minds of people.”

RELATED: ‘Star Trek’ And ‘Facts Of Life’ Actress Marj Dusay Dies At 83

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