Nichelle Nichols, 1932-2022

Source: Variety

“Nichelle Nichols, who portrayed communications officer Uhura on the original ‘Star Trek’ series, died in Silver City, N.M. She was 89 years old. Nichols’[s] death was confirmed by Gilbert Bell, her talent manager and business partner of 15 years. Nichols shared one of the first interracial kisses in television history on ‘Star Trek.’ … But Uhura, whose name comes from a Swahili word meaning ‘freedom,’ was essential beyond the interracial kiss: A capable officer who could man other stations on the bridge when the need arose, she was one of the first female African-American characters in a nonmenial role on television. … NASA later employed Nichols in an effort to encourage women and African Americans to become astronauts. … Born Grace Nichols in Robbins, Ill. on Dec. 28, 1932, Nichols began her show business career at age 16 singing with Duke Ellington in a ballet she created for one of his compositions. Later, she sang with his band.” (07/31/22)