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 Nichelle Nichols

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Nichelle Nichols Famous memorial

Birth
Robbins, Cook County, Illinois, USA
Death
30 Jul 2022 (aged 89)
Silver City, Grant County, New Mexico, USA
Burial
Burial Details Unknown
Memorial ID
242189313 View Source

Actress. Nichols first worked professionally as a singer and dancer in Chicago at age 14, moving on to New York nightclubs and working for a time with the Duke Ellington and Lionel Hampton bands before coming to Hollywood for her film debut in 1959's "Porgy and Bess," and worked in small film and TV roles that led up to her iconic Star Trek character. In 1966, she was cast as Lieutenant Nyota Uhura, who hailed from the United States of Africa in the future, on all three seasons of the series by Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry after she guest-starred as the fiancee of a Black U.S. Marine who is a victim of racism in a 1964 episode of another NBC show he created, the Camp Pendleton-set, "The Lieutenant". At a time when black women where playing maids or servants and small supporting domestic roles, her portrayal of Lt. Uhura was groundbreaking and is also widely known for participating in one of the first interracial kisses on US television when her character kissed James T. Kirk, portrayed by William Shatner. Nichols said she informed Roddenberry midway through Star Trek's first season of 1966-67 that she wanted to quit the show and return to the musical theater, but a fate meeting with Dr Martin Luther King, Jr., who was also a Star Trek fan, told her how important her role was for not just Black people, but little black girls, inspired Nichols to stay on the show. She reprised the role in all six of the Star Trek films from 1979 through 1991, on animated series and several videogames and on a 2002 episode of Futurama. Outside of the Star Trek movies, she acted in other movies and tv shows, including "Truck Turner", "The Young and the Restless", "The Simpsons", "Snow Dogs", and "Are We There Yet?"

Actress. Nichols first worked professionally as a singer and dancer in Chicago at age 14, moving on to New York nightclubs and working for a time with the Duke Ellington and Lionel Hampton bands before coming to Hollywood for her film debut in 1959's "Porgy and Bess," and worked in small film and TV roles that led up to her iconic Star Trek character. In 1966, she was cast as Lieutenant Nyota Uhura, who hailed from the United States of Africa in the future, on all three seasons of the series by Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry after she guest-starred as the fiancee of a Black U.S. Marine who is a victim of racism in a 1964 episode of another NBC show he created, the Camp Pendleton-set, "The Lieutenant". At a time when black women where playing maids or servants and small supporting domestic roles, her portrayal of Lt. Uhura was groundbreaking and is also widely known for participating in one of the first interracial kisses on US television when her character kissed James T. Kirk, portrayed by William Shatner. Nichols said she informed Roddenberry midway through Star Trek's first season of 1966-67 that she wanted to quit the show and return to the musical theater, but a fate meeting with Dr Martin Luther King, Jr., who was also a Star Trek fan, told her how important her role was for not just Black people, but little black girls, inspired Nichols to stay on the show. She reprised the role in all six of the Star Trek films from 1979 through 1991, on animated series and several videogames and on a 2002 episode of Futurama. Outside of the Star Trek movies, she acted in other movies and tv shows, including "Truck Turner", "The Young and the Restless", "The Simpsons", "Snow Dogs", and "Are We There Yet?"

Bio by: Bradley M.


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