George Takei and Lynda Carter lead tribute to Star Trek star Nichelle Nichols

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George Takei has led the tribute to “groundbreaking” Star Trek actor Nichelle Nichols after her death on Saturday (July 30). She was 89.

Nichols was best known for her role as communications officer Lt Uhura in the original Star Trek TV series, which aired from 1966-69.

Nichols’ son Kyle Johnson confirmed her death on Instagram on Sunday (July 31).

“Last night my mother, Nichelle Nichols, succumbed to natural causes and passed away,” he wrote. “However, her light, like the ancient galaxies now seen for the first time, will remain for us and future generations to enjoy, learn and be inspired by.”

“Her life was a life well lived and as such a model for all of us,” Johnson added.

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

He shared a photo of them together, writing on Twitter: “I will have more to say about the pioneering, incomparable Nichelle Nichols, who shared the bridge with us as Lieutenant Uhura of the USS Enterprise, and who is today aged 89. passed away.

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“For today my heart is heavy, my eyes shine like the stars where you rest now, my dear friend,” he continued.

Kate Mulgrew, who played Captain Kathryn Janeway on Star Trek: Voyagerpraised Nichols for paving the way for female actresses.

Mulgrew shared a photo of Nichols in her role as Lt Uhura on Twitter, writing: “Nichelle Nichols was The First.

“She was a pioneer navigating a very challenging course with grit, grace and a beautiful fire that we probably won’t see again. May she rest in peace.”

Actor Jeri Ryan, who played Borg drone Seven of Nine in Star Trek: Voyager, said: “RIP to a true legend. Her legacy will live on forever.”

The official Star Trek Twitter account also wrote: “We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Nichelle Nichols – a pioneer, an inspiration and more. She will be sorely missed.”

NASA also celebrated Nichols’s life by reflecting on her partnership with them, which helped recruit some of the first women and minority astronauts for the US space agency.

The agency shared a photo of the actor wearing NASA overalls while sitting in front of monitors on Twitter, and the agency said: “We celebrate the life of Nichelle Nichols, Star Trek actor, pioneer and role model, who symbolized as much as possible. what was possible.

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

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

In her tribute, she 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 brighter future for all women in the media. Thank you, Nichelle. We will miss you.”

“She gave way to so many of us. She reminded us that not only can we reach the stars, but our influence is essential to their survival. Forget shaking the table, she built it.” Celia Rose Gooding, who plays Uhura on Star Trek: Strange New Worldswrote on Twitter.

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Bernice King, 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 is even more important.

“Thank you, #NichelleNichols. Rest well, ancestor.”

Dave Blass, who was production designer for Star Trek, added: “Nichelle Nichols has changed the world. How many people can say that?

“She was a beacon of representation, inspiring people to reach for the stars. She embodied everything Star Trek stands for. Must watch movie about her work with NASA.”

“Nichelle Nichols told us we belonged in space. We are limitless. The heavens have received an Uhura today,” Euphoria star Colman Domingo wrote on Twitter.

Seinfeld star Jason Alexander paid tribute to Nichols on Twitter, writing, “My love for the original Star Trek is deep. Nichelle Nichols has been a pioneering and glorious ambassador for her show, her role and science all her life. And a truly sweet human being. May she have a wonderful adventure to the last frontier.”