George Takei, William Shatner, JJ Abrams and more ‘Star Trek’ characters pay tribute to Nichelle Nichols


George Takei and JJ Abrams were among the key figures of the “Star Trek” franchise to pay tribute to Nichelle Nichols. The actress, who played the capable and authoritative Enterprise crew member Nyota Uhura, died Saturday night at the age of 89. Nichols portrayed Uhura in the original series and the first six “Trek” movies. She also voiced the character in “Star Trek: The Animated Series.”

“Last night my mother, Nichelle Nichols, succumbed to natural causes and died,” Nichols’ son, Kyle Johnson, wrote in a statement on the actress’s official Facebook page. “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 us all.”

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Nichols’ “Star Trek” colleague George Takei, who played Hikaru Sulu in the original series and movies, was one of the first voices to pay tribute to the actress.

“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,” Takei wrote. “For today my heart is heavy, my eyes shine like the stars you rest now among, my dear friend.”

“Star Trek” star William Shatner, with whom Nichols shared one of the first interracial kisses on television, also expressed his condolences.

“She was a beautiful woman and played an admirable character who did so much to redefine social issues both here in the US and around the world,” Shatner wrote.

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Celia Rose Gooding, who plays Uhura in the new Paramount+ series “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds”, paid tribute to the actress who conceived the role.

Georgian politician and diehard “Trek” fan Stacey Abrams shared a photo of her and Nichols, who hailed the star as a “champion, warrior and great actor”.

“Star Trek: Voyager” star Kate Mulgrew called Nichols a “pioneer who navigated a very challenging course with grit, grace and a beautiful fire that we probably won’t see again.”

JJ Abrams, who helmed the 2009 reboot of “Star Trek” and its 2013 sequel “Star Trek Into Darkness”, called Nichols “a remarkable woman in a remarkable role”.

Marina Sirtis, who played Counselor Deanna Troi in “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and its four feature film adaptations, stated that Nichols “opened the door for the rest of us.”

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Lynda Carter, who played Wonder Woman in the 1970s DC Comics television series, shared that Nichols “showed us the extraordinary power of black women and paved the way for a brighter future for all women in the media.”

Alex Kurtzman, who is the executive producer of the ongoing “Star Trek” shows for Paramount+, called Nichols a “unique inspiration” and talked about the countless people he’s met who have cited the actress as an inspiration for a career in the science, writing, education and entertainment.

See more tributes to Nichols below:

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