If you’re a Star Trek fan, then no doubt you’ve heard about the passing of Nichelle Nichols. Known best as the actress who played Lt. Nyota Uhura on Star Trek: The Original Series and subsequent media, Nichols died over the weekend at the age of 89. In the wake of her passing, the stars are coming out to pay tribute to the trailblazer, from the world of Trek and of those far beyond.
Soon after news of Nichols’s passing emerged, her former co-stars William Shatner and George Takei posted tributes. Takei’s post in particular reads as coming from a place of of deep loss. Though Leonard Nimoy died in 2015, his son Adam made sure to post his own memory of Nichelle Nichols. You can see those tweets below.
Speaking well of the legacy Nichelle Nichols leaves behind, her old co-workers from the original Trek series were far from the only Trek stars to pay tribute to the late Uhura actress. Actors from the casts of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise, Discovery, Strange New Worlds, and Lower Decks all posted their remembrances and condolences on social media. The Star Trek stars paying tribute include Jonathan Frakes, Jeri Ryan, Kate Mulgrew, Linda Park, Wilson Cruz and Celia Rose Gooding who plays Uhura on Strange New Worlds. You can see examples of the outpouring of love below.
Nichelle Nichols’s influence on the present and future of Star Trek is evident not only in the love expressed by the folks in front of the camera in subsequent Trek productions, but those behind the camera as well. Trek designers, directors, and producers took to Twitter to share the thoughts on the loss of the actress. You can see examples of those tweets below.
Outside of the Star Trek mythos, the weight of Nichelle Nichols’s is still felt. Tributes to Nichols posted to social media include those coming from actors, rappers, musicians, politicians, best selling novelists, physicists, and more. Hillary Clinton, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Chuck D, Lynda Carter, Viola Davis, Stephen King, and Jason Alexander are just a few of the names of noteworthy figures honoring the the Star Trek icon. You can see some of those posts below.
Nichelle Nichols not only played Nyota Uhura for the first Star Trek series but reprised the role for the first six Trek films, a number of fan-made projects, and voiced the character in Star Trek: The Animated Series and a few video games. One of the most famous stories about her Trek career comes from the late icon’s initial plan to quit the show after the first season. As Slash Film recalls, her mind was changed not by Trek creator Gene Roddenberry but by the late Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King reportedly told Nichols that she could not quit the show because “For the first time, we are being seen the world over as we should be seen.” Thankfully for us all, she took his advice.