Nichelle Nichols An Iconic Actress Passed Away At The Age Of 89

Nichelle Nichols, star of Star Trek: The Original Series, died on July 30 at the age of 89. The late actress was well known for her role as Lt. Nyota Uhura in the original TV series and the first six films based on the same continuity. According to her son Kyle Johnson’s Facebook message, Nichols “died of natural causes” on Saturday night. Following her death, the White House issued a statement from President Joe Biden, who said:

“Our country has lost a pioneer of stage and film in Nichelle Nichols, who redefined what is possible for Black Americans and women.”

With the part of Lt. Uhura, the actress was a pioneer, as the character was one of the first authoritative characters in live-action played by a black woman. The character was also one of the first prominent recurrent roles for Black female characters on US television, according to NASA. Meanwhile, Nichols was recruited by NASA to be a public advocate and to promote women of color, particularly Black women, to become astronauts.

The late Nichelle Nichols’ legacy: A look at her renowned filmography

Since her debut in the profession in 1959, Nichelle Nichols has had a long and successful career in Hollywood. Her first (uncredited) appearance was as a dancer in the 1959 musical Porgy and Bess. Her first credited performance was in the 1964 TV movie Great Gettin’ Up Mornin’, when she played Joanne Logan. Nichols was cast in her career-defining role as Uhura in the original Star Trek TV series in 1966, after starring in a few small appearances in TV shows till the mid-1960s. Over the course of three years, she appeared in 69 episodes in the role.

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Nichelle Nichols

Nichelle Nichols agreed to voice Uhura and other characters in Star Trek: The Animated Series in 1973. Six years later, in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, she repeated her role as Starfleet USS Enterprise communication officer Nyota Uhura, and she then featured in 1982’s Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, 1984’s Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, and 1986’s Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. She also played the role again in 1989’s Star Trek V: The Final Frontier and 1991’s Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.

Nichols consented to voice Uhura in various video games after her final appearance in the sixth film of the original series. Later that year, she starred as Nana Dawson in the NBC series Heroes. The late actress’s most recent film was 2021’s 12 to Midnight, and she is now working on another production called Renegades: Ominara, which will be released shortly.

There is some debate regarding whether Nichelle Nichols played Blind Al in the Deadpool series.

Nichols has worked on over 67 films in her career, earning her the Life Career Award from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Films, the USA for her performance as Uhura. Meanwhile, the actress received the 1999 Millennium Award at the Golden Camera Film Festival in Germany for her performance in 1966’s Star Trek. However, there has been an apparent debate since 2016 as to whether the woman played the part of Blind Al in Deadpool 1 and 2. Several viewers apparently believed the part was portrayed by Nichelle Nichols rather than the genuine actress, Leslie Uggams.

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Nichelle NicholsNichelle Nichols

While both women resembled each other in certain ways, Leslie Uggams (79) is a decade younger than the late Nichols (89). In the film, Deadpool refers to himself as Ronnie Milsap, Robin (DC Comics), Mrs. Magoo, and Matthew McConaughey. It’s unclear if the impending third chapter will make reference to Nichelle Nichols’ likeness to Leslie Uggams.

Categories: Biography

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