Nichelle Nichols died on July 30th at the age of 89. She was one of the first black women in a major television series. She started in show business acting, singing and modeling. Nichols worked on stage shows here in New York and on the West Coast. She was cast as Lieutenant Uhura in the popular science fiction series, Star Trek. It was a groundbreaking role including television’s first interracial kiss with William Shatner (Captain Kirk). Nichols was on the show for three seasons but left the series to pursue a Broadway career.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a fan of Nichols on Star Trek and encouraged the actress to stay on the series, stating that it was a good role for black children and young women across the country.
After the series ended, she was appeared in six Star Trek motion pictures and continued to work in television. She was also a popular singer who released two music albums. She sang with the Duke Ellington Orchestra and Lionel Hampton.
The talented Nichols also worked on special projects for NASA to help recruit minority and female personnel for the space program.
Canarsien Jimmy Diele has always been a big Star Trek fan and told the Canarsie Courier that he had the pleasure of meeting Nichelle Nichols twice. She was a guest on his Celebrity Spotlight radio show (Hamilton Radio and iHeart Radio). Diele said that she was always a wonderful person to talk with and that she will continue to influence generations to come.
Courtesy of Jimmy Diele