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Star Trek actress Nichelle Nichols dies at 89


In addition to her star trek role, Nichelle also played Nana Dawson on Hero and Lucinda Winters on The young and the restless and had small roles in movies and TV movies such as Sharknado 5: Global Swarm in 2017. In recent years, she has filmed a few projects that have yet to be released. Last December, she was honored in her final convention appearance by star trek fans at Comic-Con.

Nichelle is also known for her singing career and her work with NASA to recruit women and minorities for the space shuttle program.

Nichelle helped star trek break down barriers. She was the first black woman to have an ongoing co-starring role on television, according to Smithsonian magazine. She also helped create one of the most talked about moments in the original series.

In a season three episode that aired in 1968, a year after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled interracial marriage legal, the character of the actress, Starship Enterprise communications manager, and William ShatnerThe main character of , his boss, Captain James T. Kirk, kiss (under the orders of evil aliens).

“The first thing people want to talk about is the first interracial kiss and what it did for them,” the actress told The Associated Press in 2010. “And they thought about the world differently, they thought of people differently.”

Nichelle had almost quit star trek after the first season after receiving offers for roles on Broadway – his dream. She told NPR that while considering the decision, she attended an NAACP fundraiser, where she met Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.. The actress told NPR that he told her, “Yes, Mrs. Nichols, I’m your biggest fan.” I’m that Trekkie.'”

She continued, “He complimented me on how I created the character. I thanked him and I think I said something like, Dr. King, I wish I could walk with you. He said, No, no, no. No, you don’t understand. We don’t need you… to walk. You walk. You reflect what we stand for.

Nichelle said she told the civil rights leader she planned to leave star trek. “He stopped me and said, ‘You can’t do this…For the first time, we are seen around the world as we should be seen.’ The actress also said he told her that star trek was the only show that he and his wife Coretta allow their grandchildren to stand and watch.

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