George Takei, William Shatner, J.J. Abrams and More ‘Star Trek’ Figures Pay Tribute to Nichelle Nichols

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

“Last night, my mother, Nichelle Nichols, succumbed to natural causes and passed away,” Nichols’ son, Kyle Johnson, wrote in a statement on the actress’ official Facebook page. “Her light however, like the ancient galaxies now being seen for the first time, will remain for us and future generations to enjoy, learn from, and draw inspiration. Hers was a life well lived and as such a model for us all.”

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Nichols’ “Star Trek” costar George Takei, who portrayed Hikaru Sulu across the original series and films, was one of the first voices to pay tribute to the actress.

“I shall have more to say about the trailblazing, incomparable Nichelle Nichols, who shared the bridge with us as Lt. Uhura of the USS Enterprise,” Takei wrote. “For today, my heart is heavy, my eyes shining like the stars you now rest among, my dearest friend.”

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

“She was a beautiful woman and played an admirable character that did so much for redefining social issues both here in the US and throughout the world,” Shatner wrote.

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

Georgia politician and diehard “Trek” fan Stacey Abrams shared a photograph of her and Nichols, hailing the star as a “champion, warrior and tremendous actor.”

“Star Trek: Voyager” star Kate Mulgrew called Nichols a “trailblazer who navigated a very challenging trail with grit, grace and a gorgeous fire we are not likely to see again.”

J.J. Abrams, who helmed the 2009 “Star Trek” reboot and its 2013 follow-up “Star Trek Into Darkness,” called Nichols “a remarkable woman in a remarkable role.”

Marina Sirtis, who portrayed 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.”

Lynda Carter, who portrayed 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 better future for all women in media.”

Alex Kurtzman, who serves as lead executive producer on the ongoing “Star Trek” shows for Paramount+, called Nichols a “singular inspiration” and recounted the innumerable people he’s encountered that have cited the actress as an inspiration to pursue careers in science, writing, education and entertainment.

See more tributes to Nichols below:

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