Zoe Saldana Mourns Star Trek 's Original Uhura Nichelle Nichols: She 'Helped So Many Others Prosper'

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LOS ANGELES - MARCH 29: Nichelle Nichols as Lt. Uhura in the STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES episode, "Assignment: Earth." Season 2, episode 26. Original air date was March 29, 1968. Image is a screen grab. (Photo by CBS via Getty Images) ; Editorial use only. No book cover usage. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Paramount Pictures/Bad Robot/Kobal/Shutterstock (5885356a) Zoe Saldana Star Trek Beyond - 2016 Director: Justin Lin Paramount Pictures/Bad Robot USA Scene Still Scifi Star Trek: Sans limites
LOS ANGELES - MARCH 29: Nichelle Nichols as Lt. Uhura in the STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES episode, "Assignment: Earth." Season 2, episode 26. Original air date was March 29, 1968. Image is a screen grab. (Photo by CBS via Getty Images) ; Editorial use only. No book cover usage. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Paramount Pictures/Bad Robot/Kobal/Shutterstock (5885356a) Zoe Saldana Star Trek Beyond - 2016 Director: Justin Lin Paramount Pictures/Bad Robot USA Scene Still Scifi Star Trek: Sans limites

CBS via Getty; Paramount Pictures/Bad Robot/Kobal/Shutterstock

Zoe Saldana has paid tribute to late Star Trek star Nichelle Nichols, who personally paved the way for herself and many actresses of future generations.

Two days after Nicholas died at the age of 89, Zaldana posted a memorial on her Instagram for the groundbreaker, who first played the role of Lieutenant Nyota Uhura in the '60s sci-fi TV series. In 2009, Saldana portrayed Uhura in a big-screen Star Trek reboot, and she's gone on to play the starship Enterprise communications officer in two follow-ups, with a fourth installment expected to come.

RELATED: Nichelle Nichols, Barrier-Breaking Star Trek Actress, Dead at 89

"I'm saddened to learn of Nichelle Nichols' passing," Saldana, 44, wrote on Monday. "We have lost a true star- a unique artist who was ahead of her time always. She's an icon, an activist and most importantly an amazing woman- who blazed a trail that has shown so many how to see women of color in a different light. Her strive for equality was unwavering."

"Meeting Nichelle was truly a very special moment in my life," Saldana continued. "Her energy was infectious every time I was in her presence. She convinced me in believing that anything was achievable, if you put your heart into it. I mean, she inspired Mae Jemison to follow her dreams of becoming an astronaut and that's exactly what Mae did.

RELATED: Lynda Carter, George Takei, Kate Mulgrew and Other Stars Honor Nichelle Nichols After Her Death

Saldana reflected on taking over such an iconic character, noting, "I knew I had big shoes to fill when I was chosen to play Uhura, and Nichelle made me feel safe, told me to play her with all the confidence in the world."

STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS
STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS

Zade Rosenthal/©Paramount Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection

Looking forward, she wrote, "My hope is that we continue to keep her memory alive by celebrating her amazing body of work, and by spreading the message of peace and equality amongst all people. She lived a long, impactful life and not only prospered, but helped so many others prosper too."

For more on Nichelle Nichols, listen below to our daily podcast PEOPLE Every Day.

"Maya Angelou once said 'People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel,'" continued Saldana. "I agree with this statement with the exception of Nichelle Nichols. It'll be hard to forget what she said and hard to forget what she did, and it will certainly be impossible to forget how she made us feel.

She concluded the post: "REST IN POWER QUEEN NICHELLE."

RELATED: Star Trek Alum Whoopi Goldberg Pays Tribute to Nichelle Nichols: She 'Inspired Me'

nichelle nichols
nichelle nichols

bettmann/getty; nasa

On Sunday, Nichols' son Kyle Johnson posted a statement via Facebook announcing the news of his mother's death.

"Last night, my mother, Nichelle Nichols, succumbed to natural causes and passed away," he wrote in part. "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."

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Many of her friends, fans and costars have posted tributes to her enduring legacy, with fellow Star Trek star Whoopi Goldberg taking time out on Monday's episode of The View to say a few words about Nichols' legacy and their personal connection.

"Nichele Nichols was a trailblazer, a heroine, and an extraordinary woman — somebody who inspired millions and millions of people, but who inspired me because I explained when I went to get my gig at Star Trek that Nichelle was the first Black person I'd ever seen who made it to the future," she shared.

"This show and this woman was the one beacon that said, 'Yes, we'll be there.' And it just made me feel like that was an amazing thing," added Goldberg, 66. "She helped propel other women to go into space. She was extraordinary and I was lucky enough to spend time with her over the years."

Goldberg concluded, "She was my friend. She'll be missed."