Star Trek Icons Pay Tribute To Uhura Actress Nichelle Nichols Including George Takei And William Shatner

Nichelle Nichols in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

The entertainment world sadly lost a few titans this past weekend, one of which was Star Trek legend Nichelle Nichols, who died at the age of 89. The veteran actress famously played the role of Lt. Nyoto Uhura in the original series, its theatrical follows and more (all of which is all steamable with a Paramount+ subscription). Since Nichols’ passing was made known to the public, fans across the web have been paying tribute to the trailblazing star. And among those who are honoring her memory are fellow Trek alums like George Takei and Willliam Shatner. 

George Takei, who famously played the role of USS Enterprise helmsman Hikaru Sulu through the OG show and the films, shared some sentimental thoughts about Nichelle Nichols. In an Instagram post, he warmly memorialized his late co-star and in a separate one, shared a sweet photo of the two of them:

Captain Kirk himself, William Shatner, responded via Twitter. Shatner and his former co-star made television history, as their Star Trek characters were a part of one of TV’s most notable interacial kisses (from the 1968 episode “Plato’s Stephchildren”). Shatner spoke fondly of the late actress and praised her for playing such an impactful role: 

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It goes without saying that Nichelle Nichols opened the door for many others in the industry and the science fiction genre, particularly women and people of color. For instance, Discovery’s Sonequa Martin-Green has spoken of Nichols and the inspirational words she imparted to her. Another person that Nichols blazed a trail for is Voyager alum Kate Mulgrew, who returned for Prodigy. The actress and author took to social media to share a loving tribute to the actress: 

Though the late star made her final appearance as Uhura in the ‘90s, the character lived on and, in 2009, a younger version of the Enterprise crew member (played by Zoe Saldaña) appeared in the theatrical reboot Star Trek. That film was directed by J.J. Abrams, who shared some sentiments of his own after learning of the Heroes alum’s passing: 

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Another sweet tribute came from Adam Nimoy, the son of legendary Spock actor Leonard Nimoy, who died at 83 in 2015. Adam marked the Trek actress’ passing by sharing a sweet behind-the-scenes photo that shows her alongside his dad. You can check it out for yourself down below: 

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The outpouring of love for Nichelle Nichols has been nothing short of incredible. And it’s appropriate given just how important she was to the Star Trek franchise, the entertainment world and society as a whole. She was a skilled performer but also a staunch advocate for change. As such, Nichols was pleased with the state of the Trek franchise, which has arguably been at the forefront of diversity and inclusion in the sci-fi space. While it’s sad that she’s no longer with us, it’s wonderful that Nichols received so much love while she was here and continues to get it.

We here at CinemaBlend extend our deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of Nichelle Nichols during this difficult time.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.