Nichelle Nichols demise: ‘Star Trek’s’ George Takei mourns

George Takei led an outpouring of tributes Sunday to his “Star Trek” co-star Nichelle Nichols, who died Saturday at age 89.

On Twitter, Takei shared a candy photograph of himself and Nichols performing the Vulcan salute and wrote, “We lived long and prospered together.” Within the authentic “Star Trek” TV collection, Takei performed Sulu and Nichols was Lt. Uhura.

“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 tweeted.

“For today, my heart is heavy, my eyes shining like the stars you now rest among, my dearest friend.”

Takei was amongst a number of members of the “Star Trek” household who mourned Nichols’ demise this weekend on social media. As communications officer of the Starship Enterprise, the legendary Nichols made main strides for Black illustration onscreen and took part in what had been considered the primary interracial kiss on tv.

“She made room for so many of us,” tweeted Celia Rose Gooding, who performs Lt. Uhura within the Paramount+ collection “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.” “She was the reminder that not only can we reach the stars, but our influence is essential to their survival. Forget shaking the table, she built it!”

Marina Sirtis, who portrayed counselor Deanna Troi in “Star Trek” films and the TV collection “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” added on Twitter: “You led the way and opened the door for the rest of us who followed in your wake. We will be forever grateful. My heart is broken.”

Nichelle Nichols, left, as Commander Uhura, DeForest Kelley as Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy and George Takei as Commander Hikaru Sulu within the film “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.”

(CBS through Getty Pictures)

Throughout its three-season run within the Nineteen Sixties, Nichols appeared in 66 episodes of the unique “Star Trek” and turned up commonly at “Star Trek” conventions. She later reprised her groundbreaking function for a number of “Star Trek” films.

“Nichelle Nichols was The First,” tweeted Kate Mulgrew, who performed Capt. Kathryn Janeway on the TV collection “Star Trek: Voyager.” “She was a trailblazer who navigated a very challenging trail with grit, grace, and a gorgeous fire we are not likely to see again.”

LeVar Burton, who performed Geordi La Forge in “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” tweeted: “Heartbroken at the news of [Nichols’] passing, however, I am comforted in the knowledge that she illuminated the way for so of us many with her grace, beauty, talent, intelligence and her commitment to humanity going boldly to the stars!”

Nichols was remembered fondly by Alex Kurtzman and Olatunde Osunsanmi, government producers of the Paramount+ present “Star Trek: Discovery.”

“Nichelle was a singular inspiration,” Kurtzman tweeted. “She’s the one who really opened my eyes to what Star Trek is and can be. I can’t tell you how many people have told me she’s the reason they became … an astronaut, a scientist, a writer, a linguist, an engineer … it goes on and on. … We stand in her light and honor her today and every day. Thank you, dear Nichelle, for leading the way.”

#NichelleNichols thanks, for igniting the flame of a ravishing journey,” Osunsanmi tweeted. “For myself, and millions of others on our world. We’ll miss you.”

Just a few “Stark Trek: Discovery” solid members — together with Wilson Cruz, Jayne Brook and Anthony Rapp — took to Twitter to honor Nichols as nicely.

“Before we understood how much #RepresentationMatters #NichelleNichols modeled it for us,” tweeted Cruz, who portrays Dr. Hugh Culber. “With her very presence & her grace she shone a light on who we as people of color are & inspired us to reach for our potential. Rest well glittering diamond in the sky.”

“You soared so we could follow,” tweeted Brook, who plays Vice Admiral Katrina Cornwell. “Thank you, Nichelle. You will be missed, and cherished in hearts and minds today and forever.”

“Rest in power, icon,” tweeted Rapp, who plays Paul Stamets.

In February 2015, Leonard Nimoy — who portrayed Spock in the original “Star Trek” series — died at age 83. On Sunday, Leonard Nimoy’s son, Adam Nimoy, shared his “favorite photo” of his father and Nichols smiling on the set of “Star Trek” together.

“The importance of Nichelle’s legacy cannot be over-emphasized,” Adam Nimoy tweeted. “She was much loved and will be missed.”

Other “Star Trek” figures who saluted Nichols online include “Star Trek: Lower Decks” cast members Tawny Newsome and Jack Quaid, “Star Trek: Picard” director Lea Thompson, “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds” actor Melissa Navia and “Star Trek: Prodigy” author and producer Aaron J. Waltke.

Nichols’ legacy was also celebrated by plenty of entertainment luminaries outside the vast realm of “Star Trek.” Among them was “Wonder Woman” star Lynda Carter, who tweeted: “Many actors become stars, but few stars can move a nation. Nichelle Nichols showed us the extraordinary power of Black women and paved the way for a better future for all women in media. Thank you, Nichelle. We will miss you.”

In another tweet, NASA hailed Nichols an “actor, trailblazer, and role model, who symbolized to so many what was possible.”

“She partnered with us to recruit some of the first women and minority astronauts, and inspired generations to reach for the stars,” NASA’s statement read.

See more tributes to Nichols below.