Nichols died from pure causes, he stated.
Nichols portrayed communications officer Lt. Nyota Uhura within the “Star Trek” TV collection and plenty of of its movie offshoots.
When “Star Trek” started in 1966, Nichols was a tv rarity: a Black girl in a notable function on a prime-time tv collection. There had been African-American girls on TV earlier than, however they typically performed home staff and had small roles; Nichols’ Uhura was an integral a part of the multicultural “Star Trek” crew.
The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. referred to as it “the first non-stereotypical role portrayed by a Black woman in television history.”
After “Trek’s” three-season run, Nichols devoted herself to the house program. She helped NASA in making the company extra numerous, serving to to recruit astronauts Sally Trip, Judith Resnik and Guion Bluford, amongst others.
George Takei, who portrayed the USS Enterprise’s helmsman Hikaru Sulu, posted a touching tribute to his co-star.
“We lived long and prospered together,” he added with a photograph of the pair making the long-lasting Vulcan salute.
Nichols was born Grace Dell Nichols close to Chicago in 1932. (Sad with Grace, she took the title Nichelle when she was a teen.) Her grandfather was a White Southerner who married a Black girl, inflicting a rift in his household.
She moved to Los Angeles within the early ’60s and landed a task in a Gene Roddenberry collection, “The Lieutenant.” A lot of “Star Trek” veterans, together with Leonard Nimoy, Walter Koenig and Majel Barrett, additionally labored on the present.
When Roddenberry was creating “Trek,” he remembered Nichols. She was in Europe when she received the decision.
Uhura wasn’t within the authentic script, and Nichols was answerable for the title. She was studying a guide referred to as “Uhuru” — “freedom” in Swahili — and prompt her character take the title. Roddenberry thought it was too harsh.
“I said, ‘Well, why don’t you do an alteration of it, soften the end with an ‘A,’ and it’ll be Uhura?’ ” she recalled. “He said, ‘That’s it, that’s your name! You named it; it’s yours.’ ”
Nichols is survived by her son, Kyle Johnson.