Nichelle Nichols


August 14, 2022

Nichelle Nichols (December 28, 1932, Robbins, Illinois, USA – July 30, 2022), born Grace Dell Nichols, was an American singer and actress, known for portraying the character Nyota Uhura in the Star Trek series and films.


In her youth, she worked as a dancer and singer, occasionally acted and modeled. As a vocalist, she took part in American and European tours with the bands of Duke Ellington and Lionel Hampton. She met Gene Roddenberry already during the creation of his previous work, The Lieutenant. In the period between the end of the Star Trek series project and the shooting of feature films from the Star Trek environment, she played in films such as Doctor, you've got to be kidding, Made in Paris or Mister Buddwing. 20th Century Records released her single "Shoop Shoop" and later the full album Dark Side of the Moon, which included the song "Gene", which she composed in honor of the creator of Star Trek.


She has always been interested in space and spaceflight. She participated in an eight-hour mission aboard a C-141 Astronomical Observatory that analyzed the high-altitude atmospheres of Mars and Saturn. Together with the other actors and creators of the Star Trek series, she participated in the christening ceremony of the first space shuttle Enterprise. She also spent a lot of time recruiting minorities for NASA.

Star Trek

From 1966 to 1969, she played the communications officer of the starship USS Enterprise, Lieutenant Uhuru, in the science fiction series Star Trek. She is known as one of the first black women who did not appear only as a maid in a television program and who belonged to a wider circle of main characters of the series. After the filming of the first season of the series, she considered ending her tenure in the series. But she met Luther King, who convinced her that she must persevere, because she is a role model for black women and the bearer of change in the then still surviving racial segregation in the United States. The kiss between Uhura and the white captain Kirk (William Shatner) in the episode "Plato's Stepfather" is also known children" aired on November 22, 1968, incorrectly billed as the first interracial kiss on American television. In 1973 and 1974, Nichols participated in the animated series Star Trek, where she also voiced the character of Uhura. She repeated this role in the first six live-action films from the Star Trek universe (1979–1991). She has got a star on Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Personal life

She has a son, Kyle, from her first short-lived marriage to Foster Johnson (they married and divorced in 1951). She was married a second time from 1968 to 1972 to Duke Mondy, but this marriage also ended in divorce. She devoted her free time to Star Trek and actively participated in various fan meetings and sci-fi events. She regularly communicated with her fans and Star Trek fans through her official website and Twitter account.


This article used a translation of the text from Nichelle Nichols' article on the English Wikipedia.

External links

Images, sounds, or videos about Nichelle Nichols at Wikimedia Commons (English) Official site (English) Nichelle Nichols at (English) Nichelle Nichols on Memory Alpha Nichelle Nichols at the Internet Movie Database (English) Nichelle Nicholsová in the Czech-Slovak film database