Nichelle Nichols Dies: George Takei, William Shatner, & More Pay Tribute to ‘Star Trek’ Icon

Nichelle Nichols in Star Trek
The Everett Collection

The stars of the Star Trek franchise are paying tribute to Nichelle Nichols, the actress who portrayed the beloved Enterprise crew member Nyota Uhura, who died Saturday at 89.

George Takei, who portrayed Hikaru Sulu across the original series and films, shared a heartfelt message about his former co-star on social media. “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.”

William Shatner, who famously played Captain Kirk and shared one of television’s first interracial kisses with Nichols, also paid tribute, writing: “She was a beautiful woman and played an admirable character that did so much for redefining social issues both here in the US and throughout the world.”

Kate Mulgrew, who portrayed Captain Kathryn Janeway on Star Trek: Voyager, described Nichols as a “trailblazer who navigated a very challenging trail with grit, grace and a gorgeous fire we are not likely to see again.”

The tributes continued to pour in from across the Star Trek universe and beyond, including from director J.J. Abrams, who helmed the 2009 Star Trek reboot and its 2013 sequel Star Trek Into Darkness. “A remarkable woman in a remarkable role,” Abrams wrote. “Nichelle, you will be deeply missed.”

Celia Rose Gooding, who plays the role of Uhura in the new Paramount+ series Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, said, “She made room for so many of us. She was the reminder that not only can we reach the stars, but our influence is essential to their survival.”

Meanwhile, original Wonder Woman star Lynda Carter wrote, “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.”

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Check out more tributes below.