Actress Nichelle Nichols has passed away at the age of 89, according to a statement from her son.
Nichols broke barriers in the industry portraying Uhura on “Star Trek: The Original Series.”
Her son Kyle said in a statement: “I regret to inform you that a great light in the firmament no longer shines for us as it has for so many years. Last night, my mother, Nichelle Nichols, succumbed to natural causes and passed away. Her light however, like the ancient galaxies now being seen for the first time, will remain for us and future generations to enjoy, learn from, and draw inspiration. Hers was a life well lived and as such a model for us all.”
Originally from the Chicago area, Nichols got her first break in acting on stage in Oscar Brown’s satirical musical “Kicks and Co.” in 1961.
She posed for Playboy in the early days and was booked by Hugh Hefner himself at the Chicago Playboy Club.
Nichols’ role as Lieutenant Uhuru was groundbreaking as one of the first played by an African-American actress on a major primetime series.