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Nichelle Nichols

Star Trek's Uhura

Nichelle Nichols is a rare American Icon. Playing the linguistically fluent communications officer on the Star Trek TV shows and movies, she blazed a trail for other black actors and actresses and broke stereotypes with her strong protrayal as a responsibly intelligent officer and integral member of the 60′s TV series.

Nichelle started her performing career singing with the likes of Duke Ellington and Lionel Hampton. She went on to inspire countless young women to pursue careers beyond servitude and stereotype and didn’t leave TV acting to persue Broadway on the advice of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

She is directly credited with inspiring NASA astronauts (Mae Jemison) and actresses (Whoopi Goldberg) with her strong roles and influence. She is cited for participating in the first inter-racial kiss aired on TV.

Following Star Trek, Ms. Nichols volunteered her time working with NASA to recruit minority and female personnel to the space agency. Recruits credited directly to her work include: Guion Bluford, Judith Resnik, Ronald McNair, Charles Bolden and Lori Garver. She has served since the mid-80′s on the Board of Governors of the National Space Society.

Her post Star Trek roles have included appearing in the 2002 comedy Snow Dogs as Cuba Gooding Jr’s mother and a recurring role on the NBC series Heroes.