Sun. Aug 14th, 2022

George Takei recalls close friendship with late ‘Star Trek’ actress Nichelle Nichols

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George Takei shared a story reflecting on his close friendship with fellow “Star Trek” actor Nichelle Nichols, who died at 89 over the weekend.

The 85-year-old actor wrote a tribute via Facebook to honor the late actress, noting how she supported Takei and his husband during their 2008 wedding. 

“When my husband Brad and I got married, we asked Walter Koenig, who played ensign Chekov on the show, to be our best man at the wedding,” he wrote on Monday. “We asked Nichelle to be our matron of honor.”

“In her characteristic fashion, Nichelle declared, ‘I am not a matron! If Walter can be best man, why can’t I be best lady?’ ” Takei added. “Noting that Walter’s ‘best man’ title implied the awkward title of ‘best woman,’ she was determined to be known as the ‘best lady’ to the guests.”

"Star Trek" star Nichelle Nichols died at the age of 89. The actress was known for her role as Lieutenant Nyota Uhura.

“Star Trek” star Nichelle Nichols died at the age of 89. The actress was known for her role as Lieutenant Nyota Uhura.
(Getty Images)

‘STAR TREK’ ACTRESS NICHELLE NICHOLS DEAD AT 89

Nichols was best known on “Star Trek” for playing Nyota Uhura during the original show from 1966-1969. Moreover, she had appearances in the show’s films from the late seventies to 1991. She died of natural causes on Sunday. 

“I told her, ‘Of course you are.’ I’m sharing a picture here of Nichelle, with us, as ‘best lady’ on our happy day,” Takei noted as he shared photos of the two of them together. 

Takei concluded his tribute by stating, “While fans will miss and honor the famous actress who opened so many paths with her presence on the screen, I will also miss the dear friend who always let you know she was there to support you, to love you, and to go through this strange and wonderful life alongside you. Nichelle Nichols, you were one in a million in so many, many ways.” 

Nichelle Nichols (left, as Uhura), Canadian actor William Shatner (as Captain James T. Kirk) holds a plate on the bridge of the USS Enterprise in a scene from 'The Man Trap,' the premiere episode of ‘’Star Trek,'' which aired on September 8, 1966. Behind them, Leonard Nimoy (as Mr. Spock) stands at a door. 

Nichelle Nichols (left, as Uhura), Canadian actor William Shatner (as Captain James T. Kirk) holds a plate on the bridge of the USS Enterprise in a scene from ‘The Man Trap,’ the premiere episode of ‘’Star Trek,” which aired on September 8, 1966. Behind them, Leonard Nimoy (as Mr. Spock) stands at a door. 
(CBS Photo Archive)

Other costars, such as William Shatner, who starred in the leading role as Captain James T. Kirk alongside Nichols, also issued tributes to the late actress following her death. “I am so sorry to hear about the passing of Nichelle. She was a beautiful woman & played an admirable character that did so much for redefining social issues both here in the US & throughout the world. I will certainly miss her. Sending my love and condolences to her family.”

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Shatner and Nichols made television history in 1968 when they shared the first televised interracial kiss during the third season of “Star Trek.”

Prior to her death, Nichols had health struggles for multiple years, including in 2015 when she suffered a minor stroke. At the time of her death, she was struggling with dementia. 

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