Nichelle Nichols, ‘Star Trek’s’ Uhura, in good spirits after stroke

George Takei, left, the late James Doohan, Nichelle Nichols and the late Neil Armstrong are shown in 2004 at a "Star Trek" convention.

George Takei, left, the late James Doohan, Nichelle Nichols and the late Neil Armstrong are shown in 2004 at a “Star Trek” convention.

(Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times )

Actress Nichelle Nichols, best known for playing Lt. Uhura in the original “Star Trek” TV series and later franchise movies, suffered a “mild” stroke in her home Wednesday night, according to Zach McGinnis, her representative.

“Currently she is awake, eating, in good spirits and able to have full conversations,” McGinnis said in a statement posted to the actress’ Facebook page. “Her right side has shown minor signs or mobility loss but she is not showing any signs of paralyses.”

The 82-year-old underwent a CAT scan and an MRI Thursday, McGinnis said in the statement. “The CAT scan came back negative and we are awaiting the results from the MRI,” he said.


Nichols has been credited for inspiring a generation of young African American actresses, scientists and astronauts in her role as the communications officer on the USS Enterprise. The original TV series ran from 1966 to ’69. Nichols appeared in 70 episodes, according to IMDb.

Nichols is also known for being a part of the first interracial kiss on U.S. television, which occurred on the show in 1968 when her character kissed Captain James T. Kirk, played by William Shatner.

“Thoughts going out to Nichelle. I hope all is going to be OK. Love, Bill,” Shatner tweeted Thursday night.

Former castmate George Takei also shared well wishes over social media.

During a 2011 interview with NPR, Nichols said she once met Martin Luther King, Jr., who said he was her greatest fan and complimented her portrayal of Uhura.

“You are reflecting what we are fighting for,” King told Nichols, she said.

Nichols said she mentioned to King that she planned on leaving the show after the first year for other opportunities, which he protested.

“He stopped me and said, ‘you cannot do that,’” Nichols said. “For the first time, we are being seen the world over as we should be seen,” King said, according to Nichols.


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