George Takei Posts Heartfelt Goodbye To Nichelle Nichols

Image via Twitter @GeorgeTakei

Rest in peace to Nichelle Nichols.

Yesterday, it was announced that former Star Trek actress Nichelle Nichols died at theage of 89. Nichols played Lt. Uhura in the original Star Trek series and films. After her passing, many fans and creatives lamented her passing and honored her career. Nichols was a true trailblazer who opened doors for Black representation in both tv and in the sci-fi genre. She was a vocal advocate for civil and equal rights and that included her allyship for LGBTQ+ people.


As an example of Nichols’s allyship, castmate George Takei released a lengthy post to Twitter and Facebook about his former coworker and friend. Takei, who played Helsman Hikaru Sulu in the original series, shared that Nichols was a dear friend who played a major part in his 2008 wedding.

He wrote, “I have been truly moved by the tributes and messages honoring the life and work of Nichelle Nichols, our very own Lieutenant and later Commander Uhura on Star Trek. Although our original series ran only three seasons, we became bonded as the fans of our show organized, convened and ultimately pressed for movies and spin-offs of the groundbreaking show. Nichelle and I spent the following decades together as not only colleagues from the bridge of the Enterprise, but as lifelong friends.”


The famous actor then shared, “Much has been said about what a trailblazer and role model Nichelle was for so many young Black women, who saw in her hope and promise for their own future. I wanted to take a moment to share some stories about Nichelle that aren’t as well known, and which highlight her lively spirit, her incredible kindness, and her warm generosity.”

George Takei explained that the two have been friends for over six decades. He also revealed that the two met before working on the popular sci-fi show. Instead, they met while Takei was performing in a civil rights musical called Fly Blackbird.

“I will never forget that first meeting,” Takei reminisced. “She was stunningly beautiful. But beyond her beauty, she stood out. It was a time when many African American women “conked” their hair, which meant straightening it, as was the current fashion. Instead, Nichelle wore an enormous natural “Afro” sphere on her head. It was natural, it was proud, and it was glorious. I knew right then that she was a singular individual.”


Related: Bowen Yang, George Takei, & BD Wong Join New ‘Gremlins’ Series

It seems the two continued to enjoy a partnership and joint love in both performance and civil rights. When Takei ran for city council in L.A., he often counted on Nichols to be his featured performer. He also mentioned how Nichols went to go see the opening of Allegiance just a few years ago on Broadway and later in Los Angeles.

But then, Takei talked about one of the most impactful contributions Nichelle Nichols had on his life. She was the matron of honor at his wedding.

“When my husband Brad and I got married, we asked Walter Koenig, who played ensign Chekov, to be our best man at the wedding,” George Takei explained. “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?’ Noting that Walter’s ‘best man’ title implied the awkward title of ‘best woman,’ she was determined to be known as ‘best lady’ to the guests. I told her, ‘Of course you are.’ I’m sharing a picture of Nichelle with us as ‘best lady’ on our happy day.”


George Takei also noted how the actress supported him even at his father’s funeral. When she learned of the Japanese tradition called Koden, friends and relatives making financial contributions to support the funeral costs, she sent Takei as $500 check in the mail.

“So 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,” Takei wrote to end his thread. “Nichelle Nichols, you were one in a million in so many, many ways.”

1 thought on “George Takei Posts Heartfelt Goodbye To Nichelle Nichols”

Leave a Reply to Victor Cancel reply