William Shatner and JJ Abrams have paid tribute to late Star Trek actress Nichelle Nichols.
The trailblazing actress died of natural causes on Saturday at the age of 89. She was best known for playing communications agent Nyota Uhura on the original Star Trek television series in the 60s alongside Shatner, Leonard Nimoy and George Takei.
Shatner responded to her passing on Twitter, writing, “She was a beautiful woman and she played an admirable character who did so much to redefine social issues here in the United States and around the world. I will certainly miss her. Sending my love and condolences to his family.”
Takei tweeted, “My heart is heavy, my eyes are shining like the stars you now rest among my very dear friend,” while Adam Nimoy, son of the late actor Leonard, shared a photo of his father with Nichols and wrote: “The Significance Nichelle’s legacy cannot be overemphasized. She was much loved and will be missed.
Meanwhile, Abrams, who has directed two Star Trek movies, wrote, “A remarkable woman in a remarkable role. Nichelle, you will be sorely missed. Sending lots of love and respect,” and Karl Urban, who played Bones in the Abrams films, added, “Trail blazer Legend My heart goes out to his family and friends God speed Nichelle.”
Outside of theater, Nichols has volunteered his time to promote several NASA programs focused on promoting diversity within the space agency. NASA representatives paid tribute by sharing a photo of herself wearing the agency’s jumpsuit and writing, “We celebrate the life of Nichelle Nichols, Star Trek actress, trailblazer and role model, who has symbolized for so many people what was possible. She partnered with us to recruit some of the first female and minority astronauts, and inspired generations to aim for the stars.”