Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

posted by hubie on Tuesday August 02, @05:37PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]

Nichelle Nichols, Uhura in 'Star Trek,' Dies at 89

https://variety.com/2022/tv/news/nichelle-nichols-dead-star-trek-the-original-series-1235330159/

Nichelle Nichols, who portrayed communications officer Uhura on the original "Star Trek" series, died Saturday night in Silver City, N.M. She was 89 years old.

Nichols' death was confirmed by Gilbert Bell, her talent manager and business partner of 15 years.

Lt. Uhura will hail no more

Nichelle Nichols, Lt. Uhura on Star Trek TOS has died, leaving behind fond memories and a lasting memory of a black woman in a Command position (I remember that on Land of the Giants, there was a black male who was second in command).

Was she not also on an episode or two of Star Trek Continues (or such independent show)?

Fond and lasting memories as 'heroes' continue aging and dying. Uhura WILL be missed, by me at least. :(

https://www.cbc.ca/news/entertainment/nichelle-nichols-obituary-star-trek-1.6537750

Trailblazing Star Trek Actress Nichelle Nichols Dies at 89

Trailblazing Star Trek actress Nichelle Nichols dies at 89:

American actress Nichelle Nichols, best known for her role in 1960s sci-fi TV series Star Trek, has died aged 89.

Ms Nichols broke barriers in her role as Lieutenant Nyota Uhura in the series, becoming one of the first black actresses in the US to play a figure in authority.

She was later employed by Nasa in an effort to encourage more women and African-Americans to become astronauts.

She died of natural causes on Saturday night, her son Kyle Johnson said.

[...] As well as working as an actress, Ms Nicholls also became an ambassador for the US space agency Nasa, helping to recruit women and minorities to its Space programme.


Original Submission #1Original Submission #2Original Submission #3

This discussion was created by hubie (1068) for logged-in users only. Log in and try again!
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
(1)
  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Booga1 on Tuesday August 02, @06:22PM (2 children)

    by Booga1 (6333) on Tuesday August 02, @06:22PM (#1264616)

    Another good article: https://gizmodo.com/nichelle-nichols-star-trek-uhura-actor-obituary-1849353418 [gizmodo.com]

    As Uhura, Nichols was one of the first black women to be featured in a major TV series, and she was initially tempted to leave the show during its first season to pursue a career in Broadway. But Martin Luther King, Jr., convinced her to stay on the show, both because he was a fan of the series, and because he viewed Uhura as a role model for black children across the United States. The impact of Nichols’ casting on that show, and for black women in general, just cannot be overstated: even beyond her kiss with William Shatner’s James Kirk [youtube.com] in the episode “Plato’s Stepchildren” being cited as the first interracial kiss on scripted TV, astronaut Mae Jemison and actor Whoopi Goldberg [gizmodo.com] have both said Uhura inspired them in their respective fields. Both women would go on to play characters in the sequel series, Star Trek: The Next Generation.
    ...
    During her life, Nichols also created the NASA program, Women in Motion, which was made to recruit women and minority personnel. That program’s recruits included Dr. Sally Ride, the first female astronaut, and Air Force colonel Guion Bluford, the first African-American astronaut. She and the rest of the Star Trek cast attended the christening of the Enterprise, the first space shuttle, in 1976, and she flew aboard NASA’s SOFIA aircraft in 2015.

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Joe Desertrat on Wednesday August 03, @01:30AM (1 child)

      by Joe Desertrat (2454) on Wednesday August 03, @01:30AM (#1264717)

      Younger people cannot understand how groundbreaking her presence on the show was to television audiences at the time. Roddenberry sneakily made most episodes a morality play of some sort, challenging many social mores of the day, but casting Nichols as Uhura was probably his biggest coup.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 03, @06:39AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 03, @06:39AM (#1264740)

        I've seen a couple dozen episodes over the years, but started watching it from the beginning a few weeks ago. The show was in reruns before I was born, so it's tough to have a real perspective except through witnessing the lingering effects it left behind. The marks it left on sci-fi and TV in general are the easiest to see, but what people experienced at the moment it was first aired is near impossible to judge from here.

  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 02, @07:32PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 02, @07:32PM (#1264642)

    Starship Excelsior is an excellent fan made audio drama. Check out the epsiode Tomorrow's Excelsior, featuring Nichelle Nichols and Walter Koening.

    https://starshipexcelsior.com/episodes/#s4 [starshipexcelsior.com]

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Phoenix666 on Tuesday August 02, @09:23PM (15 children)

    by Phoenix666 (552) on Tuesday August 02, @09:23PM (#1264678) Journal

    I hope she fares well beyond the Great Barrier.

    Star Trek TOS did a lot to inform my idea of what a better future would look like. Its crew comprised Uhuru, Sulu, and Chekov and the show didn't make a big deal out of it; they were all equal members of the crew and there was never any question about that. The only time the show symbolically addressed racism, off the top of my head, was the episode where the two aliens fought, because one was white on the left side of his face and black on the other, and the other was white on the right side of the face and black on the left. The conclusion was that animosity based on color was absurd.

    I am glad Nichols decided to stay with the show. Her work, and that of her fellow cast members, had a subtle, but powerful and positive effect. I hope we can build on its good example.

    --
    Washington DC delenda est.
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by FatPhil on Wednesday August 03, @01:25AM (3 children)

      by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Wednesday August 03, @01:25AM (#1264716) Homepage
      Yeah, it's hard for non-US non-crinklies to evaluate how much cultural impact the show really had, but fortunately there is the documentary evidence from those who lived through those times specifically mentioning how the Uhura character was a positive role model for them, such as the examples cited.

      When I look around popular culture nowadays I'm not aure we have equivalent role models any more. Who was the last person whom the mainstream media called "inspiring" who actually was inspiring?

      I do plan another full rewatch before too long. With my luck, by the time I start, we'll have lost Kirk too, and almost no-one will remain.
      --
      Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
      • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Friday August 05, @02:58AM (2 children)

        by Phoenix666 (552) on Friday August 05, @02:58AM (#1265024) Journal

        Who was the last person whom the mainstream media called "inspiring" who actually was inspiring?

        You have a point. "Inspiring" for the media is checking boxes on some Diversity-Equity-Inclusion taxonomy list.

        Being that is how it is, it's a bit perplexing that they haven't all been cancelled for not showcasing more people from the disabled community. In the 80's we had Stevie Wonder, and Marlee Matlin, who were celebrated because they were talented, but I can't think of anybody else blind or deaf now who gets the "inspiring" treatment on Ellen or the View.

        --
        Washington DC delenda est.
        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by FatPhil on Saturday August 06, @02:54PM (1 child)

          by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Saturday August 06, @02:54PM (#1265258) Homepage
          The Brits have a program called /The Last Leg/, where two of the three regular hosts are missing limbs (one having oligodactyly/brachydactyly/syndactyly or similar on his remaining ones). We watch it to keep up with what's happening back in the UK - it's a topical news chat show with a chaotic comic bent. A regular guest, Rosie Jones, a talented standup comedian in her own right - who thankfully utterly abuses her right to joke about absolutely anything without fear of criticism, has a fairly severe cerebral palsy. They always have a mini-season during, and focussing on, the paralympics - so there is actually quite a lot of inspiring content from that crowd.
          --
          Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
          • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Monday August 08, @11:26AM

            by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Monday August 08, @11:26AM (#1265526) Homepage
            Rosie Jones: https://www.facebook.com/8outof10cats/videos/comedians-getting-electric-shocks-8-out-of-10-cats/124054736226931/

            watch that before continuing.

            .

            spoiler space

            .

            additional spoi1er space

            .

            even more sp0iler space

            .

            have you watched it yet?

            .

            There was a little bit of explanation after that - Rosie basically asked to be the one to receive the shocks, as she felt women and disabled people were being left out, the producers of the program were against it initiallly. Rob Beckett, the grin in the middle, often gets shocks on this program.
            --
            Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
    • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Wednesday August 03, @07:27PM (10 children)

      by DeathMonkey (1380) on Wednesday August 03, @07:27PM (#1264824) Journal

      Its crew comprised Uhuru, Sulu, and Chekov and the show didn't make a big deal out of it; they were all equal members of the crew and there was never any question about that. The only time the show symbolically addressed racism....

      Because Uhuru Sulu and Checkov being equal and unremarkable members of the crew addressed the racism directly?

      • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Wednesday August 03, @07:58PM (8 children)

        by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday August 03, @07:58PM (#1264831) Journal

        It shows them without pointing and saying "See what we did here?"

        --
        --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by DeathMonkey on Wednesday August 03, @08:13PM (7 children)

          by DeathMonkey (1380) on Wednesday August 03, @08:13PM (#1264836) Journal

          There just seems to be this push to retcon Start Trek into not being objectively progressive.

          This diverse crew exists and wins in every single episode. Whereas every other sci fi show at the time was a crew of white dudes.

          • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Gaaark on Wednesday August 03, @11:04PM (2 children)

            by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday August 03, @11:04PM (#1264849) Journal

            Try Land of the Giants:
            Bad, but progressive!
            First black second in command that I've seen.

            --
            --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
            • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Thursday August 04, @03:19PM (1 child)

              by DeathMonkey (1380) on Thursday August 04, @03:19PM (#1264921) Journal

              'Land of the Giants' came out two years after Star Trek did.

              • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Thursday August 04, @06:33PM

                by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 04, @06:33PM (#1264947) Journal

                Ah, shit, really?
                Did. not. know!
                I guess Giants took it all one step further....

                --
                --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
          • (Score: 2) by ChrisMaple on Thursday August 04, @01:34AM (3 children)

            by ChrisMaple (6964) on Thursday August 04, @01:34AM (#1264867)

            What other sci-fi shows? Lost in Space was an unfunny joke, not science fiction Same for Battlestar Galactica.

            • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Thursday August 04, @03:33PM (2 children)

              by DeathMonkey (1380) on Thursday August 04, @03:33PM (#1264923) Journal

              Sure, fighting robots in a space ship isn't sci fi....

              • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Friday August 05, @02:50AM (1 child)

                by Phoenix666 (552) on Friday August 05, @02:50AM (#1265022) Journal

                Dr. Who has been around for a long time and I'm pretty sure everyone would call that sci-fi. It was lily white.

                --
                Washington DC delenda est.
                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 05, @03:23AM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 05, @03:23AM (#1265028)

                  Dr. Who? is now hi-sigh.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Phoenix666 on Friday August 05, @02:47AM

        by Phoenix666 (552) on Friday August 05, @02:47AM (#1265021) Journal

        Because Uhuru Sulu and Checkov being equal and unremarkable members of the crew addressed the racism directly?

        If the show were produced now, there would have been extended soliloquys from those characters about how great it was that they were not oppressed now, the way their forebears had been. There would have been many plot lines written about fighting for social and racial justice. In other words, it would have been pretentious and nauseous.

        Star Trek just showed a future where racism and discrimination were completely forgotten vestiges of an imperfect past. Sadly, we have not moved any closer to that future but much, much further away.

        --
        Washington DC delenda est.
(1)