Nichelle Nichols, the Hollywood actress best known for her role in 1960s sci-fi TV series ‘Star Trek,’ has passed away aged 89.

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In a statement shared on Sunday via Facebook, Kyle Johnson, her son, disclosed that she died in New Mexico of natural causes on Saturday night.

“I regret to inform you that a great light in the firmament no longer shines for us as it has for so many years,” the statement reads.

“Her light however, like the ancient galaxies now being seen for the first time, will remain for us and future generations to enjoy, learn from, and draw inspiration.”

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Nichols gained global fame and broke ground for black women after she played Nyota Uhura, the communications officer, in the original  ‘Star Trek’ series.

She also helped to create a new era for television in the 1960s.

Tributes have been pouring in for the iconic actress since news of her death hit social media platforms.

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US president Joe Biden wrote: “Our nation has lost a trailblazer of stage and screen who redefined what is possible for Black Americans and women.

“Our nation is forever indebted to inspiring artists like Nichelle Nichols, who show us a future where unity, dignity, and respect are cornerstones of every society.”

On his part, George Takei, a co-star, took to Twitter to state that his heart was heavy, “my eyes shining like the stars you now rest among, my dearest friend” and he would have more to say soon on the “incomparable” trailblazer.



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