Actress Nichelle Nichols—who made history with her portrayal of Nyota Uhura on Star Trek: The Original Series—died Saturday, July 30, at the age of 89. Her son Kyle Johnson announced Nichols' passing on her official Instagram account, saying his mother had died of natural causes. (The Los Angeles Times reported cause of death as heart failure.) Deadline Hollywood confirmed her passing with Gilbert Bell, her talent manager and business partner of 15 years. Nichols suffered a mild stroke in 2015 and was diagnosed with dementia in 2018. She rarely appeared in public after that.
(Last year we wrote about Woman in Motion, a new documentary about Nichols and her recruitment work for NASA, directed by Todd Thompson (streaming on Paramount+). A portion of the following is adapted from that text.)