Nichelle Nichols, best known for playing Lt. Uhura in Star Trek: The Original Series, has died. She was 89 years old. Nichols' son, Kyle Johnson, confirmed the news with a message posted to Nichols' Facebook page.
Nichols' role as Uhura, a Black woman serving on the bridge crew of the USS Enterprise, in Star Trek inspired many to follow in her footsteps, including future Star Trek actors like LeVar Burton. Her kiss with William Shatner's Capt. Kirk in the episode "Plato's Stepchildren" is also widely recognized as the first interracial kiss on American television. She became iconic enough through Star Trek that NASA later turned to her for help in recruiting women and minorities into its space program, the subject of the recent documentary film Woman in Motion.