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Nichelle Nichols


Nichelle Nichols has passed.

Ms. Nichols had a long career as an entertainer, beginning as a teenage supper-club singer and dancer in Chicago, her hometown, and later appearing on television.

But she will forever be best remembered for her work on “Star Trek,” the cult-inspiring space adventure series that aired from 1966 to 1969 and starred William Shatner as Captain Kirk, the heroic leader of the starship crew; Leonard Nimoy (who died in 2015) as his science officer and adviser, Mr. Spock, an ultralogical humanoid from the planet Vulcan; and DeForest Kelley (who died in 1999) as Dr. McCoy, a.k.a. Bones, the ship’s physician.

We don’t do all that much in the way of Star Trek blogging here at LGM but back in the day Star Trek: TOS was the biggest of big deals to me. Before streaming and (for me) before cable there just wasn’t that much else available in terms of science fiction, and so of course I watched every episode over and over and over again. Nichols was absolutely critical to the success of the series, even in a supporting role; my favorite of her episodes is Mirror Mirror, which enabled her to break the character out in interesting ways. She will be missed; of the major figures from TOS only Shatner, Takei, and Koenig remain.

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