Star Trek’s Nichelle Nichols dies at age 89

Nichelle Nichols, who was best known for her groundbreaking role as Nyota Uhura in the original Star Trek series

died at age 89. Her son, Kyle Johnson, informed her fans in a post on Nichols’ Instagram account.

“Last night, my mother, Nichelle Nichols, succumbed to natural causes and passed away,” Johnson writes.

“Her light however, like the ancient galaxies now being seen for the first time, will remain for us and future generations to enjoy

Nichols was born on December 28th, 1932 in Robbins, Illinois. Before joining the cast of Star Trek,

Nichols toured with jazz artist Duke Ellington as a dancer and singer,

 and later starred in the 1959 film Porgy and Bess, as well as The Lieutenant television series (1964).

Nichols’ legacy reaches far beyond Star Trek.

 She partnered with NASA to encourage the recruitment of astronauts from underrepresented backgrounds.

Nichols announced her retirement from space advocacy after making a final appearance at the LA Comic Con.