Fri, 17 Aug 2012 14:52:35 GMT | By Tom Phillips
Star Trek actors: where are they now?

Nichelle Nichols

Nichelle Nichols (© Paramount/Everett/Rex Features | REUTERS/Fred Prouser)
  • George Takei (© Moviestore Collection/Rex Features | REUTERS/Sheri Lowen)
  • Kate Mulgrew (© Moviestore Collection/Rex Features | Gary Gershoff/WireImage)
  • Nichelle Nichols (© Paramount/Everett/Rex Features | REUTERS/Fred Prouser)
  • James Doohan (© Paramount/Everett/Rex Features | REUTERS/Pierre DuCharme)
Paramount/Everett/Rex Features | REUTERS/Fred ProuserShow Thumbnails
Previous10 of 11Next
Share this Gallery

Then: Nichols played Lieutenant Nyota Uhura, the Enterprise's communications officer, in the original series and films. She and William Shatner shared what is widely thought to have been the first inter-racial kiss on American television.

Where is she now? Nichols has done little high-profile acting outside of Star Trek - the notable exception being a recurring role in Heroes, like her fellow Trek trailblazer George Takei. However, her post-Trek work has  had a far more profound effect on many people; she worked with NASA in the 1970s and 1980s to recruit more women and ethnic minority personnel, with great success. Colonel Guion Bluford, the first African-American in space, and Dr. Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, were both recruited through Nichols' scheme - as was current NASA director Charlie Bolden. So, she helped people go into space, which is a pretty good legacy by any standards.