Nichols died Saturday of natural causes at the age of 89, her son Kyle Johnson posted on Facebook.
“Its light, like the ancient galaxies now seen for the first time, will remain for us and future generations to enjoy, learn and be inspired by,” he wrote on Sunday. “It’s been a good life, and therefore a role model for all of us.”
Among those who paid tribute to Nichols was President Joe Biden, who praised her and described her as “a theater and screen pioneer who redefined what was possible for black Americans and women.” He continued his statement about her Star Trek Role, “With definite dignity and authority, I helped tell a central story that reimagined scientific endeavors and discoveries. I continued that legacy by continuing to work with NASA to empower generations of Americans of every background to reach for the stars and beyond.”
Also remembering Nichols was behind the team woman in motion, a 2021 documentary film highlighting her efforts to help recruit people of color to work at NASA. “Nichelle, we will be forever grateful for the opportunity to tell your story and share it with the world,” director and producer Todd Thompson said in a statement. “You have entertained us, inspired us, and shown all mankind how easy it is to love and respect one another, to live long and prosper.”
In addition, many in Hollywood have taken to social media to express their condolences, including her Star Trek Co-star George Takei. Read on to find out their appreciation for the actress.
✨Nichelle Nichols Her light will continue to shine. Brighter and stronger than ever. All that remains for her now and peace be upon her family. She can’t wait to celebrate her next life and all the stories that those who know her will be sharing. https://t.co/lK07CTahJx
– MelissaCnavia (@melissaCnavia) July 31, 2022
I am so sorry to hear of Nichel’s passing. She was a beautiful woman and played a wonderful character who did so much to redefine social issues here in the United States and around the world. I will definitely miss her. I send my love and condolences to her family. law Project
– William Shatner July 31, 2022
Oh my goodness, nicelleisuhuru.
Grieving on the news of her passing, however, I feel comforted in knowing that she has lit the way for so many with her grace, beauty, talent, intelligence and commitment to humanity who boldly walks to the stars! #goddess #queen
🙏🏾 ♥ ️🌹🖖🏾 pic.twitter.com/ye08mXzs3B
– Levarburton July 31, 2022
RIP into a true legend. Her legacy will live on forever.# nichols
– Jerry Ryan (@JeriLRyan) July 31, 2022
– Tawny “My Name is Tawny” Newsome (TrondyNewman) July 31, 2022
Nichelle Nichols – Live Long and Thrive
December 1932 – July 2022
– Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) July 31, 2022
TerryMatalas July 31, 2022
Nichelle Nichols was the first. She was a pioneer who traversed a challenging path with determination, grace and a brilliant fire that we are unlikely to see again.
– Kate Mulgrew (@TheKateMulgrew) July 31, 2022
Rest well, legend 🕊✨🤍 pic.twitter.com/OdKjlCtB69
– ALIEN SUPERSTAR CRG (celiargooding) July 31, 2022
A wonderful woman in a distinguished role. Nichelle, we will miss you so much. Send lots of love and respect. pic.twitter.com/ZRnMblXx0Z
– JJ Abrams (@jjabrams) July 31, 2022
rest in peace Tweet embed. You led the way and opened the door for the rest of us who followed in your wake. We will be forever grateful. my heart is broken
– Marina Sirtis (@Marina_Sirtis) July 31, 2022
Nichelle was a unique inspiration. She’s the one that really opened my eyes to what Star Trek could be. I can’t tell you how many people have told me it was the reason they became… astronaut, scientist, writer, linguist, engineer… 1/2
– Alex Kurtzman (@Alex_Kurtzman) July 31, 2022
My love for the original Star Trek runs deep. Nichelle Nichols has been a pioneer and glorified ambassador for her lifelong programme, role, and teaching. And a really nice person. I wish her a wonderful adventure to the final frontier.# retweet
– Jason Alexander (@IJasonAlexander) July 31, 2022
“Award-winning web junkie. Amateur pop culture scholar. Freelance internet fanatic. Incurable beer advocate. Problem solver.”