She’s taking her final bow!
88-year-old Star Trek icon Nichelle Nichols was honored at her final Comic Con appearance, Black Enterprise reports.
Nichols first burst onto the scene in the original Star Trek television series that aired from 1966 to 1969. She played communications officer Nyota Uhura, breaking barriers in front of the cameras as one of the earliest representations of Black women in mainstream television. Later on in her career, she was key in recruiting women and minorities into the NASA space program during the 1970s and ‘80s as a result of her new fame.
Throughout her nearly six decade career, Nichols has become a mainstay in the comic industry, making regular appearances at Comic Con. Since being diagnosed with dementia in 2018, Nichols has lessened her public appearances while family gathers to take care of her and work out estate and conservatorship details. This past weekend, the 88-year-old veteran actress was honored at her final Los Angeles Comic Con appearance, the conference hosting a special farewell dinner.
Photo Courtesy of People
Nichols was seated in an assisted wheelchair alongside her son Kyle Johnson, beaming excitedly at the dinner which included a farewell dance and video tribute. Johnson was proud as he watched his mother receive her well-earned praise from all of the attendees.
“A life well-lived is reward enough, every day, and my mother’s certainly had a life well lived in many respects,” Johnson told audience members. “This is an exceptional recognition, and I’m of course very proud of her for all that she’s done, and the value and the meaning of her work. Not just as an actress, but very real and important work that she inspired and enabled people to understand,” Johnson added.
According to People, There were a number of attendees at Nichols three-day farewell celebration including her younger sister Marian Michaels, actresses Judy Pace and Beverly Todd, Star Trek: Discovery actress Sonequa Martin-Green and former NASA astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison, who made history as the first Black woman to travel into space in 1992.
“It’s really amazing how many different ways people are impacted [by her]...One of the things that you’ve heard everyone say when they talk about meeting and spending any time in Miss Nichelle Nichols’ presence is warmth and generosity. And you feel like you’ve known her, because she is that real, not just relatable, but that important and sentient in our lives…She said to me, ‘Life is what the universe gave you for free when you were born. But style is what you do with it,’” said Jemison.
Nichols will be 89-years-old on December 28th. While she didn’t make any public statements during her final appearance, she did talk individually to attendees, sign autographs, pose for photos and attend an early celebration where she danced the night away. The celebration ended with a special panel full of Nichols’ loved ones who shared personal stories and behind-the-scenes details about the actress and her life.
“The thing is that her fans are the world to her. She wouldn’t be who she is without you fans, and she knows that. And she loves the fans. She really, really loves you,” said her sister Marian.
Thank you for all of your work Ms. Nichols! Because of you, we can!
Photo Courtesy of Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images