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Nichelle Nichols closes hailing frequencies

Nichelle Nichols, who long ago achieved immortality in her role as Uhura on Star Trek, has died at the age of 89.

Born in 1932, her four-octave vocal range saw her perform with Duke Ellington at the tender age of 14 and sparked aspirations to become a singer. When the chance to act on TV came up, she saw it as a stepping-stone to an eventual Broadway career.

Then Star Trek happened. She wasn’t the first woman of color on American TV screens, nor even the first in a prominent role. But she was the first who wasn’t playing some form of domestic servant. As chief communications officer, Uhura was a respected member of the Enterprise bridge crew, even if her character was lumbered with catchphrases regarding opening and closing “hailing frequencies.” Read more >

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