Nichelle Nichols, known as Lieutenant Uhera, soared into space with Star Trek and Mr. Spock. Now, after learning that her beloved co-star Leonard Nimoy died at 83, Nichols is taking time to pay tribute to the man who became a TV legend, reported People.
“A true force of strength and his character was that of a champion,” praised Nichols. “Leonard’s integrity and passion as an actor and devotion to his craft helped transport STAR TREK into television history.”
But beyond making TV history, Nichelle honored Nimoy for his visionary views on life.
“His vision and heart are bigger than the universe. I will miss him very much and send heartfelt wishes to his family.”
Prior to Nimoy’s death, Walter Koenig, known as Ensign Chekov on the show, also revealed that Leonard put his integrity into action when it came to defending his fellow actors on Star Trek, reported the Las Vegas Sun.
“Leonard (Nimoy, Mr. Spock) was… a very good man. Sound ethics and a good sense of morality,” said Walter. “When it came to the attention of the cast that there was a disparity in pay in that George and I were getting the same pay but Nichelle was not getting as much, I took it to Leonard and he took it to the front office and they corrected that.”
On her Facebook page, Nichelle also paid tribute to Nimoy with photos and comments.
“I have been, and always shall be, your friend #LLAP”
In addition, fans joined in the tributes. Some honored him as having inspired so many professional actors. As the Inquisitr reported, Nimoy even inspired the Big Bang Theory producers so much that they produced what they consider the best episode around his character.
At one point, however, Nichelle almost left the show. It was Martin Luther King who persuaded her to stay, reported the Daily Mail.
“He said, ‘You have one of the most important roles, this is a first. It’s non-stereotypical, it’s brilliant, it’s beauty and it’s intelligence,'” recalled Nichols.
“He said, ‘You cannot leave, do you understand? It has been heavenly ordained. This is God’s gift and onus for you. You have changed the face of television forever.'”
Before King convinced her to stay, Nichelle had given her resignation letter to the producer. But when King told her how much he had impressed her, she remained and became one of the iconic characters on Star Trek.
[Image Via www.facebook.com/OfficialNichelleNichols/]