Nichelle Nichols, ‘Star Trek’ Actress, Suffers Mild Stroke

Actress Nichelle Nichols was recently rushed to the hospital after suffering a mild stroke.

According to TMZ, the 82-year-old former Star Trek actress was rushed to a Los Angeles hospital from her home by an ambulance on Wednesday night.

A representative for Nichelle reached out to TMZ to provide an update on the actress’ condition, confirming that she is “awake and resting comfortably.”

The report further states that doctors are currently conducting tests on Nichelle Nichols in order to determine the cause and confirm the severity of her stroke. Nichelle Nichols has been acting professionally for more than five decades.

In the early 1960s, Nichols mostly played minor roles on TV and the movie screen — such as the role of Norma Bartlett in the short-lived TV series The Lieutenant, starring Gary Lockwood, and a buyer at the salon in the 1966 film, Made in Paris, starring Louis Jourdan and Ann-Margret.

However, many fans and critics would agree that Nichelle Nichols had her big break — and perhaps the most memorable role of her career — when she was chosen to join the cast of Star Trek in 1966.

Playing the role of Lieutenant Uhura, Nichols made a mark in history by becoming one of the first black women featured in a major television series to play a prominent, non-servant role.

On November 22, 1968, the now-iconic Star Trek episode, “Plato’s Stepchildren,” allowed Nichelle Nichols to take another major step for black actresses on television.

When Lieutenant Uhura kissed Captain James T. Kirk in that particular episode, it became credited by many fans and critics alike as being the first interracial kiss shown on U.S. television.

Nichelle Nichols had a chance to open up about that memorable moment in a 2001 interview with EMusic. Even though it is now known as “the first interracial kiss” on television, Nichols claims that is not how she viewed it when she first read the script.

“That was so funny. By that time, I didn’t think of it as ‘the first inter-racial kiss.’ I just got the script, and I said ‘Oh, wow, great! We’re going to get a little romance in here!’… Not many people know this, but it was originally written as being between Uhura and Spock. But Bill Shatner said ‘Oh no! If anyone is going to get to kiss Nichelle, it’s going to be me!’ And so they rewrote it, and we all laughed about it.”

In addition to the Star Trek series, Nichelle Nichols continued to portray Lt. (and Commander) Uhura on the big-screen in six different Star Trek movies between 1979 and 1991.

[Image Credit: Getty Images]