Nichelle Nichols

Nichelle Nichols

Below is a short called “Trek Turner”, a remix of the cartoon version featuring Lieutenant Uhura from the Star Trek animated series, dubbed over with Nichelle Nichols’ dialogue from the 1974 blaxploitation film “Truck Turner”. Animated or live action, that’s one Bad Ass Bitch!


Nichelle Nichols was born in Robbins, Illinois, near Chicago. Her father was both the town mayor of Robbins and its chief magistrate. She has studied in Chicago as well as New York and Los Angeles. During her time in New York, Nichelle appeared at the famous Blue Angel and Playboy Clubs as a singer. She also appeared in the role of Carmen for a Chicago stock company production of “Carmen Jones.”

She has twice been nominated for the Sara Siddon Award as best actress and is an accomplished dancer and singer. Her first Siddon nomination was for her portrayal of Hazel Sharp in “Kicks and Co.,” and the second for her performance in “The Blacks.”

Nichelle toured the United States, Canada and Europe as a singer with the Duke Ellington and Lionel Hampton bands. On the West Coast, she appeared in “Roar of the Grease Paint, Smell of the Crowd,” “For My People,” and garnered high praise for her performance in the James Baldwin play, “Blues for Mr. Charlie.”

Prior to being cast as Lt. Uhura in Star Trek, Nichelle had starred on Gene Roddenberry’s first series, The Lieutenant. Nichelle started as Lt. Uhura on Star Trek in 1966. At the end of Star Trek’s first season, Nichelle was thinking seriously of leaving the show, but a chance and moving meeting with Martin Luther King, Jr. changed her mind. He told her she couldn’t give up…she was a vital role model for young Black women in America. Needless to say, Nichelle stayed with the show and has appeared in first six Star Trek movies.

She also provided the voice for Lt. Uhura on the Star Trek animated series in 1974-75.

Prior to starring in Star Trek, Nichelle appeared in films like, “Mister Buddwing,” “Made in Paris,” “Porgy and Bess,” and “Doctor, You’ve Got to be Kidding!” After the cancellation of Star Trek, Nichols played Dorinda in “Truck Turner” in 1974.

Turning her sights toward her music, Nichelle released a single, “Shoop Shoop,” on 20th Century Records and often sings at her convention appearances. She has also released an album, “Dark Side of the Moon,” which includes the song she wrote in tribute to Gene Roddenberry, “Gene.” Nichelle sang the song at Roddenberry’s memorial service.

Always interested in space travel, Nichelle flew aboard the C-141 Astronomy Observatory, which analyzed the atmospheres of Mars and Saturn, on an eight hour, high altitude mission. She was also special guest at the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena on July 17, 1976 to view the Viking probe’s soft landing on Mars. Along with the other cast members from the original Star Trek, Nichelle attended the christening of the first space shuttle, Enterprise, at Cape Canaveral. Nichelle also spends much time recruiting minorities for NASA. Those recruited include Dr. Mae Jemison, the first American female astronaut and United States Air Force Col. Guion Bluford, the first Black astronaut, as well as Dr. Judith Resnik and Dr. Ronald McNair, who both flew successful missions during the space shuttle program before their deaths in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster on January 28, 1986.

A few years ago, Nichelle toured in a one-woman play where she portrayed many famous black female singers of the 20th century. Some of her hobbies are oil painting, designing her own clothes, reading science fiction and sculpting. She has also acted as spokesperson for her favorite charity, “The Kwanzaa Foundation.” Her biography, “Beyond Uhura,” was published in 1994.

Nichelle has two projects in production, David and The Bitter Earth, scheduled to be released in late 2009.

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  1. September 30, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    Hey, I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say GREAT blog!…..I”ll be checking in on a regularly now….Keep up the good work! 🙂

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