The Chicago native broke into show business in her late teens, appearing in the musical “Kicks and Co.” and then toured the world as a singer with Duke Ellington and Lionel Hampton. In 1967, Nichols auditioned for the part of Uhura (which wasn’t written for a Black actress), nailed it, and landed the seminal role. She felt her role wasn’t significant enough, though, and was tempted to quit after the first year, but it was Martin Luther King, Jr. who convinced her to stay, telling her that as a role model for her race, she couldn’t give up!
These days, the still-stunning 78-year-old is executive producing films and is featured in PBS’s “Pioneers of Television,” which debuts this week.
Lieutenant Uhura, we salute you and your timeless glamour!