Nichelle Nichols almost quit Star Trek after the first season of playing Lt. Nyota Uhura because of the discrimination she experienced on the production. Racist producers were accused of cutting her lines just because she was African-American. But one of her biggest fans, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., found out and convinced her to keep going, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Nichols passed away at the age of 89 in New Mexico, according her son, Kyle Johnson, who issued the following statement:
“Last night, my mother, Nichelle Nichols, succumbed to natural causes and passed away. Her light however, like the ancient galaxies now being seen for the first time, will remain for us and future generations to enjoy, learn from, and draw inspiration. Hers was a life well lived and as such a model for us all.”
What would Star Trek have been without Nichelle Nichols? She made the whole show glow!