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Pat Carroll, The Voice of Ursula in “the Little Mermaid, ‘is D€@D

Nichelle Nichols, known for her role as communications officer “Lieutenant Uhura” in “Star Trek: The Original Series,” has di3d at age 89. Gilbert Bell, Nichols’ talent manager and long-time business partner, confirmed the tragic news to Variety, revealing that Nichols passed away on Saturday night in Silver City, New Mexico.

Generations of TV viewers were inspired by Nichols and her character.After the first season of the show, Nichols thought about leaving to pursue a career on Broadway, but Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. convinced her to stay because her character was crucial in paving the path for other African Americans on television.

On “Star Trek,” Nichols shared one of the first interracial kisses ever seen on television (Slide 2). Given the political climate at the time, that moment with William Shatner was a brave one for her, “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry, and NBC. However, the 1968 episode “Plato’s Stepchildren” was written to give everyone involved a pass: Uhura and Captain Kirk did not choose to kiss; they were forced to do so involuntarily by aliens with the ability to control the movements of humans. Nevertheless, it was a significant occasion.

Nichols’ character Uhura has been hailed as a role model by Whoopi Goldberg, who expressed her surprise at seeing a Black woman on television who wasn’t playing a maid.

Nichols’s d€@th announcement follows the d€@th of NBA legend and civil rights activist Bill Russell.

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