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Nichelle Nichols was cast by Gene Roddenberry to create Lt. Uhura in his legendary TV series Star Trek, and its six major motion pictures. Among her other TV and film credits, she co-starred with Maxwell Caufied in The Supernaturals, with Ron Perlman in Captain Zoom in Outer Space, and with Lynn Redgrave in Cleopatra, and sang and danced with Sammy Davis Jr. in Porgy and Bess. Nichols was the first host of Inside Space, a SCI FI Channel series.
Musical theater has always been Nichols' first love. She was nominated twice for the Sarah Siddons Award for Best Actress for her performances in The Blacks and Kicks and Company. She starred in the touring Broadway hits Horowitz and Mrs. Washington and Nunsense II, and received rave reviews in both the U.S. and Canada for her one-woman musical, Reflections, in which she becomes twelve legendary entertainers.
Nichols was awarded her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame; was honored in Berlin with the Goldene Kamera Millenium Award; and was one of the first African-Americans to place her handprints and signature in the cement at Mann's Chinese Theatre. Along with her fellow Command Crew members on the Starship Enterprise, Nichols was installed in a special exhibit in the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, an unprecedented accolade for the entertainment industry.
Under contract with NASA, she recruited the first women and minority astronauts for the U.S. Space Shuttle program. For this pioneering effort, Nichols was granted NASA's Distinguished Public Service Award, becoming the first African-American civilian to receive this prestigious honor.
Her autobiography, Beyond Uhura, and her sci-fi novel, Saturn's Child, received worldwide readership. The sequel, Saturn's Quest, will be published early this year. Nichols was the guest solo artist with the Erie Pennsylvania Philharmonic Orchestra for their 80th Anniversary celebration. Marywood College of Pennsylvania conferred her with their Doctor of Arts, honoris causa degree for her lifetime achievement in the arts.
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