Happy birthday to Nichelle Nichols, born December 28, 1932.
Nichelle Nichols is an American actress from Robbins, Illinois. She is most famous for portraying communications officer Uhura in Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: The Animated Series, and the first six Star Trek movies. She also provided the voices for a number of other characters on the animated series.
Hailing from Robbins, Illinois, Nichols was discovered by jazz legend Duke Ellington in her mid-teens. Nichols toured with both Ellington and Lionel Hampton as a lead singer and dancer. She broke into acting in the film Porgy and Bess (1959) and has had an acting career lasting over forty-five years.
Her first television role was on The Lieutenant (1964). She has also made TV appearances as herself in It Takes Two (1969), Head of the Class (1988), and Weakest Link (2002); she also voiced animated versions of herself on The Simpsons (2004) and in two episodes of Futurama (2000, 2002).
She appeared as Ruana in two Tarzan films: Tarzan’s Jungle Rebellion (1967); and Tarzan’s Deadly Silence (1970). These were episodes from the Tarzan TV series edited together and released as films.
She also appeared in the TV movies Gettin’ Up Mornin’ (1964) and William Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra (1983).
Aside from the first six Star Trek films, her other film credits include: Made in Paris (1966), the classic Truck Turner (1974), Mister Buddwing (1966), The Supernaturals (1986), Disney’s Snow Dogs (2002), and Are We There Yet? (2005). Nichols co-produced and played the title role in the 2011 film Lady Magdalene’s.
Her other voice work includes the recurring role of Diane Maza on the Disney animated series Gargoyles.
She also appeared as ancient Egyptian goddess Thoth-Khepera in the episode “Avatar” of Batman: The Animated Series.
In 2006, Nichols returned to the role of Uhura in the fan film Star Trek: Of Gods and Men.
Nichols had a recurring role in the NBC hit series Heroes.
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