Nichelle Nichols, who played Lt. Nyota Uhura on the original Star Trek television series, remembered costar Leonard Nimoy Friday as “a true force of strength and his character was that of a champion.”
“Leonard’s integrity and passion as an actor and devotion to his craft helped transport STAR TREK into television history,” Nichelle Nichols said in a statement to People magazine. “His vision and heart are bigger than the universe. I will miss him very much and send heartfelt wishes to his family.”
The legendary Leonard Nimoy died Friday after a battle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Many of Leonard Nimoy‘s costars have said the actor has stood up for them over the years, including Nichelle Nichols.
“When it came to the attention of the cast that there was a disparity in pay in that George [Takei] and I were getting the same pay but Nichelle was not getting as much, I took it to Leonard and he took it to the front office and they corrected that,” said costar Walter Koenig.
A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP
— Leonard Nimoy (@TheRealNimoy) February 23, 2015
“There was also the case where George and Nichelle we’re not hired to do their voices in the animated series,” said Leonard Nimoy. “I refused to do Spock until they were hired. Mr. Roddenberry started calling me the conscience of Star Trek.”
Nichelle Nichols’ role on Star Trek helped break barriers for the representation of people of color on television.