An accomplished singer, dancer and actress, Nichelle Nichols was irrevocably associated with Starfleet communications officer Lt. Nyota Uhura, the character she created on the seminal science fiction series "Star Trek" (NBC, 1966-69). Having toured with the likes of Count Basie and performed on the stages of Chicago and New York, Nichols became a cultural icon when she took on the role of Uhura in the racially charged atmosphere of 1960s America. Unhappy with her status on "Star Trek," she had been ready to leave the show until Martin Luther King, Jr. convinced Nichols that her role was breaking important new ground and served as an inspiration to millions. His intuition was correct, as years later, people as diverse as Dr. Mae Jemison - the first African-American woman in space - and comedienne Whoopi Goldberg would cite Nichols as a major influence on their lives. In the mid-to-late 1970s, the multi-talented actress began providing consulting services for NASA as a recruiter of more diverse candidates for the space program. More visible to fans, Nichols reprised the role of Uhura in a series of hit feature films that continued the franchise a full decade after the original series had been canceled. "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" (1979), "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" (1982) and four more entries, completed the adventures of the original crew, much to the delight of "Trekkies" the world over. An example to her former co-stars, Nichols gracefully managed to both embrace her "Star Trek" fame and move beyond it, eternally grateful to her loyal fans, while constantly looking forward to new creative horizons.