George Takei pays tribute to Star Trek costar Nichelle Nichols with a sweet tribute
The death on Saturday of pioneering “Star Trek” cast member Nichelle Nichols inspired many tributes, but perhaps the sweetest was that of her costar George Takei.
On Monday, Takei took to Facebook to honor Nichols, who was not only his colleague “from the deck of the Enterprise”, but his lifelong friend:
“Much has been made of how Nichelle was a trailblazer and a role model for so many young black women, who saw in her the hope and promise of their own futures. I wanted to take a moment to share some stories about Nichelle that are lesser known and highlight her quick wit, incredible kindness and warm generosity.
Takei said he and Nichols actually met before “Star Trek,” when she returned backstage after a performance of a civil rights musical he was doing.
“I will never forget that first encounter,” Takei wrote. “She was stunningly beautiful. But beyond her beauty, she stood out. It was a time when many African American women ‘combed’ their hair, which meant straightening it, as was the current fashion. “Instead, Nichelle wore a huge natural ‘Afro” sphere on her head. It was natural, it was proud and it was glorious. I knew right away that she was a singular person.
Takei said that after “Star Trek” ended, he got involved in local politics, even running for Los Angeles City Council, and said Nichols “always donated his talent and gave back every special and glamorous event” when he needed her.
Nichols was so special to Takei that he asked her to be at his wedding party when he married longtime partner Brad Altman in 2008.
“When my husband Brad and I got married, we asked Walter Koenig, who played Ensign Chekov on the show, to be our best man at the wedding. We asked Nichelle to be our matron of honor” , he said. “In her characteristic way, Nichelle said, ‘I’m not a matron! If Walter can be the best man, why can’t I be the best lady?’
He added: “Noticing that Walter’s ‘best man’ title implied the awkward title of ‘best woman’, she was determined to be known as the ‘best lady’ to the guests. I said to him: ‘Of course you are’.
You can see the full post below: