Nichelle Nichols and William Shatner on Star Trek cira 1960s

Nichelle Nichols, who made history and earned the admiration of Martin Luther King Jr. for her portrayal of communications officer Lieutenant Uhura on Star Trek, has died. She was 89. 

Nichols, who earlier sang and danced as a performer with Duke Ellington’s orchestra, died Saturday night of natural causes, her son, Kyle Johnson, posted on her official Facebook page.

“Her light however, like the ancient galaxies now being seen for the first time, will remain for us and future generations to enjoy, learn from, and draw inspiration,” he wrote Sunday. “Hers was a life well lived and as such a model for us all.”