Star Trek’s Nichelle Nichols, Interview, 1969 (pages 3 & 4, of 4 pages)

Opening paragraphs of interview article, written by Jack Lind, with actress, dancer, and singer Nichelle Nichols (b. December 28, 1932):

She exudes sexuality, grace and warmth. The face with the high cheek bones is framed by black flowing hair. The movements are feline and languorous.

 

Can this Nefretete apparition be the same woman who displays such awesome cool and such crisp efficiency as the communications officer of Star Trek?”

 

She fairly glides into the living room of the hill-perched Hollywood home. There is a touch of bemusement in her flashing dark eyes. She pours a bourbon and leans back in an enormous couch, her lips parting in a smile that would turn Dracula into a gentleman

 

“Isn’t this too much? I’ve been acting and dancing since I was 15 and here I am, working as a communication officer of the U.S.S. Enterprise in outer space. It’s ridiculous. Who’d believe it?”

 

Believe it or not, the notion is anything but ridiculous to fans of Star Trek to whom Nichelle Nichols has, since the show began three years ago, not only been the efficacious communications officer, Lt. Uhura, but also the epitome of femininity.

 

Sadly, Star Trek was cancelled a scant two months after this magazine hit the news stands.

 

The show’s final episode aired on June 3, 1969. Despite thousands of letters written to keep the show on the airwaves (the second such effort – the first effort was successful), and despite it being one of the few shows on network television that was watched faithfully by scientists, museum curators, psychiatrists, doctors, and university professors, NBC cancelled it (after slashing its production budget in Season 3 and moving it to the “death spot” of 10:00 pm on Friday nights). Just a few years later, it became a gigantic hit in syndication. It has had a number of successful spin-offs and films. In 2011, NBC’s decision to cancel Star Trek was ranked at Number 4 on the TV Guide Network special, “25 Biggest TV Blunders 2.”

  

*****

Published in On View magazine, March 1969, Vol. 1 No. 1

 

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