Star Trek cast now from Bezos’ space stint, tragic death and cancer battle

Star Trek fans have been mourning the death of trailblazing actress Nichelle Nichols, who died at the weekend.

The 89-year-old broke down barriers in her role as Lieutenant Uhura, becoming one of the first black actresses in the US to play a figure in authority.

READ MORE: Star Trek actor Jenifer Lien's sad demise after axe – naked arrest to shocking mugshot

The news of her death broke earlier this week after the star died of natural causes on Saturday night, her son Kyle Johnson confirmed.

He said: "I regret to inform you that a great light in the firmament no longer shines for us as it has for so many years.

"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."

In 1968, she and Star Trek's William Shatner broke new ground when they shared one of TV's very first interracial kisses.

Following the death of the famous Nichelle, it means only three of the main actors from Star Trek are still alive.

Here Nadine Linge boldly goes and discovers what happened to the Star Trek cast…

William Shatner – Captain James T Kirk

As Kirk, Shatner led the USS Enterprise for three series between 1966 and 1969, as well as in seven films based on the series.

He’s worked continually since, starring in TV shows TJ Hooker and Boston Legal as well as two Miss Congeniality films.

Now 91, he’s currently presenting The UnXplained on Sky History, and has written books and released albums.

Last year he went into space for real aboard Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin craft – making him the oldest person to do so at the age of 90.

He didn’t always get on well with the rest of the Star Trek cast, with Leonard Nimoy revealing they had a professional rivalry.

In 2016, Shatner revealed he and Nimoy hadn’t spoken for five years before the Spock star’s death.

He’s been married four times, getting divorced from his most recent wife in 2020, and has three children.

Leonard Nimoy – Spock

Nimoy came up with the famous hand salute and nerve grip employed by the half-human, half-Vulcan first officer.

After the original Star Trek series finished, he went on to star in shows including Mission: Impossible while he also resurrected Spock for 2009’s Star Trek and 2013’s Into Darkness.

He penned two autobiographies, I Am Not Spock in 1975 and I Am Spock in 1995, which told of his struggles to distance himself from the character.

Married twice, the dad of two revealed had became an alcoholic while working on Star Trek and ended up in drug rehabilitation.

It also emerged he had campaigned for Nichelle Nichols to receive equal pay.

In 2015, he died aged 83 from complications from a lung condition.

The Spock star later had an asteroid named after him.

Deforest Kelley – Dr Leonard “Bones” McCoy

Previously known for westerns, as the ship’s doctor he became famous for his catchphrase, “He’s dead Jim,” although the actor hated it.

While he was pals with Shatner and Nimoy, he was frustrated at the greater level of attention they received.

After Star Trek ended, he was typecast and essentially went into retirement apart from the Trek films and fan conventions. Kelley was diagnosed with stomach cancer in 1997 and died three years later aged 79.

Nichelle Nichols – Lieutenant Nyota Uhura

Nichols played one of the first non-stereotypical roles by a black woman on TV – the smart and level-headed communications officer Uhura.

She also shared TV’s first prime-time interracial kiss with William Shatner. Nichols was later employed by Nasa in an effort to encourage more women and minorities to become astronauts.

Nichols, who also appeared in TV show Heroes, revealed she had a fling with Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry.

But as her health declined in recent years, she found herself at the centre of a Britney Spears-style conservatorship battle with competing parties attempting to take control of her affairs.

Her castmates including Shatner and George Takei have paid tribute after her death from heart failure on Saturday

George Takei – Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu

As a child, Takei grew up in US internment camps during World War Two and has described how his family and other Japanese-Americans were rounded up after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

During his stint as ship’s helmsman Sulu, he became involved in a decades-long feud with Shatner – who he branded “self-involved”.

After coming out as gay in 2005, he became a high-profile advocate of LGBT rights and married journalist husband Brad in 2008, with Walter Koenig best man and Nichelle Nichols best woman.

The same year Takei, now 85, also did I’m A Celebrity, coming third behind winner Joe Swash.

Walter Koeni – Ensign Pavel Chekov

Joining in the second series of Star Trek, Koenig played the Russian-born navigator and was cast due to his resemblance to The Monkees singer Davy Jones, in a bid to attract younger viewers.

But aged 30, his hair was already receding and the crew had to fashion a “moptop” hairpiece for him.

He became a writer and starred in various Star Trek spin-offs, as well as sci-fi series Babylon 5.

Now 85, he’s been married to wife Judy since 1965.

James Doohan – Montgomery “Scotty” Scott

The Canadian actor, who played the Enterprise’s chief engineer, was wounded as a soldier during the 1944 D-Day landings.

After playing Scotty, he struggled to find work due to typecasting, but decided to go with it and made his money from personal appearances.

He fell out with Shatner, once saying: “I like Captain Kirk, but I sure don’t like Bill.”

But the pair had made up before his death in 2005, aged 85. Doohan’s ashes were then fired into orbit by rocket.

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