Battling dementia, ‘Star Trek’s Lt. Uhura begs her son to attend conventions

Nichelle Nichols, Star Trek’s Lieutenant Uhura, pleads to earn with fans (Image Source: DragonCon Media Relations and Paramount Pictures promotional photo)

Actress Nichelle Nichols, best known for her iconic role as Lieutenant Uhura in the Star Trek television and motion picture franchise, is suffering both mentally and physically and has issued a desperate public plea to her son.

In May, the 85-year-old actress was placed under four different temporary conservators after her son, Kyle Johnson, 66, grew concerned over her mental faculties. Nichols, who was among the first Black women to be cast in a recurring TV role in the 1960s, was diagnosed with dementia more than five years ago, but despite that, she remains a fan favorite at Star Trek and other pop culture conventions.

A personalized selfie and autographed picture with Nichols cost around $80 when she appeared at Atlanta’s DragonCon 2016. At that time, this reporter observed at least 75 people waiting as the line grew when word spread she was at her table. To her fans, she was a “silver fox” with a radiant smile and gray hair and exuding a giving, loving spirit.  But now her son wants to stop her from attending conventions because of her age and dementia.

The Daily Mail just made public a tape Nichols recorded in 2013 with her longtime friend and manager Angelique Fawcette. In the tape, she pleads with her son to allow her to attend conventions. The money she makes at these appearances is financial support she needs to remain independent in her old age. Nichols made the decision to release the tapes now because her legal battle is getting worse.

Hear her share in her own words her story and struggles in the video below.

Mo Barnes
Mo Barnes

Maurice "Mo" Barnes is a graduate of Morehouse College and Political Scientist based in Atlanta. Mo is also a Blues musician. He has been writing for Rolling Out since 2014. Whether it means walking through a bloody police shooting to help a family find justice or showing the multifaceted talent of the Black Diaspora I write the news.

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