Nichelle Nichols passes away at 89 - 'Star Trek'

Pioneer Nichelle Nichols, who portrayed Lieutenant Nyota Uhura, a communications officer on "Star Trek," in the 1960s TV series, and enjoyed one of the medium's first interracial kisses with William Shatner, has passed away at the age of 89.

Kyle Johnson, her son, put a message on her Facebook page announcing her passing.

Nichols passed away in Silver City, New Mexico, where she shared a home with her son, according to a family spokeswoman.

Quickly, tributes began to arrive, including those from several ardent "Trekkies."

She also appeared in the first six "Star Trek" films as Uhura, a character whose name is derived from the Swahili word for "freedom."

Numerous Hollywood celebrities who knew and collaborated with Nichols were devastated by her demise.

George Takei, a different Star Trek co-star, described Nichols as a trailblazer and promised to have more to say about her in the coming days.

He posted on Twitter, "For today, my heart is heavy, my eyes gleaming like the stars you now rest amid, my beloved buddy."