Nichelle Nichols: I don't remember if William Shatner was a good kisser
Nichelle Nichols "doesn't remember" if William Shatner was a good kisser.
The 83-year-old actress starred as Lieutenant Uhura in the original series of 'Star Trek' in the 1960s, and was part of the very first interracial kiss shown on television when she locked lips with Captain Kirk, played by William.
Now, the star says the pair were so "professional" that she can't remember how good her co-star was.
Speaking the Daily Mirror newspaper, Nichelle said: "The first interracial kiss on television. Oh my God. We had to make it live and make the audience go 'wow' and want to see the next episode. They wanted someone else to do the kiss but Bill said 'if anyone is doing it, it is me'. It was a big deal at the time. I don't remember if William was a good kisser or not. We were very professional."
And the star recalled how important it was that the groundbreaking kiss looked "real", and the fact that audiences believed the scene was the "ideal scenario".
She said: "Absolutely, there were people talking about it afterwards. I remember someone said to me 'it was so real and usually kisses on screen are faked'. I don't mean you have to kiss somebody deeply, but whatever you do it has to be real and both parties have to believe it. The fact people felt it looked real was the ideal scenario."
For Nichelle - who has 65-year-old son Kyle Johnson - the controversy around the kiss and its groundbreaking nature "seemed quite silly" as she had grown up in an interracial family and didn't see the problem with it.
She said: "I couldn't see the fuss because my family was interracial, my grandmother and grandfather were black and white and all my sisters and brothers were different shades. I was the brownest one in the family outside of my mother, my father looked Italian because he was part Italian. So it all seemed quite silly to me."