Nichelle Nichols: Martin Luther King was a Trekkie
Nichelle Nichols has revealed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a 'Trekkie'.
The 83-year-old actress starred as Lieutenant Uhura on board the USS Enterprise spaceship in the iconic original 'Star Trek' TV series from 1966 until 1969, and was part of the very first interracial kiss shown on US television when she locked lips with Captain Kirk, played by William Shatner.
Now, she has revealed that Baptist minister King, who was the leader Civil Rights Movement and paved the way for racial and ethnic equality in America in the 60s, told her he was a fan of the sci-fi show when they met.
Nichelle met King - who was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee - just after she had made an internal decision to leave the show but he told her she had to stay because she was a role model for African American women as she was the only woman of colour in a prominent television role at the time.
Talking about the first time she was introduced to him, she recalled: "I turned, and about 10 or 12 feet away from me, was Dr. Martin Luther King, and my mouth just dropped open.
He was both attractive and a Trekker. He was an attractive Trekker!"
Revealing how he insisted she stayed on as Lieutenant Uhura, she added to The Guardian newspaper: "He told me not only that I shouldn't but I couldn't leave. He knew more than I knew. He knew more about me, where I was going to in my life, than I did."
Nichelle also revealed that current US President Barack Obama is also a fan of 'Star Trek' and is a "wonderful man".