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Star Trek actress Nichelle Nichols suffers 'mild stroke'

TAKEN ILL: Star Trek actress Nichelle Nichols, 82, has suffered a stroke

THE 82-year-old actress, who is best known for her role as Star Trek's Lieutenant Uhura, is being treated in hospital after suffering a mild stroke.

Nichelle Nichols, who is believed to have shared TV's first interracial kiss with co-star William Shatner, fell ill on Wednesday evening (Jun 3) and was taken by an ambulance from her Woodland Hills home in California.

The actress starred as the communications officer on board the USS Enterprise in the iconic Star Trek TV series from 1966 until 1969.

In addition to her appearances on the TV series, Nichelle also starred in six Star Trek films, the last of which debuted in 1991.

A statement on her Facebook page said: "Last night while at her home in LA, Nichelle Nichols suffered from a mild stroke.

"She is currently undergoing testing to determine how severe the stroke was. Please keep her in your thoughts."

A statement released yesterday (Jun 4) said she was "awake, eating, in good spirits".

It added: "Her right side has shown minor signs or mobility loss but she is not showing any signs of paralyses."

Nichols started her career as a singer, performing with Duke Ellington before becoming an actress.

REMAKE: Avatar star Zoe Saldana (left) reprised Nichols' role as Lt Uhura

She saw her star rise when she boarded the USS Enterprise, alongside actors William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy and George Takei, in Star Trek in 1966.

Nichols was one of the first black American women to take up a TV role which was not portraying a servant.

It is reported that when considering leaving the show, her mind was changed by a conversation with Dr Martin Luther King Jr.

When the show was cancelled Nichols began working with NASA to help recruit women for the space agency.

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