Grace Dell Nichols was born on 28 December 1932, in Robbins, Illinois, USA. She is an actress and singer, best known for performing with the bands of Lionel Hampton and Duke Ellington. She was also part of the “Star Trek” television series and films, playing the character Lieutenant Uhura. All of her efforts helped put her net worth to where it is today.
How rich is Nichelle Nichols? As of mid-2016, sources inform us of a net worth that is at $8 million, mostly earned through a successful career in music and acting. She is considered one of the first African American actors not to portray a role as a servant. She has also worked with NASA, and all of these have ensured the position of her wealth.
Nichelle Nichols Net Worth $8 million
After studies, Nichols’ big break came from her appearance in the musical “Kicks and Co.” which was a satire of Playboy magazine. After the play closed, she drew the attention of Hugh Hefner who booked her to become part of the Chicago Playboy Club. She continued to appear in productions such as “Carmen Jones” and “Porgy and Bess”, and while acting, she also performed as a singer and did some modelling work.
In 1967, she was featured on the January cover of Ebony magazine, and then toured around several countries. She performed with Lionel Hampton and Duke Ellington before appearing in more plays such as “The Roar of the Greasepaint – The Smell of the Crowd” and “Blues for Mister Charlie”. She was earning great reviews and her popularity was increasing, and then she was cast to become a part of “Star Trek”. Nichelle became one of the first black women to be featured on major television, portraying a supporting role in the spaceship the USS Enterprise. She originally intended to leave after the first season to pursue a Broadway career, but a conversation with Martin Luther King, Jr. convinced her to stay in the show. Her net worth would start to rise dramatically as she continued with “Star Trek”, and she even had an on-screen kiss with actor William Shatner, which is now referenced as one of the first inter-racial kisses on major television. After the “Star Trek” series was cancelled, she continued to be a part of other “Star Trek” projects. She voiced Uhura in “Star Trek: The Animated Series”, and then would become part of six “Star Trek” films.
After “Star Trek”, Nichols would start to do other television and film roles including “Truck Turner” and “Doctor, You’ve Got to Be Kidding!” She then did a lot of voice work, lending her voice in “Batman: The Animated Series”, “The Simpsons”, and “Futurama”. She also became a part of the films “Snow Dogs”, and “Lady Magdalene’s”. Nichelle had a recurring role in the NBC series “Heroes”, and one of her latest projects is “The Cabonauts”.
Aside from acting, Nichelle regularly volunteered at NASA to help recruit female personnel. It was successful, as she helped influence a lot of women to become part of NASA. Nichols remains an advocate of space exploration, and continues to be active in events that involve space travel.
For her personal life, it is known that Nichols was romantically involved with Gene Roddenberry who created “Star Trek”. She has been married twice, firstly to Foster Johnson in 1951,but it only lasted a year; they had one child. In 1968, she married Duke Mondy but they would divorce four years later. In 2015, Nichols suffered a mild stroke just a few months after the death of “Star Trek” co-star Leonard Nimoy. Fortunately, she has recovered.
Ranked #17 on Wizard magazine's Sexiest Women of TV for her role on Star Trek (1966). [March 2008]
Frustrated with the racist harassment, culminating with her learning that the studio was withholding her fan mail, she submitted her resignation from Star Trek (1966) after consulting with series creator Gene Roddenberry. She stated in several interviews that the harassment made her go back to work in theater until attending an NAACP fundraiser. The fundraiser was where a Star Trek fan was about to meet her for the first time and, to her astonishment, the fan turned out to be Dr. Martin Luther King. King stated that his wife and children had seen Star Trek on TV and it was the only television series that he had approved of. He said that her role as the fourth in command of the USS Enterprise became a positive role model for African-Americans. She withdrew her resignation from the series when King personally convinced her that her role was too important as a breakthrough to leave.
Former NASA astronaut Dr. Mae C. Jemison was inspired by Nichelle when she decided to become the first African-American female astronaut. Jemison was a huge fan of the original Star Trek (1966) series.
From the late 1970s until 1987, she was employed by NASA and in charge of astronaut recruits and hopefuls. Most of the recruits she launched were minority candidates of different races and/or ethnicities, as well as gender, like Guion Bluford (the first African-American male astronaut), Sally Ride (the first American female astronaut), Judith A. Resnik (one of the original female astronauts recruited by NASA, who perished during the launch of the Challenger on January 28, 1986), and Ron McNair (another victim of the Challenger disaster). She lived in Houston, Texas during her years as a Johnson Space Center employee.
Discovered by Duke Ellington in her mid-teens, she toured with both Ellington and Lionel Hampton as a lead singer and dancer. Decades later, in 1992, she went back to her singing "roots", starring in a dramatic one-woman musical show called "Reflections", in which she became 12 separate song legends. She was also able to use her singing skills several times on Star Trek (1966).
In her autobiography "Beyond Uhura: Star Trek and Other Memories", she confessed that she once had a close, personal relationship with Star Trek (1966) creator Gene Roddenberry.
In early 1951, at age 18, she married a dancer who was 15 years her senior. Within four months they split, and in August 1951, she bore his son. She remarried in 1968, this time to a songwriter, but that marriage also ended in divorce four years later.
Became the first African-American to place her handprints in front of Hollywood's Chinese Theatre, along with the rest of the original Star Trek (1966) series cast.
With Star Trek (1966) co-star William Shatner, she shared the first on-screen kiss between a black female and white male on American television. This resulted in a deluge of mail - 99% of which was positive.
Although ignored in the "famous actors/actresses" in African-American cinema, including "famous celebrities" during Black History Month, Nichols was one of the first black actresses to portray a character on a television series and science-fiction series who was treated the same as characters of other races, and to all Star Trek (1966) fans, the television series and films that followed set the standard for multiculturalism (where people of different races, ethnicities and genders are integrated and a sense of equality coexists).
Her role as Uhura on Star Trek (1966) was one of the first times that an African-American actress was portrayed in a non-stereotypical role. Previously, African-American actresses were depicted as maids or housekeepers, and Nichols' role broke the stereotype barrier among African-American actresses. Like Sidney Poitier, whose characters were three-dimensional (e.g., Detective Virgil Tibbs), Nichols portrayed a character that was non-stereotypical.
On March 26, 1997, her younger brother Thomas Alva Nichols committed suicide with the other members of the notorious Heaven's Gate cult in Rancho Santa Fe, near San Diego, California.
Seductive deep voice
Natural black hair
Spectacular vocal range spanning five octaves
Lieutenant Nyota Uhura on Star Trek (1966) and six of the Star Trek films
It's just coincidental that the acting took off first over everything else.
I've agreed to do several Star Trek conventions this coming year.
I think anybody with any intelligence sits down and sees Star Trek (1966) not as a kids' show.
All the people in Star Trek (1966) will always be known as those characters. And what characters to have attached to your name in life! The show is such a phenomenon all over the world.
I was very blessed in always knowing what I wanted to do, and by the grace of God, I've been able to succeed in my chosen career.
[on the Star Trek (1966) fans] I'm a fan of the fans. I love them. They're fabulous. I love being around them. I love their madness and their caring. I love watching them take off for a weekend, don the costumes, and become characters from the 23rd century and beyond. I thank the fans for giving us--me--so much support and love. I want them to know I love them. They'll always be my friends. I'll see the fans, always. They can rest assured of that.