Whoopi Goldberg got emotional on The View when honoring the late, iconic Nichelle Nichols for paving the way for her own Star Trek role.
Over the weekend, the world lost a trailblazer when the actress and pioneer passed away at the age of 89. Nichols was known for her groundbreaking portrayal of Nyota Uhura on Star Trek: The Original Series.
On Monday's episode of 'The View,' Goldberg gave a heartfelt tribute to Nichols.
“A trailblazer, a heroine, and an extraordinary woman—someone who inspired millions and millions of people but inspired me,” she said. “Nichelle was the first Black person I’d ever seen who made it to the future.”
Goldberg continued, “This show and this woman was the one beacon that said, ‘Yes, we’ll be there,’ and it just made me feel like that was an amazing thing. And she helped propel other women to go into space. She was extraordinary, and I was lucky enough to spend time with her over the years. She was my friend and…she’ll be missed. That’s what I can say, she’ll be highly missed.”
Nichols' portrayal of Nyota Uhura is regarded as a pioneer in the representation of Black people in the science fiction genre, serving as not only inspiration for Goldberg but for Mae Jemison, the first Black woman to travel in space.
In the wake of her success on Star Trek, Nichols volunteered at NASA, helping to recruit more women and people of color into their pool of astronauts.
Goldberg played Guinan on the Star Trek: The Next Generation series and recently reprised the role for Star Trek: Picard.