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Star Trek's Nichelle Nichols suffers minor stroke

Susana Polo is an entertainment editor at Polygon, specializing in pop culture and genre fare, with a primary expertise in comic books. Previously, she founded The Mary Sue.

Actress Nichelle Nichols suffered a mild stroke late Wednesday night, according to her official Facebook page.

The initial post indicated that she was undergoing testing to determine the severity of the stroke, and urged fans to keep the 82-year-old veteran of the original Star Trek television show and films in their thoughts. An update yesterday evening reassuringly confirmed that Nichols' prognosis looks good:

Nichelle Nichols has had both a CAT scan and an MRI today. The CAT scan came back negative and we are awaiting the results from the MRI. Currently she is awake, eating, in good spirits and able to have full conversations. Her right side has shown minor signs [of] mobility loss but she is not showing any signs of [paralysis].

We greatly appreciate all of the love and support her fans are showing at this time.

A second update this morning clarified further:

The MRI showed that Nichelle Nichols had a MINOR stroke. She will start therapy this morning to evaluate how much damage was done, and try to determine her chances for a full or partial recovery.

Nichols is even responding to some of the undoubtedly numerous well wishes being sent her way.

Nichols' portrayal of communications officer Lieutenant Nyota Uhura broke significant ground for black actors and black characters in television and science fiction, earning her the personal support of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Nichols cites that support, and the famed civil rights leader's enjoyment of Star Trek, as the primary factor that kept her from quitting the show in the face of racist network policies toward her pay and treatment on set. Both actress/comedian Whoopi Goldberg, and Mae Jemison, the first African American woman to travel to space, have citied Nichols and her character Uhura as major career inspirations.

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