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"Why Not Soften The End & Make It Uhura?" Star Trek's Nichelle Nichols Recalls Naming Her Iconic Role

"Why not soften the end and make it Uhura?" Star Trek's Nichelle Nichols Recalls Naming Her Iconic Role

The Hollywood Xpo is quickly approaching and it's set to launch with a bang. Friday October 15th, the con ends it's first day with a grand gala event called the The Hollywood Legacy Awards. The banquet and awards ceremony starts at 7pm and is honoring Star Trek's own Nichelle Nichols & Apollo XI astronaut Buzz Aldrin.

"The life she's led has changed the world for the better," says Hollywood Xpo producer Sky Conway. "It's a much different place from when Nichelle was walking on to film `Star Trek' and she had the security guard spitting on her, telling her she couldn't park in the lot all because of her skin color."

"And it's because of television, and in particular `Star Trek,' that helped change people's attitudes," he says. "It's amazing."

In a recent interview with L.A. Daily News, Nichelle recalls one of the meetings she had with Gene Roddenberry where they discussed the naming of her character. At the time, Nichelle was reading the best seller "Uhuru" and Gene intended on naming her character after the book. He was concerned that the name might be too harsh.

"Why not soften the end and make it Uhura? Needless to say I was very pleased," she says.

Nichelle went further and talked about her first readings for Star Trek...

"The two pilots that they had merged together had sold so they were getting ready to shoot in two weeks, and Gene was changing one of the characters on the command crew to a woman," Nichols says.

"They had not written anything for me. So they asked me to read a very long wonderful scene between somebody named Kirk and somebody named Bones and somebody named Spock. I read the role of Spock. When I finished one of the producers said, `Have Penny call down and see if Leonard Nimoy has signed his contract yet,"' she says, chuckling. "That was their way of saying how pleased they were with me."

If you're already heading to the Hollywood Xpo, you can also purchase tickets for the Hollywood Legacy Awards here.

More info about the full Hollywood Xpo convention can be found here.


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