'Star Trek' legend Nichelle Nichols reportedly has dementia

Nichelle Nichols, a TV pioneer who gained notoriety playing Lieutenant Uhura on the cult-classic series Star Trek, is suffering from dementia and needs protection, TMZreports.

Her son, Kyle Johnson, has filed legal docs asking for trustees to be appointed to oversee the 85-year-old’s finances. Johnson is also looking to protect his mother’s estate and legally make medical decisions on her behalf.

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Johnson said the measure is necessary because her dementia is “impacting her executive functioning” and makes her “susceptible to undue influence.”

He added” “Certain individuals have unduly exerted themselves into [her] life to her detriment.”

See photos of Nichelle Nichols:

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Nichelle Nichols throughout her career
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Nichelle Nichols throughout her career
LOS ANGELES - JANUARY 19: Nichelle Nichols as Lt. Nyota Uhura in the STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES episode, 'Arena.' Original air date January 19, 1967. Image is a screen grab. (Photo by CBS via Getty Images)
(Original Caption) Nichelle Nichols as Uhura. ca. 1966 to 1970s.
LOS ANGELES - DECEMBER 29: Star Trek the Original Series Season 2 Episode 15 ' The Trouble With Tribbles ' Pictured: from left: Nichelle Nichols as Uhura, Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock, William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk, and Paul Baxley as Ensign Freeman. Original Air Date: 29 December 1967. Image is a frame grab. (Photo by CBS via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - SEPTEMBER 20: Nichelle Nichols as Uhura in the STAR TREK episode, 'Spock's Brain.' Original airdate, September 20, 1968. Season 3, episode 1. Image is a screen grab. (Photo by CBS via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - NOVEMBER 22: Nichelle Nichols as Uhura and William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk in the STAR TREK episode, 'Plato's Stepchildren.' Original air date, November 22, 1968. Season 3, episode 10. Image is a screen grab. (Photo by CBS via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - JUNE 4: Nichelle Nichols as Commander Uhura in the movie, 'Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.' Release date, June 4, 1982. Image is a screen grab. (Photo by CBS via Getty Images)
HEAD OF THE CLASS - 'For Better, For Worse' - Airdate: March 2, 1988. (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) L-R: KIMBERLY RUSSELL;NICHELLE NICHOLS;DAN SCHNEIDER
HOLLYWOOD - JUNE 6: Actress Nichelle Nichols attending 25th Anniversary Party for Star Trek on June 6, 1991 at Paramount Studios in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - DECEMBER 4: Actress Nichelle Nichols attending 'Fire and Ice Gala' on December 4, 1991 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
American actors Leonard Nimoy, George Takei, Walter Koenig, DeForest Kelley, Nichelle Nichols, and Canadian William Shatner on the set of Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (Photo by Paramount Pictures/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - American actor Leonard Nimoy (1931 - 2015) with 'Star Trek' co-stars William Shatner, James Doohan, George Takei, Walter Koenig, DeForest Kelley and Nichelle Nichols, as they place their handprints on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, 5th December 1991. (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD - MARCH 28: Actress Nichelle Nichols and actor Gene Roddenberry attending the screening of 'Jimmy Hollywood' on March 28, 1994 at Paramount Studios in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Nichelle Nichols during 'Star Trek: 30 Years and Beyond - A Live Tribute' at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
Actress Nichelle Nichols being photographed on June 7, 1987 at NBC TV Studios in Burbank, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Nichelle Nichols & Joanna Bacalso during Snow Dogs Premiere at El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by J. P. Aussenard/WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS - DECEMBER 12: Actress Nichelle Nichols attends the NAACP Legal Defense Fund Inaugural Hank Aaron Humanitarian Award in Sports at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on December 12, 2002 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
Nichelle Nichols of classic 'Star Trek' during Creation Grand Slam Convention X with Salute to 'Star Trek' at Pasadena Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, California, United States. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/WireImage)
Nichelle Nichols during TV Land Awards: A Celebration of Classic TV - Arrivals at Hollywood Palladium in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 25: Actress Nichelle Nichols and her dog Coco attend 'The Simpsons' 350th episode block party on the New York street of Fox Pico Lot on April 25, 2005 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images)
Actress Nichelle Nichols arrives at Spike TV's 'Scream 2007' held at The Greek Theatre on October 19, 2007 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, Leonard Nimoy, Walter Koenig and William Shattner during the 2007 Spike TV Scream Awards at The Greek Theater on October 19, 2007 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 28: Actress Nichelle Nichols attends the Thelonious Monk Jazz Tribute Concert For Herbie Hancock at the Kodak Theatre on October 28, 2007 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
CULVER CITY, CA - APRIL 05: Actress Nichelle Nichols attends the 2008 Backlot Film Festival Tribute to Carl Reiner on April 5, 2008 in Culver City, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - OCTOBER 10: Actress Nichelle Nichols attends a special screening of 'Star Trek: Of Gods And Men' at the Fine Arts Theatre on October 10, 2008 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 19: Actress Nichelle Nichols attends the 2nd Annual ESSENCE Black Women In Hollywood Luncheon at the Beverly Hills Hotel on February 19, 2009 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 18: Actor George Takei and Nichelle Nichols speak onstage at the 20th Annual GLAAD Media Awards held at NOKIA Theatre LA LIVE on April 18, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 28: Actresses Zoe Saldana and Nichelle Nichols arrive at the 2009 BET Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium on June 28, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD - NOVEMBER 03: Actress Nichelle Nichols arrives to the Hollywood Walk of Fame's 50th Anniversary Celebration on November 3, 2010 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 18: Nichelle Nichols attends Betty White's 89th birthday party at Le Cirque on January 18, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 23: Nichelle Nichols arrives at the 5th Annual ESSENCE Black Women In Hollywood luncheon held at Beverly Hills Hotel on February 23, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)
(L-R) WNET/Thirteen president Neal Shapiro, actors Angie Dickinson, Nichelle Nichols, Stefanie Powers, Linda Evans, and PBS president Paula Kerger attend the Pioneers of Television photocall at the 92nd Street Y on January 16, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/FilmMagic)
NOVI, MI - MAY 20: Nichelle Nichols, who played Lt. Uhura on the original Star Trek tv show, attends day 3 of Motor City Comic Con 2012 at the Suburban Collection Showplace on May 20, 2012 in Novi, Michigan. (Photo by Paul Warner/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JULY 14: Actress Nichelle Nichols attends the Los Angeles screening of 'Alongside Night' at Laemmle's Music Hall 3 on July 14, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Vincent Sandoval/WireImage)
GLENDALE, CA - JANUARY 25: Nichelle Nichols attends the Nicholas Brothers Tribute at The Alex Theatre on January 25, 2015 in Glendale, California. (Photo by Tibrina Hobson/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 06: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Nichelle Nichols poses backstage at the hit musical 'Allegiance' on Broadway at The Longacre Theater on December 6, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 04: Actress Nichelle Nichols (C) extends her arms with a 'live long and prosper' gesture from the 'Star Trek' television franchise during the 'Tribute to Nichelle Nichols' panel at the 15th annual official Star Trek convention at the Rio Hotel & Casino on August 4, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 04: Actresses Nichelle Nichols and Whoopi Goldberg on day 2 of Creation Entertainment's Official Star Trek 50th Anniversary Convention at the Rio Hotel & Casino on August 4, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 17: Kerry O'Quinn and actress Nichelle Nichols attend A Cosmic Celebration - Celebrating the birthday of Kerry O'Quinn and the upcoming documentary 'From The Bridge' at Blind Dragon on August 17, 2016 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Maury Phillips/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 04: Nichelle Nichols arrives at the Premiere Of Neon's 'Colossal' at the Vista Theatre on April 4, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
PASADENA, CA - APRIL 30: Nichelle Nichols arrives at the 44th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards at Pasadena Civic Auditorium on April 30, 2017 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
SAN JOSE, CA - APRIL 22: Actresses Pam Grier and Nichelle Nichols on day 2 of Silicon Valley Comic Con 2017 held at San Jose Convention Center on April 22, 2017 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 19: Nichelle Nichols and Sonequa Martin attend the premiere of CBS's 'Star Trek: Discovery' at The Cinerama Dome on September 19, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 19: Actors Nichelle Nichols, Sonequa Martin-Green and William Shatner pose at the Premiere Of CBS's 'Star Trek: Discovery' held at The Cinerama Dome on September 19, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 28: Actress Nichelle Nichols arrives for her 85th birthday celebration held at La Piazza/The Grove on December 28, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Nichelle Nichols attends the Opening Night Of 'Allegiance' at Japanese American Cultural & Community Center on February 28, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Greg Doherty/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Nichelle Nichols and Kerry O'Quinn attend the Opening Night Of 'Allegiance' at Japanese American Cultural & Community Center on February 28, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Greg Doherty/Getty Images)
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This is an unfortunate turn of events for the TV icon who first played the role that made her famous in 1968.

During better times at a PBS’ Pioneers of Television event, Nichols once talked about how she almost left her iconic role as Uhura, but a chance meeting with Dr. Martin Luther King convinced her to stay.

“I met him and told him I was leaving the show,” Nichols said.

He reportedly told her, “The world sees us as we should be seen. As intelligent, beautiful, and qualified just like anybody else. You have the first non-stereotypical role on TV. You cannot leave.”

Outside of making history with an on-screen interracial kiss shared with her Star Trek co-star William Shatner, Nichols was also influential in helping NASA to diversify.

“They hired me to recruit the first woman and minority [for the space shuttle program],” Nichols said. “They had heard me say ‘There are no minorities; I know dozens [who would be able to serve],’ and they said ‘find me one who will fit this criteria and we will hire a dozen.’ And I’ll be darned if they didn’t have to hire a dozen. They wrote me after that and said, ‘we thank you very much, we were right, we’re carrying on with everybody; if they’re qualified, they’re with us.’”

But more recently, Nichols has been plagued with health problems. She suffered a mild stroke in 2015 and as of late she’s been confined to a wheelchair.

Despite those setbacks, Nichols had remained very active in Hollywood. She has three upcoming projects this year including the Star Trek parody film she produced and appears in called Unbelievable!!!!!.

We wish that Nichols continues to live long and prosper.

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The post Star Trek Legend Nichelle Nichols Reportedly Has Dementia appeared first on theGrio.

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