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Bella Donna: Nichelle Nichols


Depending on when you were born, you'll recognize Nichelle Nichols as Nana Dawson on Heroes or as Lieutenant Uhura in Star Trek. Today, she's as stunning at age 75 as she was in her youth.

It's hard to overstate what Nichols' portrayal of Uhura meant in pop culture. The show began in 1966, just one year after the passage of the Voting Rights Act. During the first season of Star Trek, Nichols considered leaving the show because she felt her role lacked significance. A conversation with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. changed her mind; a fan of the series, he insisted she was a role model for black women and children everywhere. She stayed on, of course, and was part of a groundbreaking interracial kiss with his royal Shatness. After the show's cancellation, she volunteered with NASA to recruit women and minorities; astronaut Mae Jemison has said that her interest in space exploration was inspired by Nichols and Uhura.

Nichols' look as Uhura was typical of the '60s; black liquid eyeliner and nude lip gloss can help you recreate her look. But pay attention to how she looks today, too. If anyone shows that having a few wrinkles doesn't detract from beauty, it's her.

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