Nichelle Nichols

5th Annual Essence Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon - Arrivals

Birth Name: Grace Dell Nichols

Place of Birth: Robbins, Cook, Illinois, United States

Date of Birth: December 28, 1932

Ethnicity: African-American, as well as 1/8th Irish

Nichelle Nichols is an American actress and musician. She is the daughter of Lishia Mae (Parks) and Samuel Earl Nichols, who was Mayor of Robbins, Illinois. She has a son with her former husband, dancer Foster Johnson.

Her brother, Thomas, was a member of the Heaven’s Gate cult, and died with the group in 1997.

Nichelle’s paternal grandfather was Samuel Gillespie Nichols (also known as Samuel Gillespie, the son of James Nichols and Mary N.). Samuel was born in Louisiana or Mississippi, to an Irish-born father and an African-American mother.

Nichelle’s paternal grandmother was Lydia A. Myers (the daughter of Jacob Myers/Meyers and Blanche).

Nichelle’s maternal grandparents were Henry Parks (the son of George Parks and Mary Elizabeth “Lizzie” Pasto/Parker) and Malissa Stinson or Hibbett.

Sources: Genealogies of Nichelle Nichols –

Nichelle Nichols on the 1940 U.S. Census –

Nichelle’s father on the 1900 U.S. Census –
Nichelle’s father on the 1920 U.S. Census –

Nichelle’s paternal grandparents, Samuel Gillespie Nichols and Lydia Myers, on the 1880 U.S. Census –
Samuel Gillespie Nichols and Lydia Myers on the 1920 U.S. Census –

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10 Responses

    • andrew says:

      Daughter of Samuel Earl Nichols, Sr., and Lishia Mae (Parks). Samuel was the Mayor of Robbins, Illinois.

      Nichelle’s paternal grandparents were Samuel Gillespie Nichols/Samuel Gillespie Gillespie (the son of James Gillespie and Mary N.) and Lydia Myers (the daughter of Jacob Myers/Meyers and Blanche). Samuel adopted the name Nichols to distance himself from his family. Lydia was an ex-slave. James was a rich plantation owner with reportedly 400 slaves at one time.

  1. neiltennant says:

    she was the first black woman in a serial in which only men had something to say

  2. neiltennant says:

    SHE IS AN AMERICAN IDOL FOR MILLIONS Of black and white women in the 70s

  3. fuzzybear44 says:

    Is it the lights, or did she get brighter?

  4. Freerk says:

    When I as a child saw her first in the seventies, she was a black goddess. She still is a good looking grandma I’d like to have. She chose the name of her character Uhura from the suahili word for “freedom”. Nothing more to say.

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