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George Takei Recalls Nichelle Nichols’ Reaction After Being Asked to be Matron of Honor at His Wedding

George Takei Recalls Nichelle Nichols' Reaction After Being Asked to be Matron of Honor at His Wedding

George Takei is reflecting on his close relationship with his late Star Trek costar, Nichelle Nichols

While mourning the death of Nichols — who died of natural causes at age 89 on Sunday — Takei shared a heartfelt tribute on Facebook in honor of the actress, reminiscing about the time he and husband Brad Altman asked Nichols to stand in their 2008 wedding.

“When my husband Brad and I got married, we asked Walter Koenig, who played ensign Chekov on the show, to be our best man at the wedding,” he recalled. “We asked Nichelle to be our matron of honor.”

“In her characteristic fashion, Nichelle declared, ‘I am not a matron! If Walter can be best man, why can’t I be best lady?’ ” he continued. “Noting that Walter’s ‘best man’ title implied the awkward title of ‘best woman,’ she was determined to be known as the ‘best lady’ to the guests.”

“I told her, ‘Of course you are.’ I’m sharing a picture here of Nichelle, with us, as ‘best lady’ on our happy day,” Takei added alongside a collection of photos of Nichols.

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Takei also wrote that he was moved by all “the tributes and messages honoring the life and work of Nichelle Nichols, our very own Lieutenant and later Commander Uhura on Star Trek,” and shared another sweet memory of his longtime friend.

Actor George Takei (2nd L) (the "Sulu" charactor on "Star Trek") and partner Brad Altman (L) after they were married at the Japanese American National Museum on September 14, 2008 in Los Angeles. Fellow "Star Trek" actors Walter Koenig (2nd R) and Nichelle Nichols (R) who participated in the ceremony follow. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP via Getty Images)

Actor George Takei (2nd L) (the “Sulu” charactor on “Star Trek”) and partner Brad Altman (L) after they were married at the Japanese American National Museum on September 14, 2008 in Los Angeles. Fellow “Star Trek” actors Walter Koenig (2nd R) and Nichelle Nichols (R) who participated in the ceremony follow. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP via Getty Images)
Credit: STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty

“When my father passed away, Nichelle came to the funeral and she saw many Japanese Americans with envelopes. They were handing them over to a receptionist in the lobby,” Takei wrote. “She was always a curious soul, so she asked me, ‘George, what are they bringing to the funeral?’ I said it was friends and relatives making financial contributions to support the funeral costs.”

“Nichelle had never heard of the Japanese tradition called koden,” he continued. “A few days later, an envelope arrived in the mail from her. Inside was a check for $500, a very generous koden.”

Additionally, Takei said when he pursued a career in politics in the 1970s after their Star Trek series ended in 1969, Nichols always “donated her talent” during his fundraising dinners and political campaigning, noting that she made “every event feel special and glamorous.”

Nichelle Nichols, Barrier-Breaking Star Trek Actress, Dead at 89

“Indeed, Nichelle made a point of being at every important milestone of mine that she could, including the opening of Allegiance just a few years ago on Broadway and later in Los Ángeles,” he shared. “As a trained stage actress, Nichelle knew how special such occasions were to us.”

Concluding his sweet note, Takei said, “While fans will miss and honor the famous actress who opened so many paths with her presence on the screen, I will also miss the dear friend who always let you know she was there to support you, to love you, and to go through this strange and wonderful life alongside you. Nichelle Nichols, you were one in a million in so many, many ways.”