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Who Plays Nyota Uhura On Star Trek: Strange New Worlds?

In the "Star Trek" timeline, few space-faring females stand quite as tall as Nyota Uhura. The Kenyan-born communications officer is one of the series' most iconic characters and one of the best examples of how "Star Trek" shattered the social norms of its time. When the original series aired in the late 1960s, TV audiences were not entirely used to seeing Black women portrayed with as much competence and skill as Uhura (originally played by Nichelle Nichols). The character is a genius, a prodigy of languages, a high-ranking Federation officer and ship commander, and one-half of one of the first interracial kisses to ever air on television (via CNN).

That legacy remains strong even now, over half a century after Uhura and "Star Trek" initially debuted. Thanks to "Star Trek: Strange New Worlds," which tells the story of the USS Enterprise crew before James T. Kirk (William Shatner) took command, a whole new generation is being introduced to Uhura. More specifically, they're being introduced to Uhura as portrayed by actor Celia Rose Gooding. While this is the first time that many "Star Trek" fans have been introduced to Gooding, "Strange New Worlds" is far from her only influential role.

Celia Rose Gooding is an award-winning thespian

If you haven't heard of Celia Rose Gooding before now, then we won't blame you. She hasn't been acting quite as long as others. However, Gooding has accomplished quite a lot, possibly because the talent is in her blood. Her mother is Tony Award-winning actor LaChanze, who identified Gooding's talent from a very young age (via Playbill). As a child, Gooding grew up seeing her mother succeed in theater, even helping her as a reader for auditions at times. This, in no small way, prepared Gooding for her own theater career, where she has made swift progress.

Aside from "Strange New Worlds," Gooding is likely best known for her role in the Broadway play "Jagged Little Pill," where she plays Frankie Healy, the adopted Black bisexual daughter of a white family. In 2021, "Jagged Little Pill" won a Grammy for best musical theater album (via IMDb), making it Gooding's first award as a professional actor. That's a strong start if ever there was one.

Now that this star has made a trek over to the strange new world of television, however, we look forward to seeing what Celia Rose Gooding can accomplish when she's offstage and on-screen. Who knows? She just might win an Emmy as her second award.