EXCLUSIVE: 'Star Trek' Star Nichelle Nichols Says She's as 'Wild and Woolly' As Ever After Stroke

by Zach Seemayer 8:20 AM PDT, June 15, 2015
Playing EXCLUSIVE: 'Star Trek' Star Nichelle Nichols Says She's as 'Wild and Woolly' As Ever After Stroke

Less than two weeks after suffering a stroke, actress Nichelle Nichols says she's feeling fine and doing great.

On June 3, Nichols suffered a mild stroke at her California home and was rushed to the hospital to undergo testing to determine the severity of the incident. She began an inpatient rehabilitation and recovery program two days later.

Now, less than two weeks after the incident, the 82-year-old actress -- best known for her groundbreaking role as Lt. Uhura on the original Star Trek series -- sat down with ET's Nischelle Turner for an interview at her home, where she assured her fans that she was alright.

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"I am feeling the best that I felt in a very long time," Nichols said, smiling.

Nichols added that there's been no loss of mobility in the wake of her stroke, telling ET, "I am as wild and woolly as I have ever been."

The acclaimed actress says that she was able to get past her illness using a coping technique she learned from her parents.

"Things I can't deal with and have no say over, I deny them," Nichols explained. "And strangely enough most times they go away. So this was one of those times."

But she recognizes that simply denying something won't always work, and sometimes you have to fight hard to get past obstacles.

"Yeah, I am a fighter," Nichols said. "Don't be messing with my game. My game is my career."

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Nichols has had a long and celebrated career, including the entire run of the original Star Trek series and six of the film adaptations, in which she shared the screen with longtime co-star and close friend, Leonard Nimoy. Sadly, the actor passed away in February from complications due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

When the conversation turned to Nimoy's death, Nichols said that she coped with his passing the same way she dealt with her own illness.

"When I got the news that Leonard was gone, I denied it and I was able to survive," Nichols recalled. "We were always in touch. [But] you know, I didn't even know he was ill."

Check out the video to hear more from Nichols about her recovery and her health.