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The Eye-Catching Women of Star Trek the Original Series

Star Trek: The Original Series is known for being a trailblazing sci-fi series that boldly explored a broad range of themes, including technology, politics, civil rights, sexism, racism, and a plethora of other social issues. Despite not initially getting the attention it deserved, it proved to be a revolutionary show that gave birth to a franchise that has endured for more than half a century now.

From the beginning, Gene Roddenberry, the creator of the series, strove to use his platform as means to express his beliefs and convictions. While some might look back at the female cast members of Star Trek as merely being eye candy, in truth, Roddenberry’s goal was to depict women as being strong, empowered individuals who could hold their own just as well as any of the boys could.

That being said, there’s no denying the fact that many of the women who appeared on Star Trek: The Original Series, both in main and guest roles, were incredibly attractive. From the late Nichelle Nichols as Lieutenant Uhura to Majel Barrett as Nurse Christine Chapel and Grace Lee Whitney as Janice Rand, join Facts Verse as we take an indepth look at The Eye-Catching Women of Star Trek the Original Series.

Nichelle Nichols – Nyota Uhura

Nichols portrayed Nyota Uhura in Star Trek: The Original Series and it’s film sequels. Her addition to the show’s cast was seen as being very groundbreaking for African American actresses on American TV at the time.

She was born in Robbins, Illinois, on December 28, 1932. It was in Chicago that she got her start as a model, dancer, and singer. She eventually moved on to stage acting before being cast in film and television roles.

In 1959, Nichelle appeared as the principal dancer in the film adaptation of Porgy and Bess. Prior to being cast as Uhura on Star Trek, Nichols was a guest star on Gene Roddenberry’s first TV series, The Lieutenant, in the 1964 episode To Set It Right.

On Star Trek, her prominent supporting role as a bridge officer on the USS Enterprise was unprecedented. Being one of the first Black women featured on a major network series was seen as a major victory for civil rights activists.

She was tempted to leave the show early on in it’s run, but a conversation with Martin Luther King Jr. convinced her to stick around.

In an episode titled Plato’s Stepchildren, which aired on November 22, 1968, Nichols shared an onscreen kiss with white actor William Shatner who played Captain James T. Kirk. The episode is frequently cited as being the first example of an interracial kiss seen on television in the United States.

After Star Trek’s cancellation following it’s third season, Nichols continued to play an active role in the Star Trek Universe by reprising her role in the Star Trek animated series and several live-action films. She later volunteered with NASA promoting programs aimed at recruiting diverse astronauts.

Nichelle died of heart failure in Silver City, New Mexico on July 30, 2022, at age 89.

Alice Rawlings – Jame Finney

While not a very major role, this astonishingly beautiful actress played the role of Jame Finney in the season one episode ‘Court Martial’.

Before we tell you about several other eye-catching actresses that appeared on Star Trek: The Original Series, take a second to show Facts Verse a little love by giving this video a like and subscribing to the channel.

Andrea Dromm – Yeoman Smith

In the first season episode “Where No Man Gone Before”, Dromm played the character Yeoman Smith. She was actually the second actress to play a captains’s Yeoman, after Laurel Goodwin who portrayed Yeoman J.M. Colt in the first pilot episode “The Cage”.

Dromm was expected to become a series regular, but she only ended up sticking around briefly. Despite being known for using Star Trek to advance his progressive social and political beliefs, director Jimmy Goldstone reportedly overheard Gene Roddenberry say that the only reason why he hired Dromm was because he wanted to ‘score with her’. Needless to say, that never happened.

Decades later, when asked about her time on the show, Dromm said that she had no problems with Gene and thought of him as being a very nice man.

Dromm might have become a recurring cast member if it weren’t for the fact that she was offered a prominent role in ‘The Russians are Coming, the Russians Are Coming’. She was told that she could either do the film or do the series but not both, and she ultimately chose the film. If she had known that Star Trek would become such a phenomenon, she would likely have opted to the series instead.

After Dromm’s departure, her role on the Enterprise was filled by the next actress we’ll be discussing.

Grace Lee Whitney – Janice Rand

Born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on the first of April, 1930, Whitney began her entertainment career as a singer on Detroit’s WJR radio at 14. After leaving home and moving to Chicago, she opened nightclubs for Buddy Rich and Billie Holiday before touring with Fred Waring and Spike Jones’s bands

She made her Broadway debut in a production of Top Banana. She followed that up by appearing in the 1954 Hollywood film adaption of the play. She went on to appear in more than 100 television roles, including in 77 Sunset Strip, The Roaring 20s, Batman, Hawaiian Eye, and Wagon Train

In 1966, Gene Roddenberry cast her in the role of the third Yeoman, Janice Rand. Whitney appeared in 8 of the first 15 episodes of the series before being released from her contract. She later revealed that while she was still under contract, she was sexually assaulted by one of the show’s executive producers.

Despite that traumatic event, she later reprised her role as Janice Rand in five Star Trek motion pictures. Throughout those films, her character received two promotions – first to the rank of chief petty officer and later to Lieutenant Commander.

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Star Trek franchise, Whitney returned in the 1996 Voyager episode ‘Flashback’ alongside her former co-star George Takei. Whitney has also appeared in several fan-made Star Trek productions, including Star Trek: New Voyages and Star Trek Continues.

Angelique Pettyjohn – Shahna

Born Dorothy Lee Perrins, Pettyjohn portrayed the character Shahna in the second season episode, ‘The Gamesters of Triskelion’. And yes, in that episode, she shared a rather passionate kiss with Captain Kirk.

Majel Barret – Nurse Christine Chapel

While Majel Barret has played several roles in the Star Trek franchise including that of Lwaxana Troi on Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and the voice of the onboard computer interfaces throughout the various Trek series from 1966 to 2009, on Star Trek: The Original Series she played Nurse Christine Chapel.

Barret is also notable for marrying series creator Gene Roddenberry in 1969. Given her unique role and relationship with Star Trek, she is often referred to as ‘The First Lady of Star Trek’.

Majel made her first appearance on Star Trek in the initial unaired pilot episode ‘The Cage’, playing an unnamed Enterprise first officer simply referred to as ‘Number One’. As Nurse Chapel, Barret wore a blonde wig. Chapel was introduced in the sixth episode, ‘The Naked Time’ and proceeded to a be frequently recurring character.

After spending the majority of her professional career dedicated to all-things Trek, having appeared in every incarnation of the franchise in her lifetime, Barret died of leukemia on December 18, 2008, at age 78.

Antoinette Bower – Sylvia

Bower was a German-born actress who portrayed the character Sylvia in the second season episode ‘Catspaw’. Like so many of the other one-off female guest stars on the series, Sylvia too enjoyed a steamy kiss with that shameless playboy Captain Kirk.

Arlene Martel – T’Pring

Hailing from New York City, Martel was best known for playing Spock’s bride-to-be T’Pring in the Star Trek Original Series second series episode Arnok Time.

Throughout her acting career, Martel, sometimes billed as Arlene Sax, was praised for her ability to change up her appearance like a chameleon. She was also renowned for her proficiency with various accents and dialects.

Besides Star Trek, Martel made dozens of appearances on shows like The Man From UNCLE, The Wild Wild West, The Twilight Zone, The Rookies, Perry Mason, Mannix, and The Six Million Dollar Man – just to name a few.

Barbara Babcock

Babcock played several different characters and provided the voices for several more on Star Trek: The Original Series. She can be seen in the first season episodes ‘A Taste of Armageddon’ and ‘Plato’s Stepchildren’.

In addition to portraying Mea 3 and Philana, Babcock also did the voice work for the Beta 5 computer, Isis, Loskene, Zetarians, and Trelane’s mother.

Barbara Baldavin

Baldavin appeared in four episodes of Star Trek; The Original Series.

She portrayed a recurring character named Angela Martine, who can be seen in the episodes ‘Shore Leave’ and ‘Balance of Terror’. She also appeared in the season three episode ‘Turnabout Intruder’, playing the role of communications officer Lt. Lisa.

Barbara BouchetKelinda

Another eye-catching female character that Captain Kirk locked lips with in the season two episode ‘By Any Other Name’ was a blonde named Kelinda, played by Barbara Bouchet.

Throughout her acting career, Bouchet has appeared in more than 80 television shows and films, including 1967s Casino Royal, 1972s The Red Queen Kills Seven Times and 2002s Gangs of New York.

In recent years, Bouchet has mainly appeared in Italian television shows such as Capri, Crimini, and Un posto al sole.

With that, we’re just about out of time, but we’d love to hear from you. Can you think of any other eye-catching beauties that appeared on Star Trek: The Original Series? And who do you think was the most powerful female character to be featured on the series? Let us know in the comments.

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