Nyota Uhura was played by Nichelle Nichols, who has her own fascinating story as an actress, singer, and voice artist. Her acting career took off with her role on Star Trek, but her experience prior to the show included Broadway musicals, theatre, and singing on tour in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Her work on Star Trek, made her one of the first black women to be featured in a major television series not portraying a servant. In fact, Martin Luther King, Jr. was a mega-fan and convinced her to continue as Uhura when she contemplated leaving the show.
In the Star Trek universe, Uhura began as the head of the Communications department aboard the USS Enterprise. In the year 2266, she was transferred to the operations division, where she proved to be a skilled technician and reliable bridge officer. As the latter, she contributed to the team by operating the helm, navigating the ship through the universe, and monitoring scientific activity aboard the ship. Technical skill wasn't her only forte, though - she was also talented in mathematics, spoke Swahili fluently, and ran the hundred meter dash in record time.
Even with all these skills and accomplishments, there are no episodes focusing on Uhura. She did receive more screen time as the series continued, but the 2013 installment of J. J. Abrams' Star Trek reboot, Star Trek: Into Darkness, Uhura (as portrayed by Zoe Saldana) was unfortunately relegated to the role of "damsel in distress".