He was an icon to a generation, a role model for geeks, and a member of one of the most successful science fiction franchises in history. Today in Los Angeles, Leonard Simon Nimoy passed into immortality. The actor had dedicated his life to his craft, but he will forever be known as the “voice” of logic , Mr. Spock on the original television series “Star Trek.” The series only lasted three years, but spawned an entire merchandise line, several feature films, and four spin off series . The official cause of death was chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Nimoy was born on March 26,1931 in Boston , Massachusetts to Dora and Max Nimoy. Nimoy had been raised an orthodox speaking Jew. His parents had immigrated from Izaslav , separately and uniting in the United States. Leonard starting acting quite early and he used it when he had enlisted in the Army Special Services. He made his rounds in Hollywood doing roles on all the big shows of the era like “Perry Mason,” Bonanza,” and “Gunsmoke.”As well as acting , Nimoy was a singer, songwriter, photographer, and director.
Nimoy was first cast in the original pilot of “Star Trek” . He later described his co star and Captain, William Shatner as his “brother.” The first time that the actors worked together was prior to the sci -fi series. Nimoy played the villain and Shatner was a reluctant recruit on “The Man from Uncle.” In 1966, he became the half Human-half Vulcan officer on the USS Enterprise. The role garnered Nimoy three Emmy nominations. He continued the role until 2013 when he made a brief appearance in JJ Abrams directed “Star Trek Into Darkness.” The sign that he was most known for “Live, long and prosper.” with the bent finger salute came from his childhood. He said in an interview that it came from the blessing of the Jewish priests.
In later years , Nimoy became a semi regular character on the series “Fringe.” He retired from acting in 2010 . He was also instrumental in casting the role of “Spock” in the JJ Abrams movies. The main reason for retiring was so that Zachary Quinto could step into the media spotlight as “Spock.” His last appearance was a voice over on “The Big Bang Theory” as a Spock action figure that talked to Sheldon. The episode was called “The Transporter Malfunction.”
In his personal life he embraced his Jewish roots and was involved in many Holocaust projects . Nimoy also confessed that he had become an alcoholic and entered into rehab. He claimed that the character was responsible for influencing his own thought process and life. He also wrote two books “I am Not Spock” and “I Am Spock.” He married his first wife actress Sandra Zober in 1954. He married his second wife and widow , Susan Bay in 1989. He is survived by two children Adam by his first wife and Julie by his second wife.
My only exposure to Mr. Nimoy was because of my late father. He was a man that was indeed ahead of his time. My father not only watched “Star Trek” but also embraced the theories that he talked about on the program “In Search Of.” Most actors spend their whole lifetimes just trying to get work and it is a blessing when an actor gets that once in a lifetime role that transports them into immortality. Leonard Nimoy was that and more. He was an icon for an entire generation. He will certainly be missed and Chitownstarconnections sends all of those who loved him their prayers.
Here is Leonard in one of his early roles. He appeared as “Hansen” on the episode of “The Twilight Zone” called “A Quality of Mercy.”