Leonard Nimoy, the actor who became famous for portraying the half human/half Vulcan (from the fictional planet) science officer, Mr Spock, in the science fiction television and film series Star Trek has died at the age of 83. He passed away after being rushed to hospital with chest pain symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Of Ukrainian/Jewish descent, Nimoy entered the acting profession in the 1950s and managed to gain several supporting actor roles in various television series during the 1960s including “Rawhide”, “Man from UNCLE” and “Bonanza”. Nimoy appeared in the pilot episode of “Star Trek” as his emotionless logical Mr Spock pointy-eared persona (presumably he was not called “Dr” so as not to be confused with Dr Spock, the famous child development expert) in 1966 opposite Jeff Hunter as Captain of the Starship “USS Enterprise” which was designed with NASA help. Hunter was replaced by William Shatner for the main series, and footage from that original pilot was later used in a later episode.
“Star Trek” ran from 1966-1969 but such was its subsequent cult popularity that it was revived for a film franchise and several spin off television series which continue to run today.
After making an initial start as director of television and low budget films, he moved onto major movies, successfully directing hits including “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home” (1986), “Three Men and a Baby” (1987), and “The Good Mother” (1989).
After the original TV series of Star Trek came to an end, Nimoy did subsequently appear in other films and television series including “Mission Impossible” and an episode of “Columbo” in which his character famously made the normally imperturbable detective actually loose his temper.
However, in spite of these and other roles, Leornard Nimoy famously felt trapped and typecast by his Spock history and wrote his initial autobiography in 1975 with the title: “I am not Spock”. However, by the 1990s he had a general acceptance of what Spock had given him and his follow-up autobiography was called “I am Spock”.
Despite the headline of this article, Spock is not dead though the second film in the spin off movie franchise did temporarily kill him. Likewise, the role of younger Spock, albeit in an alternative universe, has now been taken over by Zachary Quinto in the reprise of original concept of a mission to boldly go where mankind has not gone before.
However, many will miss Nimoy as the original. Apart from tributes from Leonard Nimoy’s fellow actors, including his friend and “captain”, William Shatner, Nimoy also received one from the President of the United States, Barak Obama, a self-confessed Spock fan.
Leonard Nimoy married twice and had two children by his first marriage. We give Leonard Nimoy’s family, his friends and his fans our condolences.
On Twitter, Leonard Nimoy’s final tweet which betrayed his true emotional and poetic side, rather than his emotionless Spock persona, was: “A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory.”
Nimoy signed this off with LLAP standing for the Vulcan phrase: “Live Long and Prosper”.
We can but try.