Leonard Nimoy, actor, director, poet, and singer, who was known the world over as “Spock” passed away this week at the age of 83. Nimoy passed away in his home in Bel Air, from complications of COPD.
In 1965, he made his first appearance in the rejected Star Trek pilot titled “The Cage”, and went on to play the character of Spock until 1969, which was followed by eight feature films and guest spots in the various spin-off series. The character has had a huge cultural impact and earned Nimoy three Emmy nominations. T.V. Guide has named the character of Spock, as one of the 50 greatest TV characters of all time.
After the original Star Trek series, Nimoy starred in the popular series Mission Impossible for two seasons, hosted the popular documentary series called In Search Of……, narrated Civilization IV, and made several well-received stage appearances. He also had a recurring role in the science fiction series called “Fringe”.
.Nimoy’s Spock was handsome, but not in a way that Hollywood in 1966 recognized. He didn’t look like a leading man. Nimoy, was the son of Ukrainian Jewish immigrants. If you looked like that, you were a character actor, not a star.
But Nimoy became a star. He was a Method actor and in creating Spock, he took what could have been a gimmicky, two-dimensional character, and gave him hidden depths. Those hidden depths in turn gave him a certain sex appeal. Within the show’s plots, Captain Kirk was the leading man, and the lady killer. But, it was the character of Spock that made many a female viewer swoon.
Spock offered Trekkies and nerds a glamorous role model. Nimoy had to remind fans that the character wasn’t real and wasn’t really him, and he wrote just that in his 1975 memoir was titled “I Am Not Spock.” But in a way, he was.
During and following Star Trek, Nimoy also released five albums of musical vocal recordings on the Dot Records label.
In the May 9, 2009 episode of SNL, Nimoy appeared as a surprise guest in the “Weekend Update” segment with Quinto and Pine, who play the young Spock and Kirk in the Star Trek that had just premiered days earlier. In the sketch, Quinto and Pine attempt to appease long-time Trekkers by assuring them that the new film would be true to the original Star Trek. When the two indicated that they had been the target of harassment and threats by Trekkers, Nimoy appeared, assuring them that fans would enjoy the new film. When host Seth Meyers assumed that Nimoy was about to say that to not do so would be illogical, Nimoy just stated, “No, I was going to say, was to not like it would make them… dickheads.”
William Shatner, his long running costar was quoted as saying of the passing of Nimoy; “I loved him like brother. We will all miss his humor, his talent, and his capacity to love.”
I met him once, and he was a great man, who gave a young actor and director advice on film making, that was greatly appreciated.
We will all miss him, and as his character said many times; “Live Long And Prosper”