Leonard Nimoy lived long and prospered. He died at the age of 83 on Friday, 27 February 2015, in Los Angeles. ‘Star Trek’ co-star George Takei, who played Mr Sulu, posted this tribute on his public Facebook page: ‘Today, the world lost a great man, and I lost a great friend.’ (Photo montage: L.J. May S/S)
This is Brisbane! Queensland, Australia
Nimoy Beams Up for the Last Time!
Leonard Nimoy lived long and prospered. He died at the age of 83 from
end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease on Friday, 27 February 2015, in Los Angeles, California. Leonard is survived by his wife, Susan Bay Nimoy, two children from his first marriage to Sandra Zober, his son Adam, a director, and his daughter
Julie, as well as a stepson and several grandchildren.
Trekkies have grieved greatly and publicly. Social media has gone into meltdown as tributes pour in for the man who,
despite his many and varied talents, will probably forever be remembered by most people as Mr Spock, the logical, half human/half Vulcan science officer of the Starship Enterprise.
Nimoy was spotted by Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry after he appeared on Roddenberry’s NBC program The Lieutenant. After NBC rejected the first Star Trek pilot The Cage as being too cerebral,
the second pilot with script and cast changes survived, and so did Leonard Nimoy as Spock.
The program debuted on NBC in autumn 1966. It was cancelled after three seasons
in 1969, but became a hit in syndication, gaining a huge following of fans known as Trekkies or Trekkers, who still hold conventions across the world where dressing up is de rigueur.
It’s difficult for people who weren’t there at the beginning of the Star Trek phenomenon to understand just how enthusiastic the following was for the program in general, and Mr Spock’s character in particular. Perhaps it
had something to do with people searching for meaning and purpose in the 1960s, as well as the excitement of exploring new ideas and a cautious hope as to what the future might bring.
Up to that point, most science fiction made for film and television was of The Blob variety, with aliens intent on annihilating the human race or delivering stern warnings for us to change our ways or we would kill ourselves off. Star Trek
took a very different and imaginative view of interspecies interaction and this obviously appealed to many.
It was the handsome William Shatner as Captain Kirk who was
supposed to draw in the female fans, but in fact it was Spock who got them. Perhaps it was the pointy ears, but more likely it was the desire of many women in that era to save sensitive men from their perceived isolation and loneliness. All Spock needed was
the love of a good woman to make him whole, they thought. And they wouldn’t have said no to Leonard Nimoy either.
Unfortunately, the ubiquitous fan magazines running
articles about Mr Nimoy on a regular basis (most of them in excruciating and imaginative detail) informed his female fans that he was happily married to Sandra Zober at the time. She was lucky to survive it; the fine line between reality and fantasy had blurred
Certainly Nimoy's fame and typecasting was starting to wear him down and he suffered a self-proclaimed identity crisis. His first autobiography, I Am Not
Spock, published in 1975, tried to point out that he didn’t actually live on the Enterprise, he wasn’t really an alien, and there were other aspects to his life. This upset a lot of fans who thought he was distancing himself from
However, after a long career doing other things after Star Trek folded, Nimoy finally stopped running, and in his second autobiography, I am
Spock, published in 1995, he finally embraced his portrayal of Mr Spock as an important and in many ways a defining part of his life.
Star Trek, and
in particular the character of Spock, had a significant cultural impact worldwide. Leonard Nimoy received three Emmy Award nominations for the role and TV Guide named Spock as one of the 50 greatest TV characters ever created.
What you probably didn’t know!
Leonard Simon Nimoy
was born in Boston on 26 March 1931 of Jewish immigrants from the Ukraine, who spoke Yiddish at home. His first major acting accomplishment was appearing on stage at the age of eight in a production of Hansel and Gretel. After taking drama classes
at Boston college, Leonard left home to pursue a career in Hollywood.
In the 1950s Nimoy taught acting classes in Hollywood and began making minor film and television appearances
before landing the title role in the 1952 film Kid Monk Baroni. He also played Narab, one of three Martian invaders in the 1952 movie serial Zombies of the Stratosphere – shades of things to come.
Leonard’s career was interrupted by army service from 1953 to 1955, after which he appeared in a few small film roles but mostly found work in television series. Older viewers might remember him from Dragnet,
Sea Hunt, Bonanza, Wagon Train, Rawhide, The Untouchables, The Virginian, Gunsmoke, the excellent SciFi series The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits (do not adjust your set) and yes,
even Get Smart. Then along came Star Trek and Nimoy’s fate was sealed.
After Star Trek finished, Leonard starred in two seasons of the
spy series Mission Impossible as master-of-disguise, Paris. He went on to star in the 1971 Western Catlow with Yul Brynner and Richard Crenna, and the 1978 remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers with Donald Sutherland and Jeffrey
Goldblum. Throughout the 1970s he made a series of TV films and received an Emmy nomination in 1982 for his role as Golda Meir’s husband in the telepic A Woman Called Golda.
In addition to acting in film and television, Leonard Nimoy was also an accomplished and respected stage actor, having played, among other roles, Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire in 1955, Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof
in 1971, Sherlock Holmes in 1976 and Vincent Van Gogh in the solo show Vincent: The Story of a Hero, which he also produced and directed in 1978–80.
somebody at Paramount had the bright idea to resurrect the concept (no doubt prompted by the persistent demands of Trekkies), Leonard Nimoy returned to the role of Mr Spock for Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Critics were not all that kind to the film
but it did well at the box office; well enough for Paramount to undertake sequels that would continue to be made into the 1990s.
In case you missed them, the later Star
Trek movies were The Wrath of Khan (1982), The Search for Spock (1984), The Voyage Home (1986), The Final Frontier (1989) and The Undiscovered Country (1991). Leonard Nimoy appeared in all of them, although
only briefly in The Search for Spock.
By this time Nimoy had become a successful director, and in fact directed the Star Trek films The Search for
Spock and The Voyage Home. Variety, in reviewing The Search for Spock, said: ‘Nimoy’s direction is people-intensive with less of the zap and effects diversions of competing films.’ He went on to direct four
other feature films, which included, rather unexpectedly, the 1987 comedy 3 Men and a Baby, starring Tom Selleck.
Nimoy hosted the documentary series In Search
of... which investigated unexplained events, paranormal phenomena and urban legends. He narrated Civilization IV and lent his distinctive voice to a variety of films, TV projects and documentaries, including the A&E documentary series Ancient
Nimoy had studied photography at UCLA in the 1970s, and his work as a photographer has been shown in museums, art galleries and in published works, including
‘The Full Body Project: Photographs by Leonard Nimoy’ and ‘Shekhina.’ Some of his photos were featured in the several books of poetry he wrote, which included You and I, Warmed by Love, and A Lifetime of Love:
Poems on the Passages of Life.
In a rather peculiar twist, Leonard Nimoy released five albums on Dot Records, the first of which was the space-based music and spoken
word, Mr. Spock’s Music from Outer Space. Ye Gods!
Leonard Nimoy certainly packed lot of living into his 83 years and was always extremely grateful for his
success. He became an active philanthropist, with one of the most important of his projects being to endow Hollywood’s Temple Israel’s Bay-Nimoy Early Childhood Center.
Beam him up Scotty – wherever you are. Farewell Mr Spock!
Read an excellent article, see pics and links to related articles and videos at http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-02-28/star-treks-mr-spock-leonard-nimoy-dies-at-83/6270602, see this Video:
Michael Vincent talks to News 24 about Leonard Nimoy's legacy (ABC News), read what Variety has to say about Leonard Nimoy at http://variety.com/2015/tv/news/leonard-nimoy-dead-star-trek-spock-dies-at-83-1201443212/, and look at Leonard Nimoy’s Final Tweet: ‘A Life Is Like a Garden’