Leonard Simon Nimoy was an American actor, film director, poet, singer and photographer. He began his career teaching acting classes in Hollywood and making minor film and television appearances through the 1950s. Nimoy starred in several television shows such as “Mission Impossible” (1969-71), hosted the documentary series “In Search Of…” (1976-82), narrated the science show “Ancient Mysteries” (1994-98) and had a recurring role on the FOX sci-fi series “Fringe” (2009-12). He has also done voice over work on the “Simpsons” and “Futurama” in which he portrayed himself alongside his “Star Trek” co-stars. Transformers fans will remember him as the voice of Galvatron in “Transformers: The Movie” and he also provided Unicron’s final lines after Orson Wells passed away during the film’s production. Leonard would return to voice Sentinel Prime in “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”. He had a hand in lending his tones to Master Xehenort in the video game “Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep and Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance.”
However, Nimoy will be forever remembered for his role as Spock in the original Star Trek series (1966–69), and in multiple film, television and video game sequels. He formed a long-standing friendship with William Shatner, who played his commanding officer, saying of their relationship, “We were like brothers.” The role earned Nimoy three Emmy Award nominations. He went on to reprise his role as Spock in “Star Trek: The Animated Series” as did all his co-stars and two episodes of “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. He would portray Spock again for the “Star Trek” movies featuring the original cast. Nimoy later returned as an elder Spock for the 2009 J. J. Abrams film “Star Trek” and the 2013 sequel “Star Trek Into Darkness”. Spock’s Vulcan salute became a recognized symbol and was identified with him. He created the sign from his childhood memories of the way Jewish priests, called kohanim, hold their hand when giving blessings. During an interview, Nimoy translated the blessing from Numbers 6:24-26 which accompanies sign. “May the Lord bless and keep you and may the Lord cause his countenance to shine upon you. May the Lord be gracious unto you and grant you peace.” The accompanying spoken blessing, “Live long and prosper.” See, now you know where it came from.
Leonard Nimoy authored two volumes of autobiography. The first book “I Am Not Spock” was controversial as many fans assumed that Nimoy was distancing himself from the Spock character where in fact Nimoy conducted dialogues between himself and Spock. The second book “I Am Spock” saw him communicating that he finally realized that playing Spock has led to a much greater identification between himself and the fictional character. Nimoy has also composed several volumes of poetry.
Nimoy was married twice. In 1954, he married actress Sandra Zober (1927–2011), whom he divorced in 1987. On New Year’s Day of 1989, he married actress Susan Bay, cousin of director Michael Bay. Nimoy was a private pilot and was a recipient of the 2010 Douglas S. Morrow Public Outreach Award for creating a positive role model.
In February 2014, Nimoy revealed that he had been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) as a result of his years of smoking even though he kicked the habit decades ago. On February 19, 2015, Nimoy was taken to UCLA Medical Center for chest pain and had been in and out of hospitals for the “past several months. Nimoy died on February 27, 2015 at age 83. A few days prior, Nimoy shared some of his poetry on Twitter: “A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP”
William Shatner posted on Twitter about his friend: “I loved him like a brother. We will all miss his humor, his talent, and his capacity to love.” -William Shatner http://www.whosay.com/l/TPvadxi
Comic Book man Kevin Smith remembers Nimoy: “Of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most… Human.” Farewell, Leonard Nimoy – Actor, Director, Pop culture icon.”
Leonard Nimoy and Spock has become connected with Star Trek. They are loved and respected the world over by fans of several generations, races and diversities. He is an icon of pop culture, especially in the geek community and he will be missed.
A prominent scene from “Transformers: The Movie”
Best Spock moments on “Star Trek”
Spock meets Spock in “Star Trek Into Darkness”