Farewell Leonard Nimoy 1931-2015

Leonard Nimoy, who portrayed Mr. Spock, for 50 years has passed away at the age of 83 due to lung disease that was from years of smoking. He was born in Boston, Massachusetts on March 26, 1931, 4 days after William Shatner’s birthdate. Leonard went to Hollywood at the age of 18 and was guest-starring in shows such as Dragnet, Mission Impossible, and other films and TV shows. It wasn’t until the year 1964 that he met Gene Roddenberry and was casted as Mr. Spock to star in the original pilot of Star Trek called The Cage, which also starred Jeffrey Hunter as Captain Christopher Pike. NBC rejected the original pilot because they felt it was too cerebral and they wanted cast changes. Roddenberry kept Mr. Spock. NBC commissioned a second Star Trek pilot called Where No Man Has Gone Before and Nimoy was in this one, along with William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk. A legend was born and a lifelong friendship between Nimoy and Shatner was formed. Mr. Spock was presented to the world on September 8, 1966 and Nimoy’s life has changed for the next 49 years.

The original Star Trek series lasted only three seasons and Nimoy played other roles in projects such as Mission Impossible and Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Despite this, he was forever identified as Spock. He even wrote a book called I Am Not Spock. In 1973, he and most of the original cast reunited for the Star Trek animated series that won an Emmy Award and it only lasted for 2 seasons. The Star Trek conventions formed in the 70’s and the original cast attended NASA’s launch of the space shuttle, appropriately named Enterprise. 1979 was when Nimoy’s career underwent a renaissance when the original cast reunited for the first of many Star Trek films.

Spock has died in Star Trek 2 and Nimoy got to direct both Star Treks 3 and 4 with the latter being the most successful financially. It was during this time that he voiced the character of Galvatron in Transformers: The Movie and directed a comedy hit called Three Men and a Baby. Things were winding down in the late-80’s and early-90’s, but in 1991 the original cast made their final film called Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. Nimoy also got to guest-star in Star Trek: The Next Generation’s 2-parter called Unification and interacted only with Captain Picard and Data. It would be the last time that Nimoy played Spock until 2009. He even authored a sequel to I Am Not Spock called I Am Spock.

During this period, Leonard attended Star Trek conventions and was pursuing photography with naked women as the subject. Nimoy is also related to film director Michael Bay through his marriage to Susan Boy. He also has 2 children named Adam and Julie with Adam being a film director in his own right. In 2009, he played Spock once again in the Star Trek reboot film directed by JJ Abrams. He passed the torch to Zachary Quinto, who plays the younger Spock. Nimoy played Spock again for its sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness. He returned to the Transformers universe by voicing Sentinel Prime in Transformers 2:: Dark of the Moon.  The last couple of years he revealed he had lung disease due to smoking and has been in and out of the hospital until his passing.

Leonard Nimoy’s contributions to the film and TV world, along with science fiction are cemented forever with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and a handprint in Mann’s Chinese Theater. The world mourns his passing and celebrates his ilife. He is  survived by his wife, Susan Bay, and his children Adam and Julie. He has lived long and prospered and is now in the stars forever.


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