by: Chris Gray
Long before being a “Nerd” was cool there was Leonard Simon Nimoy who many have come to love in his role as Spock, the logical Vulcan in the Star Trek universe. Nimoy was teleported to the afterlife at the age of 83 on the morning of Feb 27, 2015. This was after losing his long battle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Nimoy leaves behind his son Adam, daughter Julie and Wife Susan Bay-Nimoy.
Nimoy was born on March 26, 1931 in west end Boston to Jewish immigrants from Russia. Most people are unaware that though Nimoy was raised in an Italian section of the city where, he counted many Italian-Americans as his friends, he said he often felt the sting of anti-Semitism while growing up.Though he began acting at the age of 8 in a childrens theater, it wasn’t until the age of 17 that he caught his first real big break. Throughout his childhood his parents had always wanted him to attend college and pursue a stable career, but it was his grandfather who encouraged him to become an actor. It was because of this that though he did get MA in education, and even entered the Army reserves, he still took acting classes and worked on his true passion with every acting gig and job he could.
Leonard Nimoy has had a full career and a very rich life. He portrayed many different roles across tv and movies. From television, some may remember him from being on the tv series “In Search of” or even from fox series “Fringe.” And after giving into his popular character Spock he has been on such television shows as “Duckman, “ The Simpsons”, “Futurama” and varied commercials. He has also directed movies such as “Three Men and a Baby” and television shows such as“Star Trek III: The Search for Spock” and “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home” He has also acted in hit plays such as ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”, and “A Streetcar Named Desire.” Adding to a long legacy of success Nimoy loved photography and poems and even published books on them as well as writing a few children's stories.
Like I said, Mr Nimoy has had an amazing life and career and what I have written is just a taste of what the man has accomplished in his life. And here is something many may not know, Nimoy was not always happy about his role as Spock even though the role that pretty much put him on the map and created one of the most beloved and memorable Star Trek characters. This was due to him being type casted as Spock and only Spock which is not what he wanted to be known only for. It was because of this Nimoy wrote two autobiographies that show this mindset, the first “I am Not Spock” and the last “I Am Spock” finally shows him giving in to loving the Spock character.
Nimoy played Spock and brought the Gene Roddenberry character to life in Star Trek. I would have to say that he played the most beloved Star Trek character ever. Spock represented a character of primarily functioning on logic keeping his emotions in check. This gave a representation of what makes humanity special, that our compassion and ability to feel gives us something that sets us apart. I watched the original Star Trek as a child but, back then I had no idea what I was truly looking at. It wasn’t until later in my life when I got to see the Star Trek movies, that Spock really rocked my world and I honestly could not imagine any other actor playing his role. Nimoy just has the voice and the look, and when the half Vulcan half human finally gives into his human emotions and tells Capt James T Kirk that you have and always will be my friend you could not help but tear up. Spock as a character was so well done that I feel they tried to recapture that Spock essence with Lt Commander Data from the Next Generation Series. Leonard Nimoy played Spock in the Tv series and was in all 5 of the original Star Trek movies and was in both of J.J. Abrams newly rebooted Star trek movies.
Here is two quotes from President Obama on Leonard Nimoy that I thought were very touching. “Leonard Nimoy will always have a special place in my heart, you have been apart of my life for many years and have been part of the reason I love the “nerd stuff” I do. Nimoy has always resembled another special person in my life the man I consider my father Grandpop Knight. These two men are very similar.“ Obama also stated after Nimoy’s death that "Leonard was a lifelong lover of the arts and humanities, a supporter of the sciences, generous with his talent and his time. And of course, Leonard was Spock. I loved Spock... Michelle and I join his family, friends, and countless fans who miss him so dearly today."
Leonard Nimoy will always have a special place in my heart, he has inspired, entertained, educated and changed many lives not only will the nerds miss you but the whole world as well.