On February 27, 2015, legendary actor, director and writer Leonard Nimoy passed away In Los Angeles following a long battle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Born in Boston to émigrés Max and Dora Nimoy in 1931, Nimoy decided early on to become an actor. His first major role came at the age of 17 when he played Ralphie in a production of Clifford Odet‘s Awake and Sing. In the 1950s, Nimoy played a number of roles in B-movies, including the title role of Kid Monk Baroni in 1952. In 1953, Nimoy enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserve where he served in the Special Services.
“Long before being nerdy was cool, there was Leonard Nimoy.” —President Obama #LLAP
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) February 27, 2015
In 1965, Nimoy took on the role he is most known for, that of the logical half-human, half-vulcan Mr Spock in Star Trek‘s first pilot, The Cage. Although it would take multiple attempts, Star Trek ended up as a monumental success, with Nimoy playing his role television until 1969, when the series was cancelled.
In 1979, Gene Roddenberry successfully managed to reunite the cast and crew of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, although Nimoy himself was apprehensive about continuing on the role for so long, even requesting that his character be written out in 1982’s The Wrath of Khan. Ultimately, he returned and continued to play the character regularly on screen until 1991’s The Undiscovered Country. However, this would not be the end of the character, as Nimoy would provide cameos throughout the franchise until its latest venture, Star Trek Into Darkness, in 2012.
Outside of Star Trek, Nimoy also played roles in Fringe, The Simpsons, Futurama and Mission: Impossible.
As well as acting, Nimoy expanded his work in the film industry to include directing in the 1980s. His first directing job, 1986’s The Voyage Home, began a tradition wherein long-time actors would direct the Star Trek films. He would also direct the 1987 comedy Three Men and a Baby.
Rest in peace with the stars, my dear friend. pic.twitter.com/D2dVG6I9Xi
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) February 27, 2015
Outside of the film industry, Nimoy was a published author and poet, with two volumes of his autobiography: I am Not Spock (1975) and I am Spock (1995), as well as a number of poetry publications, including A Lifetime of Love: Poems on the Passages of Life (2002) to his name. Nimoy also experimented with music, ultimately releasing five albums released on Dot Records and appearing in the alternative video for Bruno Mars‘ The Lazy Song. Nimoy was also a celebrated photographer, especially in his native Massachusetts where his work was featured in the R. Michelson Galleries in Northampton, Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. In October 2002, Nimoy published a photographic study, The Shekhina Project, exploring the feminine aspects of God’s presence, which was inspired by Nimoy’s exploration of the Kabbalah.
Nimoy is survived by his wife, Susan Bay, his children Adam and Julie, and his stepson, Aaron.
In times such as this, when the shadow of sadness seems so massive and covers so much, when the time of mourning seems so long, when it seems like there’s something missing from the world, it seems only appropriate that the voice of solace comes from Leonard Nimoy himself:
A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP — Leonard Nimoy (@TheRealNimoy) February 23, 2015
On behalf of myself and everyone here at Roobla: rest in peace, Mr Nimoy. And to everyone else, I can only quote the words first spoken by him so long ago.
Live long and prosper.