“Star Trek” Star Leonard Nimoy Dies

Leonard Nimoy, famous for his role as Mr. Spock in Star Trek, died Friday in Los Angeles from end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, his wife told theNew York Times. He was 83.

Born in Boston, Nimoy had been acting for his entire life, moving to Los Angeles when he was 18. He landed his first (tiny) film roles in 1951, and worked relatively steadily in film and television throughout the 1950s and ’60s — save for an 18-month stint serving in the Army in Georgia.

And then he was cast as Spock in Gene Roddenberry’s initial pilot for Star Trek. Titled “The Cage,” the NBC network brass felt the show was far too cerebral, and Roddenberry was forced to re-vamp the show and shoot another, more action-oriented pilot. Only Spock remained from the original cast, and although the originalStar Trek TV series lasted only three seasons, Nimoy’s life was never the same.

Arguably more than any other actor involved with Star Trek, even his costar William Shatner, Nimoy became the most deeply identified with the enduring sci-fi franchise, thanks both to his indelible performance as the logic-driven, half-Vulcan, half-human science officer, and the many iconic tropes of the character, including his pointed ears, slanted eyebrows, and unique Vulcan salute.

As the character began to dominate Nimoy’s career, his relationship with the character became a complicated one. In 1977, he wrote an autobiography bluntly titled I Am Not Spock. Eighteen years later — and after six Star Trek movies and a memorable guest star appearance on a two-part episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation — Nimoy published a second autobiography, entitled I Am Spock.

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This was his last tweet:

 

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