Leonard Nimoy may have succeeded in battling Klingons, Romulans and other intergalactic nemeses as first officer on the USS Enterprise, but in the end he could not beat COPD, which took his life earlier today at the age of 83.
Although most widely known for his role as half-Vulcan/half human science officer (and later ambassador) Spock in the “Star Trek” franchise, Nimoy lived long and prospered in various roles as an actor on TV, stage and the big screen, director, writer, poet, songwriter, singer and photographer, etc.
Born Leonard Simon Nimoy in Boston on March 26, 1931, he was raised by Ukrainian Jewish (immigrant) parents, who spoke Yiddish at home. His love of acting began early in life, and he made his first stage appearance at the age of 8 in a production of “Hansel and Gretel.” He later took drama classes for a while at Boston College, before teaching acting classes himself in Hollywood while in his early 20’s, and landed his first leading role in the 1952 film “Kid Monk Baroni.” That same year he (ironically) also played a Martian invader named Narab in the movie serial “Zombies of the Stratosphere,” before serving in the army from 1953-1955.
Following his discharge, Nimoy began picking up numerous (small) roles in a few films, before finding more success with guest appearances on television shows including “Dragnet,” “Sea Hunt,” “Bonanza,” “Wagon Train,” “Rawhide,” “The Twilight Zone,” “The Untouchables,” “The Outer Limits,” “The Virginian,” “Get Smart” and “Gunsmoke” before rising to fame in “Star Trek” in 1965.
After the original series was canceled, Nimoy joined the 4th season of “Mission: Impossible” as master-of-disguise Paris, then moved on to star in the 1971 Western “Catlow,” with Yul Brynner and Richard Crenna, as well as the 1978 remake of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” with Donald Sutherland and Jeffrey Goldblum. It was during this time that he also narrated the TV series “In Search of …,” which examined a variety of “unexplained events, paranormal phenomena and urban legends.” He also was nominated for an Emmy for his part as Golda Meir’s husband Morris Meyerson in telepic “A Woman Called Golda,” starring Ingrid Bergman in the title role in 1982.
Nimoy also continued to star and direct in other television shows, as well as feature films and stage productions too numerous to name here, as well as other artistic pursuits mentioned above up to the very end.
He is survived by his wife his second wife Susan Bay, two children from his first marriage (to Sandra Zober), son Adam, a director, and daughter Julie, as well as several grandchildren.