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Leonard Nimoy to retire from acting

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Leonard Nimoy Hangs Up His Spock Ears Adam Hadhazy – Wed Apr 21, 6:00 pm ET

This story was updated at 5:43 p.m. ET.


Leonard Nimoy, the actor who has famously portrayed "Star Trek's" original alien Spock for over 40 years, has announced he's officially hanging up the pointy Vulcan ears for good.


Nimoy, 79, plans to retire shortly from show business and the "Star Trek" convention circuit, according to the Canadian newspaper Toronto Sun.


The actor, director and photographer will be attending the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo this weekend, and told the paper that beyond this event he only has a few more public appearances scheduled.


Nimoy also currently guest stars on the television show "Fringe," produced by J.J, Abrams who directed last summer's re-launched "Star Trek" film franchise chronicling a younger original series cast on their first mission on the starship Enterprise.


The retirement announcement all but guarantees that an elder, "from-the-future" Spock (at least played by Nimoy) will not make an appearance in the next "Star Trek" movie.


"I want to get off the stage. Also, I don't think it would be fair to Zachary Quinto," Nimoy told the Toronto Sun, referring to the actor who portrays young Spock in the new Trek film. "He's a terrific actor, he looks the part, and it's time to give him some space. And I'm very flattered the character will continue."


Boldly going from Boston to the bridge


Nimoy, born in Boston, Mass. in 1931, began his acting career at the age of 20, taking on roles in a number of campy science fiction. In the early and mid-1960s, he appeared in episodes of major series including "Bonanza," "Perry Mason" and "Get Smart" in 1966.


Also in that year, Nimoy landed a role in a new series created by Gene Roddenberry called "Star Trek." Nimoy played Commander Spock, the half-human, half-Vulcan first mate and science officer aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise, helmed by Captain James T. Kirk, played by William Shatner.


Nimoy donned fake, pointy, elvish ears, some swooping eyebrows, an early-Beatles hairdo, and a poker face to play the half-human, half-alien character.


Spock – for the most part – maintained a stoic demeanor per his Vulcan ancestry and his green-tinted blood ran cool in his veins. But this uber-"logical" side of Spock occasionally struggled with his more emotional half and was torn at times between the two cultures.


"Star Trek" ran until 1969 and despite low ratings the show garnered a cult-like following on syndication in the years ahead.


Nimoy, for his part, went on to star in a number of made-for-television movies and theatrical productions in the 1970s, his Star Trek days apparently behind him. But when studio executives green-lit a proposed new television series instead as a feature film with the original crew, Nimoy found himself back in his Starfleet uniform.


A career at warp speed


The character of Spock would continue his journey in all six original series movies, as well as episodes of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" episodes in 1991, and then in an alternate timeline established in last summer's Abrams-directed flick. Nimoy also lent his voice to Trek-themed video games and other products over the years, adding to the legend of his character.


Nimoy also directed the third and fourth "Star Trek" movies, the latter of which, 1986's "'Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home," has been roundly received by audiences and critics alike as perhaps the best Trek film of all for its humor and, oddly enough, humanity. (The plot involved time-traveling back to late 20th century Earth to bring humpback whales, extinct in the future, to the 23rd century when "Star Trek" takes place to answer the calls of a devastating alien probe seeking the intelligent makers of whale song whispers heard across space eons before.)


"I felt like 'Star Trek IV' was my personal statement on 'Star Trek,'" Nimoy told the Toronto Sun.


In two autobiographies, 1975's "I Am Not Spock," followed by 1995's "I Am Spock," Nimoy shared his coming-to-grips of being constantly associated with his famous Star Trek character.


In addition to this work, Nimoy has also made musical recordings and done voiceovers for documentaries and as Spock and himself in cartoons such as "The Simpsons" and "Futurama," and of course "Star Trek: The Animated Series" in the 1970s.


"Live long and prosper"


Among his many memorable on-screen moments as Spock, Nimoy came up with the now-iconic, V-shaped hand gesture often accompanied by the Vulcan axiom "live long and prosper," both inspired by his Jewish heritage.


The albeit-less-friendly Vulcan nerve pinch – an incapacitating touch to a neck but more civilized than one of Kirk's wildly exaggerated-for-TV haymaker punches – was also an on-set invention by Nimoy for his character.


Overall, Nimoy's retirement is sure to leave a hole in many "Star Trek" fans and others' hearts. But when pushing octogenarian-hood, retiring – as Spock himself might say – perhaps is the only logical thing to do.

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Lol....I actually thought he had retired years ago!

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I'd bet that he, if approached with what he believed a strong enough script, would again come out of retirement for a another go.


In any case, I wish him luck and offer him my thanks for years and years and years of fascination. :Hmmm...:

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Nimoy has done the TV show Fringe recently. He has also done a lote of voice work. Below is a list of things he's done back to ST VI.


"Fringe" .... Dr. William Bell / ... (4 episodes, 2009)

- Grey Matters (2009) TV episode .... Dr. William Bell

- Momentum Deferred (2009) TV episode .... Dr. William Bell

- There's More Than One of Everything (2009) TV episode .... William Bell

- Bad Dreams (2009) TV episode (voice) .... Dr. William Bell

Land of the Lost (2009) (voice) .... The Zarn

Star Trek (2009) .... Spock Prime

... aka "Star Trek (IMAX DMR version)" - Hong Kong (English title) (IMAX version)

... aka "Star Trek: The Future Begins" - Malaysia (English title)

... aka "Star Trek: The IMAX Experience" - USA (IMAX version)

Civilization IV (2005) (VG) (voice) .... Narrator

Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001) (VG) (voice) .... Atlantean King

Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001) (voice) .... King Kashekim Nedakh

"Becker" .... Professor Emmett Fowler (1 episode, 2001)

- The TorMentor (2001) TV episode .... Professor Emmett Fowler

Sinbad: Beyond the Veil of Mists (2000) (voice) .... Akron/Baraka/King Chandra

Seaman (1999) (VG) (voice) .... Narrator

Rashi: A Light After the Dark Ages (1999) (voice) .... Rashi

"Invasion America" (1998) TV series .... General Konrad (unknown episodes, 1998)

Brave New World (1998) (TV) .... Mustapha Mond

Armageddon: Target Earth (1998) .... Narrator

The Lost World (1998) (TV) .... Angus McArdle

The First Men in the Moon (1997) (V) .... William Caver

David (1997) (TV) .... Samuel

"The Outer Limits" .... Thurman Cutler (1 episode, 1995)

... aka "The New Outer Limits" - USA (promotional title)

- I, Robot (1995) TV episode .... Thurman Cutler

Bonanza: Under Attack (1995) (TV) .... Frank James

The Pagemaster (1994) (voice) .... Dr. Jekyll / Mr. Hyde

The Halloween Tree (1993) (TV) (voice) .... Mr. Moundshroud

Star Trek: Judgment Rites (1993) (VG) (voice) .... Cmdr. Spock

Star Trek: 25th Anniversary Enhanced (1992) (VG) (voice) .... Cmdr. Spock

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991) .... Captain Spock

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I think he's making a mistake, but if this is what he wants to do then that's cool...

I disagree. His days of playing Spock are over, and they should be - although I think he should still do the convention stuff. Spock Prime's role in Star Trek was pivotal and necessary for hard core Trek fans to accept the new canon, but it is over now. It will be hard to come up with a more fitting end of the Spock Prime character than to help rebuild the Vulcan race.

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I have a feeling that if the sequels to Star Trek take the franchise even further, that he won't quit the convention circuit. I can understand retiring from acting, but it probably wouldn't be wise to completely disengage from Star Trek just as it gets its second (or third) wind.

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Nimoy is currently scheduled to appear at 2 more Star Trek conventions: the Las Vegas con in August and in Chicago in October. I'm crossing my fingers (or maybe I should be doing the Live long and prosper salute!) that he makes the Chicago Con, which currently only has two guests, with the other being Christopher Lloyd. He is a great convention guest, especially when he teases and needles Shatner!

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