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Leonard Nimoy who portrayed Spock, dies at 83

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Leonard Nimoy, Actor, Director, and 'Star Trek' Icon, Dies at 83

By Ethan Alter

Yahoo TV Feb. 27, 2015

 

Leonard Nimoy Dies at 83

 

I Am Not Spock proclaimed the title of Leonard Nimoy's 1975 autobiography, in which the veteran actor tried to distinguish himself from his most iconic role, as Star Trek's emotionless half-human, half-Vulcan science officer. Twenty years later, he published a follow-up entitled, I Am Spock, in which the actor-director warmly embraced his pointy-eared alter ego. Like it or not, Nimoy — who passed away on Feb. 27 at the age of 83 from end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease — was Spock to generations of sci-fi fans, so much so that when J.J. Abrams rebooted the franchise in the 2009 blockbuster, Nimoy was the one original cast member he made sure to bring back.

 

Even though the role defined his career for those of us watching him at home and in theaters, Spock was only one small part of Nimoy's overall life. An actor from childhood, the Boston-born Nimoy worked steadily on television before and after Star Trek, appearing on such disparate shows as Sea Hunt, Gunsmoke, Mission: Impossible and In Search Of…, a five-season series that explored the mysteries of the paranormal. In the '80s, he became an established film director, overseeing back-to-back big-screen Star Trek installments (The Search for Spock and The Voyage Home) followed by the 1987 hit, Three Men and a Baby.

 

Nimoy parlayed his eye for the camera into a respected career as a photographer, snapping pictures that hung in galleries and were collected in books like The Full Body Project — a collection for which he shot nude photos of plus-sized and obese women. "The first time I had photographed a person of that size and shape, it was scary," he remarked in a 2007 NPR interview. "I didn't know quite how to treat this figure. And I think that's a reflection of something that's prevalent in our culture. I think, in general, we are sort of conditioned to see a different body type as acceptable and maybe look away when the other body type arrives. It led me to a new consciousness about the fact that so many people live in body types that are not the type that's being sold by fashion models."

 

That's the kind of eminently logical argument that Spock would make and speaks to how being involved in a progressive, socially-conscious series like Star Trek must have helped shape Nimoy's worldview going forward. One of the reasons the franchise has endured is that it imagines a future Earth free of prejudice and strife. Through his life and work on-screen and off, Nimoy sought to make that world of tomorrow possible today.

 

*On a personal note, I have gotten his autograph, and photo, and seen him at numerous conventions. He will be sorely missed! - Trekz

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Upon hearing the very sad news, I thought I would briefly pay my respects through an old and almost forgotten friend from several years ago (namely, the StarTrekFans.net community).

 

Without gazing into Mr. Nimoy's personal life, which had to have its natural ups and downs, it looks safe to claim that he did indeed live long and indeed prospered. His immediate family lost a loved one. Yet his fans composed a sort of family, too. People connected to his famous character, Spock, in a way that few other television characters have been, and this surpasses most, if not arguably all, of the characters of the entire Star Trek franchise. Rest in Peace.

 

There is only one Spock and there was only one Leonard Nimoy.

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There is no quote or action I can think of to speak of what Leonard Nimoy did for Sci-Fi, Star Trek, and the world at large. May the next adventure bring him as much good fortune as the last.

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Once in a while a fictional character comes along that so permeates our culture that they transcend their original medium. Mr. Spock was one of those characters. It's possible, without ever having seen an episode of "Star Trek", to know who Spock is, where he came from, what he's about, what he means to so many.

Thank you Leonard Nimoy for bringing Spock to life, for making him real to us, for using your character's voice to say so much and help make the world more aware; socially, ecologically, etc.

Though you did not get to live long enough in my book (though how long would really be long enough?), you did live well, and so in many ways, long. And you most assuredly prospered, and helped so many others to do so. And now you boldly go.

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As sad as I am about the death of Leonard Nimoy, I'm also happy that he left such a high-quality legacy of TV shows and movies we can enjoy over and over again. Although he's gone, he'll never truly leave us.

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Its always so sad to hear of the passing of a person whose contributions in this world have touched the hearts and minds of countless others. My condolences to his family and his fans - his legacy will LLAP.

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