It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that the news has come to us of the passing of Leonard Nimoy.
He died Friday, February 27, of end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at his Los Angeles home.
He was 83.
His most famous role, that of the half human, half Vulcan Mr. Spock, from the original series,
Star Trek, is no doubt one of the most identifiable and loved characters to have been created
for the small (and large) screen. Always logical and controlled, yet never seeming to ‘fit in’ because
of his mixed heritage, the character of Spock was, in so may ways, the one with whom most of us can
identify. Nimoy, after all, received more fan mail than any other actor on the show. His quiet, reserved
strength was an attraction and he appealed to the nerd in all of us.
Nimoy, himself, held ambivalence about his role, seeming to go through a stage of wanting to separate
himself from his iconic character soon after the original series ended in 1969, by writing his first
autobiography “I Am Not Spock”, then more recently in a second autobiography titled,
“I Am Spock”, which leads one to believe that he had eventually come to terms with and embrace
being identified with the role and even come to love it.
After Trek, he went on to another hit series, “Mission: Impossible“, filling the spot that
Martin Landau left vacant. He didn’t take over Landau’s character of Rollin Hand, but was his own
character, simply named Paris. Interesting note is that when Landau was doing “Mission”, Nimoy was
doing “Trek” – when “Trek” was over, Nimoy went to “Mission”. Landau, meanwhile, was originally up
for the role of Spock! It can be a small world in television.
Nimoy’s career was quite varied and rich. From one of his first roles, playing an invading alien bent
on taking over the world in “Zombies of the Stratosphere” in 1952, to stints on
“The Twilight Zone” and “The Outer Limits” in the early 60’s, and even appearing
opposite William Shatner on an episode of “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.”
And I’m sure we all remember him hosting the successful half hour documentary series,
“In Search Of…” from 1976 to 1982. I never missed an episode. How could we forget
his role in the first and excellent re-make of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” in 1978,
the year before the release of “Star Trek: The Motion Picture“.
Too much to mention, Nimoy has been busy all of his professional career, finally retiring,
or semi-retiring, to devote his time to his personal life-long passion – photography.
Since he was a boy and his father bought a camera, a camera that Nimoy kept his whole life,
he always had a fascination with photography. So, after his retirement from acting, he became
a full-time photographic artist. His work can be seen in a number of museum collections.
He’s published three photographic books – Secret Selves, Shekhina, & The Full Body Project.
All of us at the Gore 4 extend our deepest sympathies to Leonard Nimoy’s wife, Susan
and the rest of his family. He will be missed by us all. He was a face that many of us
grew up with and was like a friend or family member. And so we grieve also.
There was and is no one like him. He was an icon and a symbol of a bright and
positive future. Mr. Leonard Nimoy – We have been and always shall be… your
— by Walking Ed Turner