American actor Leonard Nimoy, who played cerebral science officer Mr Spock from ‘Star Trek’, has passed away due to an end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He was 83.
The actor died yesterday morning at his home in Bel Air, said The Hollywood Reporter.
He had tweeted on January 14 that he had the lung disease.
“I quit smoking 30 years ago. Not soon enough. I have COPD. Grandpa says, quit now!!”
As he always did, Nimoy signed off with the acronym LLAP, short for ‘Live Long and Prosper’, his ‘Star Trek’ character’s most celebrated phrase.
Nimoy was a vagabond TV character actor when he made his debut as the sombre Spock on NBC’s drama ‘Star Trek’, which debuted on September 8, 1966.
He went on to play or voice the half-Vulcan, half-human on live-action shows, cartoons, films, video games, among others all the way through JJ Abrams’ movie sequel ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ (2013) — marking an amazing span of nearly 50 years.
In the 1970s, Nimoy replaced Martin Landau in the cast of ‘Mission: Impossible’ TV series, playing Paris, a master of disguise.
Recently, he recurred on the science-fiction drama ‘Fringe’ as William Bell, the founder of the Massive Dynamic corporation.
His last tweet came on February 22. “A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP,” it read.
Nimoy was born on March 26, 1931, in the West End section of Boston. When he was 20, he made his first film appearance, in ‘Queen for a Day’ (1951).
In 1952, Nimoy ventured into sci-fi for the first time with ‘Zombies of the Stratosphere’ and had the title role in another film released that year, ‘Kid Monk Baroni’, a tale about a disfigured street punk turned boxer.
He served in the US Army from 1953-55, then appeared in guest roles on shows ‘Highway Patrol’, ‘Broken Arrow’ and ‘Wagon Train’ (as Native Americans), Dragnet, Sea Hunt, among others.
For Spock, Nimoy invented the V-shaped Vulcan ‘Live Long and Prosper’ hand gesture and the neck pinch that rendered his enemies unconscious.
Nimoy was not happy about wearing pointy ears, but the creator Gene Roddenberry convinced him to do it.
He received three supporting Emmy Award nominations for playing Spock, one for each season of the show. When he opened a letter to learn that he was nominated the first time, in 1967, the actor cried.
Nimoy returned for film ‘Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan’ (1982) in which Spock is killed by radiation poisoning and his coffin shot into orbit.
He as Spock returned in ‘Star Trek III: The Search for Spock’ (1984) and ‘Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home’ (1986), both helmed by Nimoy as he only agreed to return to the third film if he were allowed to direct. He also co-wrote the stories for the fourth and six films in the series.
He was back as Spock in two 1991 episodes of the syndicated series ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ (1987) and provided the uncredited voice of a Spock action figure on a March 2012 episode of ‘The Big Bang Theory’ titled ‘The Transporter Malfunction’.
He directed ‘Three Men and a Baby’, a remake of the 1985 Oscar-nominated French film ‘Trois Hommes et un Couffin’ (Three Men and a Cradle).
A deep-thinker, Nimoy authored nine poetry books, which included a comic book and a few autobiographies.