Daily Illuminator

March 11, 2015: Farewell, Leonard Nimoy

Those of you who are Star Trek fans do not need to be told: Leonard Nimoy passed away on February 27 2015. I never met him, although I did see him once across a huge hall, while he was heading for a sold-out seminar. Interestingly enough, his first screen appearances were in 1951, the year I was born. Those who want to find a listing of his appearances and a short biography should consult the Internet Movie Database.

I was asked to write this short essay because I am one of the few workers at SJ Games who watched the original Star Trek when it was first broadcast on television, and Leonard Nimoy is thus more "alive" to me than he is to someone who knows his original performances only from recordings. Mr. Nimoy will always be Spock to me, and there can be no other. He created the role, and set down what it is to be a Vulcan, and he will be known primarily for that, even though he accomplished a great deal else with his life. In addition to his role as Spock (for which he received three Emmy nominations), he appeared in dozens of other film and television parts (including that of Paris on Mission Impossible), on stage (in Fiddler on the Roof, Oliver, Camelot, and Equus) hosted In Search of . . . and Ancient Mysteries, and guest starred on two episodes of the Simpsons. He authored several books of poetry, and was a photographer (specializing in black-and-white), and gave several exhibitions of his work.

In researching this article, I learned several things about him that I hadn't known previously:

  • His birth name was Leonard Simon Nimoy.
  • He had a pet store in Canoga Park, California during the 1960s.
  • His father had a barber shop in Boston, where one of the more popular haircuts given was the "Spock cut."
  • He received a Masters in Education from Antioch University, and graduated from Boston University in 1953. He was later given honorary doctorates from both institutions.
  • He served in the US Army receiving an honorable discharge in 1955.

It would have been nice if he had managed to live another couple of decades, but he managed to live a full and happy life, and could be said to have lived up to his most famous line as Spock: "Live long and prosper."

-- Loren Wiseman

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