Rest in Peace: Actor, Director, Poet, Writer, and Icon Leonard Nimoy Dies at 83

Friday, 27 February 2015 09:33 Written by  iamrogue
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Rest in Peace: Actor, Director, Poet, Writer, and Icon Leonard Nimoy Dies at 83

Sad, sad news this morning.  Leonard Nimoy, an actor, director, writer, poet, musician, and gentleman, has died. He was 83 years old.

Nimoy passed away Friday morning at his home in Bel Air, Los Angeles, after being hospitalized on Monday.  His wife, Susan Bay Nimoy, confirmed his death, citing end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease as the cause.

Nimoy himself announced his diagnosis with the disease last year, saying he believed it was caused by years of cigarette smoking, which he successfully quit thirty years ago.

The actor with the unmistakable voice, towering cheekbones, and resolute dignity lived a long, fascinating life, picking up acting at the age of eight.  He was a prolific poet, publishing volumes, and a photographer, as well as a musician who released five albums in the late sixties (including a dynamite cover of "Walk the Line" on The New World of Leonard Nimoy).

He was, of course, best known as Mr. Spock, the first mate of the USS Enterprise, one of the most beloved, influential, and iconic characters of the 20th century – in any medium, not just television or film.  With his wry, subtle expressiveness, Nimoy brought a warm undercurrent to the coldly logical half-Vulcan, half-human Spock, the defining character of Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek, a property that has extended over almost fifty years now.

After playing Spock on the television series from 1966 through 1969, Nimoy went on to a starring role on Mission: Impossible, hosted the fondly-remembered In Search Of... and, later, Ancient Mysteries.  More recently, he played a prominent part on the scifi series Fringe.  He was also a regular star of the stage for almost his entire life.

But it was his Vulcan character that endured, and Nimoy returned to the role when the series led to the big screen franchise.  In addition to playing the beloved Spock in the six films of the original franchise, Nimoy directed Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, arguably still the best Trek movie ever made (he also contributed to that screenplay).  His directorial hits extended beyond the United Federation of Planets, too, as he also helmed Three Men and a Baby.

When JJ Abrams revived the theatrical Star Trek franchise in 2009, Nimoy returned to lend the reboot gravitas as Spock, and he briefly did the same in 2013's Star Trek Into Darkness.

Nimoy, a man of true class, had a complex relationship with his most famous character.  He acknowledged an almost mystical connection to Spock, an outcast and an alien even to himself.  Nimoy's 1977 autobiography was titled I Am Not Spock, while his 1995 follow-up was called I Am Spock.

You can listen to his own reading of I Am Spock below.  Our condolences go out to Nimoy's family.  The world is a less human place without him.

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