Tribute to Leonard Nimoy

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Biography

According to IMDB Leonard Simon Nimoy was born on the 26 of March 1931, in Boston, Massachusetts. He died on the 27 of February 2015 in Bel Air (Los Angeles, California) at the age of 83 of end stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Leonard Nimoy was 6' 0½" (or 1.84 m) tall and was best known for his long running portrayal of the enigmatic Spock in the Star Trek series and films. Leonard’s parents owned a barbershop and were Jewish immigrants to the United States of America from the Ukraine. He served two years in the United States army, graduated from Boston University in 1953 and proceeded to earn a Masters’ degree in Education from Antioch University. He was later awarded honorary doctorates from both universities.

Leonard Nimoy grew up acting in community theatre and naturally progressed toward Hollywood performing uncredited and small bit parts.


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Career Highlights

In 1966 he commenced his role as Mr. Spock, who was token alien working as science officer on the starship enterprise. Nimoy won three Emmy nominations for his performance as Spock and went on to write, direct and produce material for the Star Trek series and films. He also hosted several speculative television documentary programs, published books of poetry, exhibited photography and guest starred in a variety of other films, plays and series.

Other achievements that may especially interest Science Fiction fans are lending his voice to characterise Sentinel Prime and Megatron/Galvatron (in Transformers) and contributing to the delightful animated space cartoon Futurama as a preserved head in a bottle.

( See imdb.com/name/nm0000559/bio?ref_=nm_ov_bio_sm)

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Mr. Spock and the enterprise crew

Mr. Spock and the enterprise crew

The character of Spock was purported to be half-human and half-Vulcan. The character was set aside from the human crew members by his distinctively angled eyebrows and elf-like pointed ears. His alien personality was deliberately mysterious and emotionally repressed, thus forming a perfect foil for the outgoing and very human Captain James T. Kirk played by William Shatner.

Other prominent members of the USS Enterprise crew were the comical and endearing doctor Leonard “Bones” McCoy (DeForest Kelly) and lovable engineer cum transport office Montgomery Scott aka “Scottie” (James Doohan). The USS Enterprise was a gigantic floating home base for the crew, who were meant to be representative of all races allied with earth. The crew actually numbered in their thousands, but the audience got to know certain members who were responsible for manning the controls on the bridge and participating in planetary exploration field trips.

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Contributions to the character

Nimoy did not simply portray the character of Spock. In addition to acting, he contributed singular hand gestures and elements of Vulcan culture to the characterization of the iconic figure. It may be that he used elements of his experience of being “alien” as a person of Jewish background in the United States of America to help him personify the character of Spock.

More than human, Spock had a strong logical and concrete orientation which could also be comical in its inability to comprehend human emotion or correctly interpret emotionally laden situations. Tall and slim, with an elegantly formal posture he was sometimes the object of female desires despite the cultural divide between his Vulcan side and human women. Throughout the series, his character died and was restored again several times, almost giving him the status of a super hero.


Legacy in The Next Generation

Some of the functions the character of Spock performed in the plot were passed onto the character of Commander Data (Brent Spiner), the lovable and very human android who formed an integral part of the Next Generation crew. Like Spock, Commander Data provides an alternate point of view and quaintly objective voice against which to measure their adventures.

The legacy of Spock created by the success of Star Trek (the original series), the films and movies the Next Generation and other spin offs such as Star Trek Voyager, will continue to charm and entertain. However, the man who contributed his energy to acting the pivotal character of Spock and continued on t write and direct will be missed.

Last Tweet

While he had officially retired from public life and no longer attended conventions, Leonard Nimoy continued to communicate with his fans through social media. On the 23rd of February, after a full and creative life, the 83 year old Leonard Nimoy posted his last tweet: “A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP.”

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