Leonard Nimoy, who the world knows most famously as the first officer of the Starship Enterprise, Mr Spock, died on February 27, 2015 at his home in Los Angeles. Nimoy was 83.
Mr. Nimoy died of end stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, which he attributed to years of smoking, although he quit 30 years ago. Nimoy announced that he suffered with the disease in 2014.
Nimoy was cast in the original Star Trek in the mid 1960s and debut on NBC on September 8, 1966 making him a star. His character Mr. Spock was the only alien on the ship and made famous the Vulcan salute, “Live long and prosper.” Though Star Trek ended in its original form three years later, the cult following for the show known as “Trekkies” kept his fame alive. Nimoy wrote two autobiographies and was also an acclaimed stage actor, playing Tevya in Fiddler on the Roof.
Leonard Simon Nimoy was born in Boston, Massachusetts on March 26, 1931 to Ukrainian immigrants and Orthodox Jews Max and Dora Nimoy According to The New York Times Leonard acted in local productions form age 8, winning parts at a community college, where he performed through his high school years. In 1949, after taking a summer course at Boston College, he traveled to Hollywood, though it wasn’t until 1951 that he landed small parts in two movies, Queen for a Day and Rhubarb. His first starring movie role came in 1952 with Kid Monk Baroni, in which he played a disfigured Italian street-gang leader who becomes a boxer.
Mr. Nimoy Served in the U.S. Army for two years, rising to the rank of sergeant and spending 18 months at Fort McPherson in Georgia, where he presided over shows for the Army’s Special Services branch. after his discharge he returned to California working odd jobs and studying acting. He achieved wide visibility in the late 1950s and early 1960s on television shows like Wagon Train, Rawhide and Perry Mason. before landing Star Trek.
Mr. Nimoy returned to college in his 40s and earned a master’s degree in Spanish from Antioch University Austin, in 1978. Antioch University later awarded Mr. Nimoy an honorary doctorate.
Mr. Nimoy directed the movies Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984) and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986), which he helped write. In 1991, the same year that he came back as Mr. Spock on two episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Mr. Nimoy was also the executive producer and a writer of the movie Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. He made a departure from the sci-fi world and directed the successful comedy Three Men and a Baby in 1987. Nimoy received four Emmy nominations over his career.
Mr Nimoy published books of poetry and a book of photographs with a Jewish theme in 2002. in 1991 he produced and started in Never Forget a television movie based on a Holocaust survivor who sued a neo-nazi organization of Holocaust deniers.