Live Long and Prosper, Mr. Spock


The man behind the pointy ears and the logical mind, Leonard Nimoy, passed away on Feb. 27. The acting legend was suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, an inflammation of the lungs caused mainly by smoking. Nimoy was 83 years old.

His acting career had a bit of a rocky start when he had minor roles in low-budget movies  in the early 1950s. It wasn’t until the mid-1960s, when he was giving acting lessons at his own studio, that he was cast in the original “Star Trek” series as the half-human, half-Vulcan Mr. Spock.

Many people agree that Nimoy’s most important role was that of Spock. His character became iconic to everyone who followed the show. The character was significant, but what people appreciated the most was how Nimoy became one with him. He, however, had trouble embracing his role as Mr. Spock, and for a while he resented it when people called him by his character’s name.

In 1975, Nimoy published his first autobiography entitled “I Am Not Spock.” Fans and critics received it badly because they thought he was rejecting his character. He didn’t anticipate people reading the title and not the book. In the book he compared Spock’s life to his own, in attempt to explain the differences between their two personas. “In Spock, I finally found the best of both worlds: to be widely accepted in public approval and yet be able to continue to play the insulated alien through the Vulcan character,” he wrote. Twenty years later, Nimoy published a second autobiography titled “I Am Spock,” in reference to his first.  He explains in this edition that Spock has always been a part of him and his feelings towards him have never changed.

When people first heard of Leonard Nimoy’s death, they were eager to remember him in a meaningful way. The people behind the heavily popular CBS sitcom “The Big Bang Theory” paid tribute to him. The actor had been on the show giving a voice to a Spock action figure. The March 5 episode ended with a portrait of Nimoy with the words below: “The impact you had on our show and on our lives is everlasting.”

The truth is, Mr. Nimoy wasn’t just Spock.Throughout his career, he pursued many more things besides his iconic role of Spock. He was a poet, musician, director and photographer; he covered a wide range of interests and he even periodically reprised everyone’s favorite Vulcan in various renditions of the ever-popular franchise. The truth is, to us they were one and the same. Nimoy was Spock; he invented the famous Vulcan “neck-pinch” as a fighting technique, and the Vulcan salute. He will forever “Live Long and Prosper” in our minds.