Leonard Nimoy was a beloved actor and fan favorite, known for his work on the classic science-fiction television series Star Trek. Nimoy played Mr. Spock, the logical-to-a-fault, human-alien first officer of the Starship Enterprise. Though the original Star Trek series was canceled after three seasons, it gained a cult-like following and made Nimoy a star.
Trekkies, or Trekkers, devoted fans of the show, as well as casual viewers alike, know Spock as the cerebral, composed, pointy-eared lone alien on the Enterprise. His Vulcan character had a signature, and now famous, greeting and blessing: “Live long and prosper.”
Premiering on NBC on Sept. 8, 1966, the show spawned spin-offs, movies, animated programming, and countless books, magazines, comics, games, action figures and more. Nimoy appeared in the show’s following films, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. He also directed Star Trek III and IV, and helped write Star Trek IV and VI. Nimoy made appearances in the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation as well as in the rebooted Star Trek films directed by J.J. Abrams: Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness. He also voiced Spock in Star Trek: The Animated Series.
Born in Boston on March 26, 1931, Leonard Simon Nimoy was the second son of Max and Dora Nimoy, Ukrainian immigrants and Orthodox Jews. He began acting at the age of 8 in local productions and then at a community college, where he performed throughout high school. In 1949 Nimoy went to Hollywood, landing small parts two years later in the movies Queen for a Day and Rhubarb. His first starring role came a year after that in 1952 in Kid Monk Baroni.
Before Star Trek there were appearances on Wagon Train, Rawhide, Perry Mason, Gunsmoke and a starring role on the television series Mission: Impossible. In 1952 he played an alien invader in the cult science-fiction film Zombies of the Stratosphere, and in 1961 he had a minor role on an episode of Twilight Zone, both leading up to the sci-fi role that would come a few years later and define his career.
Nimoy died February 27, 2015 in Bel Air, California. He was 83.