Friday, February 27, 2015

Leonard Nimoy: 1931-2015

Leonard Nimoy's first close-up as Spock in "The Menagerie" (1964)
Frequent readers of this blog will know that I'm not usually at a loss for words, but on the subject of Leonard Nimoy's death, I am almost speechless. For as long as I can remember, Star Trek and Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock have been a part of my life. Now Nimoy is gone.

I had the pleasure of seeing Mr. Nimoy in person twice in my life  in the early 2000s, at a Seattle-area Star Trek convention alongside William Shatner, and more recently, at a Hammer Museum event where he spoke about his career as a photographer alongside fellow Star Trek (2009) actor Zachary Quinto. On both occasions, I was struck by the depth of the man's intelligence, the warmth of his sense of humor, and the genuine affection he showed for both his friends and his fans.

True to his character's now iconic salutation, Mr. Nimoy lived long and prospered, finding success as an actor, director, author, poet, singer, and photographer in a career that spanned seven decades. He may be most famous for portraying Mr. Spock on Star Trek (a role which garnered him three consecutive Emmy nominations), but Nimoy leaves behind a tremendous body of work far beyond this role. He'll be long remembered and deeply missed by many.

Goodbye, Mr. Nimoy.

Image Courtesy of Trek Core.


  1. I've been crying for the past two days; we've lost a great man.

    I have a question about Mr. Nimoy that you might be able to answer. When I first started paying attention to Star Trek, in 1969, the word was that Gene Roddenberry had wanted Leonard Nimoy for Spock from the very beginning, that he'd seen him in "The Lieutenant" and thought, "If I ever make a science fiction show, I'm going to put pointed ears on him and use him."

    In recent years, I keep seeing people say that DeForest Kelley was offered the role of Spock and turned it down; even the official Star Trek site said this in their obituary for Mr. Nimoy.

    I don't know if Roddenberry really did offer Spock to Kelley, and this is a fact that's come out relatively recently, or if Kelley's friends started saying this after he was dead -- the first place I ever saw this mentioned was in a video tribute to Kelley after his death.

    Do you know, or can you find out? If the role WAS first offered to Kelley, then of course reality is what it is. But if this isn't true, seeing it in obituaries of Mr. Nimoy feels like it takes just a tiny bit of the luster away from a man who shone so brightly and who gave so much to all of us.

    Thanks for considering my question.

    1. Eeh, I'm just another fan/viewer such as yourself--e.g., I'm no more privy to such information than I guess you are. However, I do seem to vaguely remember reading that about the late DeForest Kelley and the character of Mr. Spock somewhere rather authoritative quite many, many years ago, even before the Internet-era. But I'm sorry that I can't quite seem to remember at the moment from where exactly that I read about that.

      As for myself, if for no other reason than what I've stated above, I'm going with that story as the "true story".

    2. Terry Lee Rioux's "From Sawdust to Stardust" quotes DeForest Kelly (from what I believe is a 1985 convention appearance in Baltimore, Maryland) on page 133, in which he describes having lunch with Gene Roddenberry (not long after the producer landed at Desilu) and being asked how he would feel about playing the role that became Spock. Kelley says he turned it down, preferring to be considered for a High Noon pilot he claims Roddenberry was working on.

      You can read the passage on Google Books if you don't have a copy.

      More later.

    3. Thank you.

      Your description sounds more like "sounded him out about playing Spock" than "offered him the role."

  2. A nice tribute, thank you for sharing the facts about Star Trek and teaching about the contributions of people like Leonard Nimoy