Happy 89th Birthday Leonard Nimoy

Today is the 89th birthday of Leonard Nimoy. The world is a better place because he was in it and still feels the loss that he has left. #LLAP

leonard nimoy 002

NAME: Leonard Nimoy
DATE OF BIRTH: 26-Mar-1931
PLACE OF BIRTH: Boston, MA
DATE OF DEATH: 27-Feb-2015
PLACE OF DEATH: Bel Air, CA
CAUSE OF DEATH: Respiratory failure
REMAINS: Buried, Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery, Culver City, CA
HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME 6651 Hollywood Blvd
ASTEROID NAMESAKE: 2309 Mr. Spock
ASTEROID NAMESAKE: 4864 Nimoy

BEST KNOWN FOR: DescriptionLeonard Simon Nimoy was an American actor, film director, photographer, author, singer, and songwriter. He was known for playing Spock in the Star Trek franchise, a character he portrayed in television and film for almost fifty years, from a pilot episode shot in late 1964 to his final film performance in 2013.

Leonard Nimoy was raised in a Boston tenement, and decided to be an actor when he saw Charles Laughton in The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Laughton made young Nimoy cry, and he yearned to perform, to have that kind of an impact on strangers. In college he took drama courses, and after time in the Army he moved to Los Angeles and worked for in a Yiddish theatre group. Nimoy’s first film was Queen for A Day with Darren McGavin in 1951, and his first leading role was a pretty good low-budget boxing drama called Kid Monk Baroni. He had a bit part in the science fiction classic Them! with James Arness. But it was his portrayal of Star Trek’s Mr. Spock, of course, that made Nimoy famous.

Mr. Spock was the half-alien, half-Earthling Science Officer on Star Trek’s original Enterprise. Raised on a planet that shunned emotion, Spock was the epitome of cool — unflappable, and unattainable. After a few shaky, almost emotional early episodes, he played it perfectly. By keeping his emotions suppressed, Spock became the emotional center of Star Trek, and within weeks it became obvious that Spock was the most popular character on the show. The original series lasted three seasons. All three years, Nimoy was nominated for Emmys as Best Supporting Actor.

One episode called for Spock to incapacitate an adversary by striking him over the head with the butt end of his phaser. Nimoy thought that wasn’t “futuristic” enough for Star Trek, and instead he came up with the idea that Vulcans know exactly where to pinch humans on the neck to instantly induce unconsciousness. Another script called for a traditional greeting between two Vulcans, and Nimoy borrowed a hand gesture (“fingers split, the four fingers in two pairs and the thumb outstretched”) he had seen years earlier in a Jewish ceremony. To this day, Trekkers greet each other with this “Live long and prosper” gesture.

After Star Trek was canceled in 1969, Nimoy jumped to Mission: Impossible, where he played Paris, the perpetual master of disguise. He voiced Spock in the Star Trek cartoon show, and hosted the offbeat science show In Search Of …. On the big screen, he played a psychiatrist in the best of the several films based on Jack Finney’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers (the one with Donald Sutherland and Jeff Goldblum). He also toured extensively in stage performances, starring on Broadway with Peter Weller in a revival of Otto Preminger’s Full Circle, and in the lead of Equus toward the end of its long run, succeeding Anthony Hopkins and Richard Burton in the role.

Nimoy released a few albums of what purports to be music, including The Touch of Leonard Nimoy and Leonard Nimoy Presents Mr. Spock’s Music From Outer Space. He wrote two autobiographies: I Am Not Spock, a few years after the original series was cancelled, and I Am Spock, written two decades later, after playing the character of Spock in six movies had made Nimoy a millionaire. He was intimately involved in the plotting of Star Trek III, IV, and VI, and argued behind the scenes against the generally poor Star Trek V story line.

He had a brief second career as a movie director, helming Star Trek III and IV, and Three Men and A Baby with Tom Selleck, Steve Guttenberg, and Ted Danson, all of which did well at the box office. He then directed three colossal flops — The Good Mother with Diane Keaton and Liam Neeson, Funny About Love with Gene Wilder, and Holy Matrimony with Patricia Arquette marrying a young Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Nimoy directed no major films after that.

He lent his voice to a few Star Trek video games and numerous cartoons, and made occasional TV appearances. In semi-retirement, he wrote poetry and published two books of his photography, one featuring women wearing scripture-laden leather and Jewish symbols and not much else, and the second featuring Reubenesque women in erotic poses. Nimoy played “old Spock” one last time, alongside Zachary Quinto as “young Spock”, in J. J. Abrams’ 2009 re-boot of the Star Trek movie franchise. He died in 2015.

TELEVISION
Fringe Dr. William Bell (2009-12)
In Search Of… Narrator (1976-82)
Mission: Impossible Paris (1969-71)
Star Trek Spock (1966-69)
General Hospital Bernie (1963)

FILMOGRAPHY AS DIRECTOR
Holy Matrimony (8-Apr-1994)
Funny About Love (21-Sep-1990)
The Good Mother (4-Nov-1988)
Three Men and a Baby (25-Nov-1987)
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (26-Nov-1986)
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1-Jun-1984)

FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
For the Love of Spock (16-Apr-2016) · Himself
To Be Takei (18-Jan-2014) · Himself
Hava Nagila: The Movie (19-Jul-2012) · Himself
Zambezia (5-Jun-2012) [VOICE]
Transformers: Dark of the Moon (23-Jun-2011) [VOICE]
Land of the Lost (5-Jun-2009) · The Zarn [VOICE]
Star Trek (6-Apr-2009) · Spock Prime
Atlantis: The Lost Empire (3-Jun-2001) [VOICE]
Sinbad: Beyond the Veil of Mists (3-Feb-2000) [VOICE]
Brave New World (19-Apr-1998)
Trekkies (18-Oct-1997) · Himself
David (23-Mar-1997)
Titanica (Apr-1995) · Himself
Bonanza: Under Attack (15-Jan-1995) · Frank James
The Pagemaster (23-Nov-1994) · Dr. Jekyll [VOICE]
The Halloween Tree (1993) [VOICE]
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (6-Dec-1991) · Spock
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (9-Jun-1989) · Spock
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (26-Nov-1986) · Spock
The Transformers: The Movie (8-Aug-1986) [VOICE]
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1-Jun-1984) · Spock
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (4-Jun-1982) · Spock
A Woman Called Golda (26-Apr-1982)
Star Trek: The Motion Picture (7-Dec-1979)
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (20-Dec-1978) · Dr. David Kibner
Baffled (30-Jan-1973)
Catlow (1-Oct-1971)
Assault on the Wayne (12-Jan-1971)
Valley of Mystery (21-Apr-1967)
Deathwatch (Mar-1966)
The Balcony (21-Mar-1963) · Roger
The Brain Eaters (Sep-1958)
Zombies of the Stratosphere (16-Jul-1952)
Kid Monk Baroni (1-May-1952)

Author of books:
I Am Not Spock (1975, memoir)
I Am Spock (1995, memoir)

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