[dropcap]F[/dropcap]amed actor and pop-culture icon Leonard Nimoy passed away yesterday in Los Angeles. He was 83. Nimoy was admitted to the hospital this week for chest pains prior to his death.
Best known, of course, for his longtime portrayal of the Vulcan Spock on Star Trek, Nimoy played the character in multiple seasons, spinoffs, and feature films since the 1960’s. Most recently, he reprised his role – as an aged Spock – for the last time in Star Trek: Into Darkness, directed by JJ Abrams.
Leonard Nimoy’s acting career hit its stride long before the Star Trek franchise, starting with appearances on The Twilight Zone and in sci-fi cult classics such as Them!
When the original Trek was cancelled, Nimoy tried to distance himself from his genre fame (even proclaiming for a time “I am not Spock”), landing a role on the Mission: Impossible TV series – and, later, hosting duties on the documentary series In Search of.
In the 1980’s, he turned to directing major features, having directed TV here and there over the years. Helming two straight Star Trek sequels (III: The Search for Spock and IV: The Voyage Home), Nimoy returned to his roots, embracing the role that made him famous.
He followed up those films with the classic ensemble comedy Three Men and a Baby, proving his versatility once more.
More than an actor and director, Leonard Nimoy was also a photographer, author, poet, and a celebrated voice artist. He lent his talents to numerous documentaries, specials, and cartoons – including The Simpsons (where he gamely lampooned his well-known work on a few occasions).
Nimoy leaves behind a wife, two grown children, and his legion of fans. He will always be Spock, but will be remembered for his uniqueness, panache, and a legacy spanning over 60 years.