Best known for his role as Spock in the original Star Trek series (1966–69), and for his roles in multiple film, television series, Prolific actor, film Director, Poet, Singer and Photographer Leonard Nimoy sadly passed away February 27, 2015. Born March 26, 1931, in Boston, Massachusetts, Nimoy began acting at the age of eight in children’s and neighborhood theater. His parents wanted him to attend college and pursue a stable career, or even learn to play the accordion—with which, his father advised, Nimoy could always make a living—but his grandfather encouraged him to become an actor.His first major role was at 17, as Ralphie in an amateur production of Clifford Odets’ Awake and Sing! Nimoy took drama classes at Boston College in 1953 but failed to complete his studies, and in the 1970s studied photography at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Nimoy’s film and television acting career began in 1951. After receiving the title role in the 1952 film Kid Monk Baroni, a story about a street punk turned professional boxer, he played more than 50 small parts in B movies, television series such as Perry Mason and Dragnet and portrayed the semi-alien, Narab, one of three Martian invaders in the 1952 movie series Zombies of the Stratosphere. from 1953, until 1955 he served as a sergeant in the United States Army alongside fellow actor Ken Berry and architect Frank Gehry.
He played an Army sergeant in the 1954 science fiction thriller Them! and a professor in the 1958 science fiction movie The Brain Eaters, and had a role in The Balcony (1963), a film adaptation of the Jean Genet play. With Vic Morrow, he produced a 1966 version of Deathwatch, an English-language film version of Genet’s play Haute Surveillance, adapted and directed by Morrow and starring Nimoy.
On television, Nimoy appeared as “Sonarman” in two episodes of the 1957–1958 military drama The Silent Service, based on actual events of the submarine section of the United States Navy. He had guest roles in the Sea Hunt series from 1958 to 1960 and a minor role in the 1961 The Twilight Zone episode “A Quality of Mercy”. In 1959, Nimoy was cast as Luke Reid in the “Night of Decision” episode of the western series Colt .45. Nimoy also appeared in TheWagon Train, portraying Bernabe Zamora in “The Estaban Zamora Story” (1959), “Cherokee Ned” in “The Maggie Hamilton Story” (1960), Joaquin Delgado in “The Tiburcio Mendez Story” (1961), and Emeterio Vasquez in “The Baylor Crowfoot Story” (1962).
Nimoy also appeared in Bonanza (1960), The Rebel (1960), Two Faces West (1961), Rawhide (1961), The Untouchables (1962), The Eleventh Hour (1962), Perry Mason (1963; playing murderer Pete Chennery in “The Case of the Shoplifter’s Shoe”, episode 13 of season 6), Combat! (1963, 1965), Daniel Boone, The Outer Limits (1964), The Virginian (1963–1965; first working with Star Trek co-star DeForest Kelley in “Man of Violence”, episode 14 of season 2, in 1963), Get Smart (1966) and Mission: Impossible (1969–1971). He appeared again in the 1995 Outer Limits series. He appeared in Gunsmoke in 1962 as Arnie and in 1966 as John Walking Fox.
In 1965, he made his first appearance in the rejected Star Trek pilot, The Cage alongside Star Trek co-star William Shatner with whom he had previously worked on an episode of The Man from U.N.C.L.E., “The Project Strigas Affair” (1964). Portraying characters from opposite sides of the Iron Curtain. From 1966 to 1969 Nimoy appeared in Star Trek portraying the half-Vulcan, half-human character Spock which propelled Nimoy to stardom spawning eight feature films and numerous spin offs. The original series is also repeated. The character has garnered Nimoy three Emmy Award nominations; TV Guide named Spock one of the 50 greatest TV characters.
Following Star Trek in 1969, Nimoy immediately joined the cast of the spy series Mission: Impossible, which was seeking a replacement for Martin Landau. Nimoy was cast in the role of Paris, an IMF agent who was an ex-magician and make-up expert “The Great Paris”. He played the role during seasons four and five (1969–71). Nimoy had strongly been considered as part of the initial cast for the show but remained in the Spock role of Star Trek. He co-starred with Yul Brynner and Richard Crenna in the Western movie Catlow (1971). He also had roles in two episodes of Rod Serling’s Night Gallery (1972 and 1973) and Columbo (1973) where he played a murderous doctor who was one of the few criminals with whom Columbo became angry. Nimoy appeared in various made for television films such as Assault on the Wayne (1970), Baffled! (1972), The Alpha Caper (1973), The Missing Are Deadly (1974), Seizure: The Story Of Kathy Morris (1980), and Marco Polo (1982). He received an Emmy Award nomination for best supporting actor for the television film A Woman Called Golda (1982), for playing the role of Morris Meyerson, Golda Meir’s husband opposite Ingrid Bergman as Golda in her final role.
He went on to reprise the Spock character in Star Trek: The Animated Series and two episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation. When a new Star Trek series was planned in the late 1970s, Nimoy was to be in only two out of eleven episodes, but when the show was elevated to a feature film, he agreed to reprise his role. The first six Star Trek movies feature the original Star Trek cast including Nimoy, who also directed two of the films.
In the late 1970s, he appeared in the television series In Search of…, investigating paranormal or unexplained events or subjects and appeared as a psychiatrist Dr.David Kibner in Philip Kaufman’s remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. he also voiced the character of Galvatron in the animated Transformers Movie in 1986 and was featured as the voice-over narrator for the CBS paranormal series Haunted Lives: True Ghost Stories in 1991. He made his directorial debut in 1973, directing the “Death On A Barge” segment for an episode of Night Gallery and also directed the third and fourth Star Trek Installments (Search for Spock and Voyage Home) and Three Men and a Baby and His final directorial credit was in 1995 for the episode “Killshot”, the pilot from the TV series Deadly Games. In 1991, Nimoy produced and acted in a movie with Robert B. Radnitz for TNT about a pro bono publico lawsuit brought by public interest attorney William John Cox on behalf of Mel Mermelstein, an Auschwitz survivor, against a group of organizations engaged in Holocaust denial.
In 1994 he narrated the IMAX documentary film, Destiny in Space, showcasing film-footage of space from nine Space Shuttle missions over four years time. And also performed as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in The Pagemaster. In 1998, he had a leading role as Mustapha Mond in the made-for-television production of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and also created Alien Voices alongside John de Lancie, an audio-production venture that specializes in audio dramatizations, which include The Time Machine, A Journey to the Center of the Earth, The Lost World, The Invisible Man and The First Men in the Moon. He also appeared in several television specials for the Sci-Fi Channel and also narrated Episodes of the the Ancient Mysteries series “The Sacred Water of Lourdes” and “Secrets of the Romanovs”. n 1997, Nimoy played the prophet Samuel, alongside Nathaniel Parker, in The Bible Collection movie David and has also appeared in several popular television series—including Futurama and The Simpsons—as both himself and Spock.In 2000 He appeared in Our 20th Century, which covers world news, sports, entertainment, technology, and fashion using original archive news clips from 1930 to 1975 from the National Archives in Washington, D.C. In 2001, Nimoy voiced the role of the Atlantean King Kashekim Nedakh in the Disney animated feature Atlantis: The Lost Empire alongside Michael J. Fox.
Nimoy also won acclaim for a series of stage roles. He appeared in such plays as Vincent (1981), Fiddler on the Roof, The Man in the Glass Booth, Oliver!, 6 Rms Riv Vu, Full Circle, Camelot, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, The King and I, Caligula, The Four Poster, Twelfth Night, Sherlock Holmes, Equus, and My Fair Lady and also appeared in a short lived Gore Vidal production. Nimoy appeared in the television series Next Wave and the documentary film The Once and Future Griffith Observatory, currently running in the Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon Theater at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles and In 2007, he produced the play, Shakespeare’s Will by Canadian Playwright Vern Thiessen. Starring Jeanmarie Simpson as Shakespeare’s wife, Anne Hathaway. In May 2009, he made an appearance as the mysterious Dr. William Bell in the television program Fringe, exploring the existence of a parallel universe. In 2009 Nimoy appeared as a surprise guest on the skit “Weekend Update” on Saturday Night Live. He also voiced the Zarn in the 2009 film version of Land of the Lost starring Will Ferrell and Anna Friel and has also narrated for “Selected Shorts”, an ongoing series of programs at Symphony Space in New York City which features actors and authors reading works of short fiction and has provided voiceovers for many computer games including Star Trek Online, Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep as Master Xehanort, the series’ leading villain. In 2011 he provided the voice of Sentinel Prime in Transformers: Dark of the Moon and made a cameo appearance in the alternate version music video of Bruno Mars’ “The Lazy Song” he also appears on an episode of The Big Bang Theory called “The Transporter Malfunction” and also made a cameo appearance in the film Star Trek in Darkness.
Nimoy was also a keen photographer, his interest in photography began in childhood. he also owned a camera that he rebuilt at the age of 13 and studied photography at UCLA And His work has been exhibited at the R. Michelson Galleries in Northampton, Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. He has also published two autobiographies The first entitled I Am Not Spock (1975) and the second entitled, I Am Spock (1995), along with several volumes of Poetry some of which were published along with his Photographs Including “A Lifetime of Love: Poems on the Passages of Life” (2002). He also adapted and starred in the one-man play Vincent (1981), based on the play Van Gogh (1979) by Phillip Stephens. In 1995, Nimoy was involved in the production of Primortals, a comic book series published by Tekno Comix about first contact with aliens, which was inspired by Isaac Asimov
Nimoy also released five albums of musical vocal recordings including Mr. Spock’s Music from Outer Space, and Two Sides of Leonard Nimoy and sang cover versions of popular songs, such as “Proud Mary” and Johnny Cash’s “I Walk the Line”. Nimoy’s voice also appeared in sampled form on a song by the pop band Information Society entitled, “What’s on Your Mind (Pure Energy)”. In 1997, he narrated the documentary A Life Apart: Hasidism in America, about the various sects of Hasidic Orthodox Jews and published The Shekhina Project, a photographic study exploring the feminine aspect of God’s presence, inspired by Kabbalah.
Nimoy revealed that he had been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). On Twitter, he said: “I quit smoking 30 yrs ago. Not soon enough. I have COPD. Grandpa says, quit now!! LLAP (Live Long and Prosper). In February 19, 2015, Nimoy was rushed to UCLA Medical Center for severe chest pains after a call to 911. According to accounts, he had been in and out of hospitals for the “past several months.”Nimoy died on February 27, 2015 in his Bel Air home from final complications of COPD, according to his wife Susan. He was 83 years old, and is survived by His wife Susan and his two children and six grandchildren from his first marriage.