Leonard Nimoy passed away yesterday at the age of 83. He was an accomplished and respected actor, director, photographer and philanthropist. He brought his religion to Star Trek – the iconic “Live Long and Prosper” hand gesture was copied from the rabbis at his childhood synagogue.
And although there was a time where Nimoy distanced himself from the character of Spock, he would later embrace the character and incorporate its logical outlook into a very inspiring and motivational way of life.
So today, I want to honor Leonard Nimoy’s output – both before and after his time as Spock.
Here’s an interesting coincidence. One of Leonard Nimoy’s first acting jobs was as a guest star on a drama series called The Lieutenant, starring Gary Lockwood. In this clip, keep an eye out for future Star Trek actress Majel Barrett. Yep, both The Lieutenant and Star Trek were produced by Gene Roddenberry.
And if you’re looking for the first appearance of Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner together, it wasn’t in an episode of Star Trek; it was, in fact, as guest stars in the spy show The Man From U.N.C.L.E..
After Star Trek ended its five-year mission two years too soon, Leonard Nimoy spent a few seasons as the master of disguise Paris in Mission: Impossible.
I’ve heard this “Ballad of Bilbo Baggins” song a few hundred times on the Dr. Demento Show; it’s kinda nice to see that Leonard Nimoy had a big enough sense of humor to record a full-length music video. Hee.
Leonard Nimoy was an accomplished art photographer as well; his works have been exhibited in galleries from New England to Merry Olde England. In this clip, he explains to Pharrell Williams how one of his photography instructors explained the difference between artistic photography and photojournalism.
Leonard Nimoy appeared on The Simpsons a few times, including in this episode where he pokes fun at not being recognized for his most iconic role.
The TV show Fringe was an underappreciated science fiction drama. And among the memorable acting performances in that show was Leonard Nimoy as William Bell, the creator of the technology giant Massive Dynamic.
Here’s a rarity… Leonard Nimoy demonstrating the Magnavox Magnavision laser disc player. Look at the size of those video discs – this was the precursor to DVD technology.
In 2006, Nimoy did a series of commercials for Aleve pain medication, including one where he played on his famous Star Trek hand gesture.
In 2013, it was “Spock versus Spock” when Nimoy and Zachary Quinto had a race to the golf course to promote an Audi.
On The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon Cooper essentially worships the ground that Mr. Spock walks on. And this was a nice touch, having Nimoy voice his character of Mr. Spock – albeit as representing the 1970’s Mego toy Spock.
Oh, and one more remembrance. Leonard Nimoy grew up in Dorchester, Massachusetts, only a few blocks away from Boston’s Museum of Science. And when the Museum added a domed IMAX theater, Leonard Nimoy’s voice was used to demonstrate the theater’s ultra-impressive sound system.
This is only a tiny sliver of the life that was Leonard Nimoy.
The world is better because he was here.
And the world is sadder now that he has left.