Leonard Simon Nimoy (March 26, 1931 – February 27, 2015) was an American actor, film director, photographer, author, singer, and songwriter. He was known for his role as Mr. Spock of the Star Trek franchise, a character he portrayed in television and film from a pilot episode shot in late 1964 to his final film performance released in 2013.
Nimoy began his career in his early twenties, teaching acting classes in Hollywood and making minor film and television appearances through the 1950s, as well as playing the title role in Kid Monk Baroni. Foreshadowing his fame as a semi-alien, he played Narab, one of three Martian invaders in the 1952 movie serial Zombies of the Stratosphere.
In December 1964, he made his first appearance in the rejected Star Trek pilot "The Cage," and went on to play the character of Spock until the end of the production run in early 1969, followed by eight feature films and guest slots in the various spin-off series. The character has had a significant cultural impact and garnered Nimoy three Emmy Award nominations; TV Guide named Spock one of the 50 greatest TV characters.
After the original Star Trek series, Nimoy starred in Mission: Impossible for two seasons, hosted the documentary series In Search of..., narrated Civilization IV, and made several well-received stage appearances. He also had a recurring role in the science fiction series Fringe.
Nimoy's profile as Spock was such that both of his autobiographies, I Am Not Spock (1975) and I Am Spock (1995), were written from the viewpoint of sharing his existence with the character. On June 2, 2015, an asteroid, discovered in 1988, was named 4864 Nimoy in his honor.
Illness and death
In February 2014, Nimoy revealed publicly that he had been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a condition he attributed to a smoking addiction he had given up about 30 years earlier. On February 19, 2015, having been in and out of hospitals for the past several months, Nimoy was taken to UCLA Medical Center for chest pains.
Nimoy died of complications from COPD on February 27, 2015, at the age of 83, in his Bel Air home. He was survived by his wife; two children; six grandchildren; a great-grandchild; and his elder brother, Melvin. Adam Nimoy said as his father was approaching "the end of his life, he mellowed out. He made his family a priority and his career became secondary." A few days before his death, Nimoy shared some of his poetry on social media website Twitter: "A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP."
Nimoy's remains were buried at Hillside Cemetery during a funeral service in Los Angeles on March 1, 2015.
The service was attended by nearly 300 family members, friends and former colleagues, as well as Zachary Quinto, Chris Pine, and J. J. Abrams. Though Shatner could not attend, he was represented by his daughters.