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RIP Leonard Nimoy, Who Became ‘Star Trek”s Iconic Spock and Created the Vulcan Salute (Clips)

RIP Leonard Nimoy, Who Became 'Star Trek''s Iconic Spock and Created the Vulcan Salute (Clips)

Actor Leonard Nimoy will always be known for creating the mixed race alien and human outsider Spock on “Star Trek”–the three-year TV series launched in 1966 that many Baby Boomers watched in syndication, as well as five feature films. At age 83, Nimoy died February 27 of complications from pulmonary disease, decades after he gave up smoking. But Nimoy’s Spock will never be forgotten. He has entered the culture in countless ways, from his split-fingered Vulcan salute, a gesture Nimoy created from arcane Jewish rituals, to his signature Vulcan motto “Live Long and Prosper,” which he used as a sign-off on Twitter (LLAP).

Read: The Washington Post obit. 

Yes, I am a Trekkie. Like George Lucas, who was inspired by “Star Trek” when he created “Star Wars,” I loved the bromance between William Shatner’s volatile Captain Kirk and Spock, his stalwart and logical first mate.

Nimoy understood his own identification with Spock but was ambivalent about it, hence his two autobiographies: “I Am Not Spock” (1977) and “I Am Spock” (1995). 

Creator Gene Roddenberry spun off “Star Trek” into animated and more live action generations as well as good and bad feature films, two of which, “Star Trek III: The Search for Spock” (1984) and “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home” (1986), were directed by Nimoy. The successful 2009 “Star Trek” reboot by director J. J. Abrams cast Zachary Quinto as Spock — starring opposite Nimoy as the older time-traveler Spock Prime, who returned in 2013 “Star Trek Into Darkness.”

Read: Shatner and Takei Remember Leonard Nimoy
Nimoy also directed the smash hit comedy “Three Men and a Baby” (1987), as well as starring in TV’s “Mission: Impossible” and onstage as Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof.” He nabbed four Emmy nominations, three for playing Spock on “Star Trek” and one for the 1982 TV movie “A Woman Called Golda,” in which he played the husband of Ingrid Bergman’s Golda Meir. Nimoy also wrote and performed his poetry and songs and published books of photography.

Read: The New York Times obit. 

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