Leonard Nimoy, Iconic ‘Star Trek’ Actor, Dies at 83

AP Photo/Matt Sayles
AP Photo/Matt Sayles

Leonard Nimoy, the actor known and loved by generations of Star Trek fans for his portrayal of the pointy-eared and logical Mr. Spock, has died at the age of 83.

Nimoy passed away at his Los Angeles, CA home Friday, after a long battle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which he had previously attributed to smoking, a representative for the actor told Fox News.

The iconic actor last spoke publicly on Twitter just days ago. Revered by fans for his one-handed Vulcan salute and the phrase, “Live long and prosper,” he tweeted those very words:

Former Star Trek co-star William Shatner released an email statement to FOX411 after the news, stating, “I loved him like a brother… We will all miss his humor, his talent, and his capacity to love.”

Born Leonard Simon Nimoy on Mar. 26, 1931, in Boston, MA, the actor starred in his first theatre production at 8 years old and continued performing all the way through high school.

While attending Boston College, he made the decision to move to California to pursue a career in acting, supporting himself with money he earned from selling vacuum cleaners.

After accepting small bit parts in TV and film, Nimoy found success on shows such as Dragnet, The Rough Riders, Sea Hunt, Bonanza, The Twilight Zone, and Perry Mason.

He soon found success alongside William Shatner in Star Trek and has since remained a beloved figure to many generations of the show’s fans.

Although the original Star Trek was cancelled after only three years (1966-1969), the show was a cult hit, inspiring conventions, films, novels, and TV spinoffs. Nimoy would carry his role on the show with him for the remainder of his life, which was something he came to embrace.

During a 1995 interview he analyzed the popularity of his former character, Spock–a half-man, half-Vulcan who aspired to live by pure logic, reports FOX.

Nimoy said he believed fans identified with Spock because they “recognize in themselves this wish that they could be logical and avoid the pain of anger and confrontation,” he concluded.

After Star Trek, Nimoy continued to act, even tried his hand at directing, with two Trek films and 1987’s 3 Men and a Baby. He has also used his unmistakable voice on dramatic television, cartoons, and video games.

Nimoy made his final film appearance in 2013’s Star Trek Into Darkness, playing a reprisal of the role of Spock, the very role that brought him to fame nearly fifty years ago.


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