Friday, February 27, 2015

Spock: End of an Era 2015

My son called me with the saddest news this morning. Leonard Nimoy, directory, artist, and actor indelibly linked to the character Spock, from Star Trek the original series, has died. He was 83 and suffering from end-stage Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (emphysema) when he was taken to the hospital on the 19th of February with chest pains. On the 23rd, he tweeted, "A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP" Leonard was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1931 to Russian Jewish parents. He started acting at the age of 8 in children's and neighborhood theater. His parents encouraged him to take up a more stable career than acting. His father even encouraged him to learn to play the accordian, rather than act. Fortunately, his grandfather intervened at that point and steered young Leonard towards the acting life. Thus the world owes Leonard's grandfather a huge debt of gratitude on at least two counts.

Leonard served in the Army from 1953 to 1955. He took on various parts in TV shows and movies starting in 1951, often in westerns, police dramas, and similar action roles. In 1964, Leonard acted in a pilot for a futuristic, space-age action/drama TV show that was to become Star Trek in 1966. Although the original Star Trek series only lasted for three seasons, it left an indelible mark on the American psyche, as well as on the careers of all of the actors who were involved with it, most especially for Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner. Leonard wasn't entirely keen on being type-cast and had somewhat of a love/hate relationship with Spock over the years. It should be noted that some of his other works, such as this, this, and this, were mercifully overshadowed by the character Spock.

He was a great man though, and will be greatly missed. For more insight into Leonard Nimoy, here are links to an interview he did back in 2012..

Hero Complex Part 1
Hero Complex Part 2