Friday, February 27, 2015

Rest in Peace, Leonard Nimoy

Leonard Nimoy (l), with Mission: Impossible cast members. (Photo: Wikipedia)

Leonard Nimoy died this morning.

He is, of course, best known for his portrayal of Mr. (later Captain, later Ambassador) Spock on Star Trek.  Leonard Nimoy's nuanced performance made Spock into the most human character of any of Trek's incarnations. He was a symbol for anyone who was different. As a lonely child, Spock was my hero and role model.

But Nimoy also turned in memorable performances as the brilliant and amoral William Bell on TV's Fringe; the master of disguise Paris in Mission: Impossible; and as Vincent Van Gough's brother Theo in the one man stage play Vincent. Nimoy also directed several films, including the hit Three Men and a Baby, wrote poetry, and even owned a pet store. An Army veteran (he attained the rank of Sergeant), Nimoy worked as a taxicab driver during the lean years before Star Trek. In later life, he recalled one of his passengers was a young Senator named John F. Kennedy.

I am actually two degrees removed from Leonard Nimoy. My uncle, Jim Drake, was a Hollywood extra who appeared on numerous TV shows of the 1960s and 70s - including Star Trek. In the episode Turnabout Intruder, he played a security guard who placed Mr. Spock under arrest.

Rest in Peace, Mr. Nimoy. May your memory endure into the 23rd Century and beyond.

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