Star Trek’s Leonard Nimoy dies aged 83

LEONARD Nimoy, who played Mr Spock in Star Trek, has died at the age of 83.

Saturday, 28th February 2015, 10:51 am
Leonard Nimoy had love-hate relationship with Spock. Picture: E4

His son Adam confirmed the actor – adored around the world by fans of the show, dubbed Trekkies – died at his home in Los Angeles yesterday morning.

He said the cause of his father’s death was end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Nimoy, who appeared in Star Trek from 1966 to 1969, was loved by fans of the cult TV series for his portrayal of the pointy-eared science officer Mr Spock.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The character was ­supposed to be half human and half Vulcan, an alien species known for their arid logic.

Nimoy also appeared in big screen versions of the cult series.

The actor left a poignant last message for fans on his Twitter account last Sunday, including a reference to Spock’s famous sign-off, “Live long and prosper”.

The tweet said: “A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP.”

Nimoy was catapulted to fame by the TV series, and became a household name as a result. But his ambivalence towards the role was clear – his two autobiographies were titled I Am Not Spock (1975) and I Am Spock (1995).

In 1954, Nimoy married ­Sandra Zober, a fellow student at the Pasadena Playhouse, with whom he had two children, Julie and Adam.

But the couple divorced, and in 1988 he married Susan Bay, a film production executive.

Born in Boston to Jewish immigrants from Russia, Nimoy was raised in an ­Italian section of the city where, although he counted many ­Italian-Americans as his friends, he said he also felt the sting of antisemitism when growing up.

At age 17 he was cast in a local production of Clifford Odets’ Awake And Sing as the son in a Jewish family.

“This role, the young man surrounded by a hostile and repressive environment, so touched a responsive chord that I decided to make a career of acting,” he said later.

He won a drama scholarship to Boston College but eventually dropped out, moved to ­California and took acting lessons at the Pasadena Playhouse.

Soon he had lost his “Boston dead-end” accent, hired an agent and began getting small roles in TV series and films.

After service in the US army, he returned to Hollywood, working as a taxi driver, vacuum cleaner salesman, cinema usher and other jobs while looking for acting roles.

Besides wife Susan, son and daughter, Nimoy is ­survived by his stepson, Aaron Bay Schuck.