Celebrity Then And Now
Leonard Nimoy
Name: Leonard Nimoy
Birthdate: March 26, 1931
Famous Years: 1952-2015
Currently Known For: N/A
Networth: $45 MillionFamous For: Star Trek, Mission: Impossible, In Search Of...
Leonard Nimoy
Name Leonard Nimoy
Birthdate March 26, 1931
Famous Years 1952-2015
Currently Known For N/A
Networth $45 Million
Famous For Star Trek, Mission: Impossible, In Search Of...

Certain actors have become synonymous with certain roles, even if other actors have played that same role. In the case of Spock in the “Star Trek” series, the character will always be associated with Leonard Nimoy. The long-time actor played the role for several decades, and left a legacy with sci-fi fans around the world that made him an icon. Because of Nimoy, there were also many people that took an interest in science.

Nimoy was born in Boston, Massachusetts on March 26, 1931 after his parents had moved to the United States from Ukraine. The family didn’t have much money while he was growing up, which caused Nimoy to start taking up jobs when he was very young. At the same time, Nimoy was also taking an interest into acting, and eventually got on stage as a teenager with his school’s production.

Finding that he had a talent for the business, Nimoy would pursue acting on a full-time basis, attending Boston College where he continued to take classes. Nimoy then used what was left of his money and headed out west to Los Angeles, but became discouraged after a few months and left his acting academy. It didn’t seem like things were working out, and Nimoy joined the U.S. Army as his main focus, but didn’t abandon acting forever.

When his time in the Army was finished, Nimoy had continued to act, though he wasn’t landing the bigger roles that he was hoping for. Instead, he turned his aim to not being a star, but hoping to land roles as a supporting actor so that he could be in larger productions. He’d start to get more roles in the 1950s as he appeared in sci-fi movies such as “Them!” and “The Brain Eaters”, and got on television in the form of shows such as “The Twilight Zone” and “Bonanza”.

Then, casting began for Gene Roddenberry’s series that would become known as “Star Trek”. Nimoy had been in several productions each year in the 1960s leading up to the casting when he got a call from his agent about the part of Mr. Spock. “I really didn’t give it a lot of thought,” Nimoy had said.

Nimoy had worked with Roddenberry before, and he then floated the idea of playing Spock to Nimoy. In 1966, Nimoy would play the role for the first time when the original series debuted. Nimoy would continue to play the role of Spock throughout the show’s run, and appeared in several films in the role, with the first coming in 1979’s “Star Trek: The Motion Picture”. Nimoy’s final appearance as Spock came in a cameo role in 2013’s “Star Trek: Into Darkness”.

“Star Trek” didn’t do well at first on television, but in the decades since has become a sensation. “It was a struggle,” Nimoy said of the original series being cancelled after three seasons. “I thought we were doing some good and interesting work, but it was a struggle...I don’t like to point a finger, but I don’t think the network really understood what they had.” Eventually, the following for “Star Trek” would allow it to continue on in the form of new series, which are still on the air to this day.

Outside of the “Star Trek” universe, Nimoy was keeping himself busy throughout much of his career, taking on a lead role in nearly 50 episodes of “Mission: Impossible”. He then became the narrator of the documentary series “In Search Of…” that aired for five years, into the early 1980s and then in the 1990s with “Ancient Mysteries”. On the big screen, Nimoy would find gigs with “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”, and got behind the camera to direct films such as “Three Men and a Baby” and “Holy Matrimony”, which marked the debut of Joseph Gordon-Levitt. His final TV appearance came in the form of a cameo on an episode of “The Big Bang Theory” in 2012.

People were saddened to hear news about Nimoy’s health in 2014, as he had been diagnosed with COPD, a respiratory condition that was partly caused by smoking cigarettes, which he had given up many, many years prior. His health would continue to decline, and Nimoy would land in the hospital several times. In February 2015, Nimoy went to the hospital in Los Angeles as he was experiencing chest pains, and had slipped into a coma.

His respiratory condition would make things worse, as Nimoy remained in a coma until he passed away on February 27 at 83 years old. His funeral was held two days later, with hundreds attending the service, many of whom had worked with Nimoy in the past. One notable absence was his former “Star Trek” co-star William Shatner, but Shatner’s family did attend. He would also comment on Nimoy, saying that “I loved him like a brother. We will all miss his humor, his talent and his capacity to love.”

Others that had worked with Nimoy shared similar sentiments. Patrick Stewart mentioned that he got to “spend many happy, inspiring hours with him,” while Wil Wheaton added that “We stood on your shoulders, and wouldn’t have had a galaxy to replore if you hadn’t been there, first. Thank you Leonard, rest in peace.”