The New York Times is reporting that Leonard Nimoy, beloved geek icon, star of stage and screen, and the man who invented the Vulcan Nerve Pinch has passed away at the tender age of 83 years old due to complications from pulmonary disease.
His fans knew this day would come eventually. Mr. Nimoy had recently retired from day to day television work and he had been hospitalized earlier this week, but we all prayed that we would have more time with the old Vulcan rascal. There was even some talk of his returning to the role of Spock in the upcoming third of the Abrams Era Trek films. Indeed, the highlights of both of the earlier two films in that series were his all too brief appearances.
Obviously, Star Trek was really just one role out of a lifetime of roles: before and after Star Trek Mr. Nimoy did work in voice overs, television roles, movies, plays, he even released a few (kind of regrettable) music albums. But it was the emotionless Vulcan hero Spock who Mr. Nimoy was most identified with and it is those efforts that he is most recognized for. People all over the world saw Star Trek during it’s original run and Mr. Nimoy was one of the show’s stars. A recognizable face from the most recognizable science fiction shows of the past seventy years. In his heyday, Mr. Nimoy’s Spock was as iconic as the Tardis, the lightsaber, and the One Ring.
I can’t tell you how much his work has meant to me and to thousands of science fiction fans all over the world. He was a great and wonderful champion of this genre and of the Star Trek fandom. His status as the most recognized alien life form on television will go down in pop culture history as a ground breaking performance from a talented performer. People who have met Mr. Nimoy will remember him as a humorous, friendly, warm, and down rightly wonderful old fellow who didn’t seem to mind being worshiped by millions of nerds. Maybe he didn’t mind because Mr. Nimoy recognized that some of those nerds went on to pioneer advances in very real scientific fields and cutting edge technology. Mr. Nimoy’s fictional journeys mirrored the real adventures that his fans would undertake in the decades that followed his performances in the Star Trek Franchise. Star Trek fans, the people Mr. Nimoy inspired, have gone on to flight jets, orbit the Earth, and even battle injustice. Members of our fandom, of Mr. Nimoy’s fandom, included politicians, lawyers, actors, writers, military heroes, scientists, engineers, even kings (no, seriously, the King of Jordan is a huge Star Trek Fan) and today all of those people feel the loss that comes with Mr. Nimoy’s passing.
Leonard Nimoy was admired and beloved by millions and he will continue to be admired and beloved for as long as people keep watching Star Trek, which if I have anything to say about the matter, will be forever.
Born March 26th 1931
Died February 27th 2015.