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RIP Leonard Nimoy, Who Lived Long and Prospered

The actor, best known for his portrayal of Star Trek's half-human half-Vulcan alien Spock, has died at 83.
February 27, 2015, 6:25pm

​I'd like to think that even Vulcans—the fictional alien race best known for their level-headed control of emotion—would be saddened today, at least a little.

Leonard Nimoy, Star Trek actor and perhaps the most famous Vulcan of all, has died. ​According to The New York Times, Nimoy passed away in his Los Angeles home Friday morning at the age of 83.

For many, Nimoy and his character Mr. Spock are one and the same—the phrase "Live Long and Prosper" as much Mr. Spock's as it was Nimoy's own.

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A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP

— Leonard Nimoy (@TheRealNimoy) February 23, 2015

He was cast by NBC as the half-human, half-Vulcan first officer of the Federation Starship Enterprise in the mid-1960s, the hyper-logical shipmate to the William Shatner's illogical James T. Kirk. It is the role for which Nimoy is best known, and was reprised in numerous movies, reboots and Start Trek revivals over the course of his career. It was Nimoy's pointy-eared character that popularized the so-called "Vulcan Death Grip," turned a relentless adherence to logic into a film and TV trope, and the basis for which ​the Canadian town of Vulcan, Alberta, was named.

Nimoy even directed two of franchise's later films, ​Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, helping write the latter.

But the success of Star Trek propelled Nimoy into numerous other roles, too. He recorded multiple musical albums of both covers and original songs based on Star Trek, his portrayal of Spock, and other fiction. One of his better known films outside the Star Trek universe is a supporting role in the 1978 remake of Invasion of the Bodysnatchers, which stars a young Jeff Goldblum, alongside Donald Sutherland.

And in later years, Nimoy guest starred on various popular television shows, including fan favourite episodes of The Simpsons, and just a few years before his death, a story arc on the J.J. Abrams show Fringe.

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Abrams had Nimoy reprise his role as Spock in the 2009 big-screen reboot of Star Trek, and its 2013 sequel Star Trek Into Darkness.

I like to think that a childhood spent watching the ever-logical Spock had at least some influence on my decision to pursue a career in journalism–a role similarly driven by facts. My earliest Star Trek memories are not of Jean-Luc Picard and ​Star Trek:The Next Generation, as is increasingly the case, but of sitting in the basement of my grandparents' house and watching hazy VHS tapes of The Original Series recorded from cable TV.

According to the Times, Nimoy had been sick last year, diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease attributed to years of smoking when he was young.

In 1982's Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan, it is Nimoy's character Spock who dies. "Of my friend I can only say this," says Kirk, solemnly. "Of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most human.