“Spock is definitely one of my best friends. When I put on those ears, it’s not like just another day. When I become Spock, that day becomes something special.”
Leonard Nimoy, best known for his iconic role as iconic Star Trek character Mr Spock, has died at the age of 83.
The veteran television and film actor had been hospitalised with chest pains in the past few days but eventually died from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, caused by many years of smoking.
Born in Boston on March 26th 1931, Nimoy acted in local productions before landing small roles in little known films Queen for a Day and Rhubarb in 1951. His first main starring role came in 1952 when he played a disfigured Italian street gang leader-turned boxer in Kid Monk Baroni.
He then served in the US Army for two years (becoming a sergeant in the process) before returning to screen work in the late 50s.
After appearing in a string of minor television shows over the next decade, he landed the biggest role of his career in 1966 when he was cast as Vulcan space officer Mr Spock in the much-loved sci-fi series Star Trek.
He was to gain a cult following through his performance particularly his split-fingered salute and his memorable quotes which included “Live long and prosper”. He even garnered three Emmy award nominations for playing the character but never won.
Though the series was hugely popular with fans, it ended up getting cancelled three years later. However he would reprise the role in five big-screen spin-offs including Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) as well as making cameos in the more recent JJ Abrams outings Star Trek (2009) and Star Trek into Darkness (2013).
He would also show his filmmaking potential by directing the later sequels Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984) and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986).
Away from the Star Trek franchise, Nimoy played Paris in the Mission Impossible television series and also appeared in the Invasion of the Body Snatchers remake (1978). He also went on to direct the successful 1980s comedy Three Men and a Baby (1987) and recently appeared in a recurring role in the crime series Fringe (2008-13).
His vocal work was prominent too as he provided the voices of Dr. Jekyll / Mr Hyde in The Pagemaster (1992), the King of Atlantis in Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001), Sentinel Prime in Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011) and as himself in the classic monorail episode of The Simpsons and The Big Bang Theory.
Nimoy is survived by his children and several grandchildren.