It is with great regret that SFX must report the passing of Star Trek’s Leonard Nimoy.
The New York Times reports that Nimoy passed away Friday morning at his Bel Air home in Los Angeles. He was 83. His wife Susan Bay Nimoy has confirmed that the cause of death was end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, the condition that had led to him being hospitalised earlier this week.
Nimoy first appeared as Spock in “The Cage”, the 1965 pilot episode of Star Trek. He played the Enterprise’s half-human, half-Vulcan first officer for three seasons between 1966 and 1969, returning to the role for the mid-’70s animated series and then in 1979’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture. He went on to appear in five more Star Trek movies between 1982 and 1992 as well as Star Trek: The Next Generation and reprised the role of Spock in JJ Abrams' Star Trek (2009) and Star Trek Into Darkness (2013).
Nimoy became one of the defining icons of Star Trek and science fiction, his sincere, layered, endlessly intriguing performance as the stoic Vulcan enshrining him as part of 20th Century pop culture.
Beyond the 23rd Century Nimoy enjoyed starring roles in a wide variety of TV series. He memorably played master of disguise Paris in Mission: Impossible and, more recently, played the enigmatic William Bell in Fringe. As a director he helmed Star Trek III: The Search For Spock (1984) and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1987), as well as 1987’s mainstream hit Three Men And A Baby.
Nimoy was also an accomplished photographer and poet.
“I’ve had 60 years of working in films and television,” Nimoy told SFX in 2010. “I’m very grateful for all the great opportunities that I’ve had and all the people that I’ve met, the people I’ve worked with. And the fans have been wonderful to me. They’re greatly supportive.
“People very often say to me that Star Trek and Mr Spock was a very positive influence in their lives. Many, many people have told me that they’ve gone into the sciences because of Star Trek and Mr. Spock and made a career in science. It’s a very heartwarming experience.”
In the words of Star Trek: The Wrath Of Khan, we shall “remember”.
Leonard Nimoy 1931 - 2015