Photo by Gage Skidmore
Leonard Nimoy died at his home today after a long illness. He was 83.
Many actors who become as closely identified with a character as Nimoy was Spock feel imprisoned by it. And I think he did, for some portion of his life. But I also think he came to realize how important Spock was to people at an uncommonly deep level, and ultimately embraced him, perhaps aided by the self-assurance and wisdom that comes with age.
Want to know something crazy? My first exposure to Leonard Nimoy wasn’t even on Star Trek. He hosted a show that my dad liked called In Search Of… I liked sitting in the recliner with him and watching it.
Could he pull off acting in and directing Star Trek IV, and make it funny, but also make it a Star Trek movie? He could. (“Are you sure it isn’t time for a colorful metaphor?”) Did you remember that he directed 3 Men and a Baby? He did.
(He did a T.J. Hooker too. Love him even more now, don’t you?)
Nimoy is remembered by us all as a talented actor, director, photographer, author, and scholar. Those who knew him personally remember those things, but also that he was a genuinely decent man and a good friend. Thank you, sir. RIP.
(Updated to include Leonard Nimoy’s final tweet.) One wonders whether he realized how close he was. I think he might have.