Saturday, 28 February 2015

RIP Leonard Nimoy (1931-2015)

Saturday, 28 February 2015

I had the same birthday as Leonard Nimoy; 26 March. This was the source of great excitement when I was a young boy, growing up watching repeats of Star Trek, as I thought we perhaps share things in common as a result. As crazy as it sounds now, it was a source of pride to believe Mr Spock and I would blow out candles within the same 24-hours. As a lifelong fan of Star Trek, it's a sad day now Mr Nimoy's died—although I've been watching Mr Spock die, repeatedly, in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, for over 30 years. A beautifully touching scene, very much an emotional pinnacle of Trek to me, and probably the first on-screen 'death scene' that really moved me and has always lingered in my mind. Sadly, in real life there's no hope of a Genesis planet reviving everyone's favourite Vulcan...

And let's not forget that Leonard Nimoy was more than a pair of pointy ears. His filmography is a checklist of major U.S television, from his key role in Mission Impossible (always found it strange JJ Abrams didn't give him a cameo in the Tom Cruise movies), to hits like The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, The Untouchables, Dragnet, Gunsmoke, The Man from U.N.C.L.E, Columbo, Perry Mason, Rawhide, and many others. He also directed hit movies, including Three Men and a Baby and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (one of the franchise's biggest successes). And I haven't even mentioned his voice work in cartoons ranging from the '80s Transformers series to playing himself in The Simpsons and Futurama in later life. At a ripe old age, he was still coming out of retirement to delight fans-turned-filmmakers in the likes of The Big Bang Theory, and 11 episodes of Fox's Fringe (as a favour to JJ Abrams, who brought him back as Spock in his Trek reboot to pass the torch to the new, younger cast.)

I could write all day about Mr Leonard Nimoy. I'm sure you'll read some fascinating obituaries elsewhere, and be told about his many charitable works and beautiful replies to fan letters from children. He wrote poetry, he sang, he co-wrote the stories for Trek IV and VI, he led a full and active life. It's such a shame that he died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, brought about by smoking—despite the fact he quit three decades ago. I followed him on Twitter and he was always urging people to quit; hopefully more of his fans will today.

But let's not get too sad. Nimoy lived to the age of 83, accomplished a lot in his lifetime, inspired a lot of people, and has left a huge legacy of work. And he'll always be Mr Spock—a signature role that made him a screen legend.

Live long and prosper.