The son of Ukrainian immigrants who grew up in the Big Apple, Nimoy won the hearts of esnl’s generation for the role which will forever define him, the ever-logical voice of detachment that was Star Trek’s Mister Spock — the dispassionate voice of moderation to the hyperkinetic Capt. James Tiberius Kirk. The oddest of couples, to a generation they represented a hopeful possibility in a day when air raid sired tests happened monthly and the threats of nuclear war and racial violence dominated the news pages.
Star Trek was a world where black, white, Asian, Russian, Scot, and Midwesterners could engage in harmonious cooperation, even with a pointy eared alien as the second-in-command.
USA Today assembled a collection of archetypal Spock moments, the fitting acknowledgments of the role that Nimoy first fought to distinguish himself from, then embraced:
Classic Vulcan Moments
Watch classic scenes of Star Trek icon Leonard Nimoy.
The Washington Post today quoted Nimoy’s remarks on the Spock character reported in a 1968 New York Times article:
“I knew that we were not playing a man with no emotions, but a man who had great pride, who had learned to control his emotions and who would deny that he knew what emotions were. In a way, he was more human than anyone else on the ship.
“In spite of being an outcast, being mixed up, looking different, he maintains his point of view. He can’t be bullied or put on. He’s freaky with dignity. There are very few characters who have that kind of pride, cool and ability to lay it out and walk away. Humphrey Bogart played most of them.”
And in his final public words, a Tweet sent to fans Sunday, five days before his death from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, he ended with the acronym for the words his character made famous, Live long and prosper: