Leonard Nimoy (1931 – 2015)

Leonard Nimoy Spock

What more can be said about the man who portrayed the greatest science fiction icon of all time?  In the annals of Star Trek, Leonard Nimoy’s Mr. Spock managed to live beyond 150 years into the 24th century.  In the 21st century you can count yourself lucky to have lived a happy life into your 80s.  Nimoy not only provided millions with decades of happiness via the character he created, he inspired generations and a legion of loyal fans.  So while the world mourns the loss of the great humanitarian behind our favorite Vulcan, what better time to celebrate what we loved so much about him?  This weekend, cable channels like EPIX will be holding many tributes to allow fans to join in and celebrate the life of Leonard Nimoy.

Many have commented in the past 24 hours about Leonard Nimoy’s passing yesterday, and they illustrate the influence he had on us all.  The finest came from our President:

Presidential Seal

Long before being nerdy was cool, there was Leonard Nimoy.  Leonard was a lifelong lover of the arts and humanities, a supporter of the sciences, generous with his talent and his time.  And of course, Leonard was Spock.  Cool, logical, big-eared and level-headed, the center of Star Trek’s optimistic, inclusive vision of humanity’s future.
I loved Spock.
In 2007, I had the chance to meet Leonard in person.  It was only logical to greet him with the Vulcan salute, the universal sign for “Live long and prosper.”  And after 83 years on this planet – and on his visits to many others – it’s clear Leonard Nimoy did just that.  Michelle and I join his family, friends, and countless fans who miss him so dearly today.


And here is what NASA, via administrator Charles Bolden, had to say:

Leonard Nimoy was an inspiration to multiple generations of engineers, scientists, astronauts, and other space explorers. As Mr. Spock, he made science and technology important to the story, while never failing to show, by example, that it is the people around us who matter most.

NASA was fortunate to have him as a friend and a colleague. He was much more than the Science Officer for the USS Enterprise. Leonard was a talented actor, director, philanthropist, and a gracious man dedicated to art in many forms.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, and the legions of Star Trek fans around the world.

Spock Picard

Also countless tributes from his peers circulated Twitter and Facebook, including this from Patrick Stewart:

It is with sadness that I heard this morning of the death of friend and colleague Leonard Nimoy. I was lucky to spend many happy hours with Leonard socially and in front of the camera. The caliber and serious commitment of his work on “Star Trek” was one of the things all of us on “Star Trek: The Next Generation” sought to match and be inspired by. His work will not be forgotten.

And also tributes from fans, like this one from my good friend Don Hillenbrand.

STIV Kirk and Spock in SF

My own first encounter with the original cast of Star Trek was at a hotel convention in San Francisco in the 1990s.  It happened to be the day after the passing of DeForest Kelley.  James Doohan, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols and Walter Koenig were in attendance and they had to deal with the loss of the first of the Enterprise crew.  It was a day of reflection for De Kelley’s peers and his fans.  Today, I was surprised by the outpouring of friends and family outside the Trek community contacting me and other Trek fans via phone and email to share the news.  You can tell those who know you so well at the passing of a beloved legend like Leonard Nimoy.

Nimoy left his fans with a final message posted to his Twitter account earlier this week:

A life is like a garden.  Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory.  LLAP.

Today we all thank this fine human for all the great hours we got to spend with him as a Vulcan, for the individual influence he had on each of us, and for being a role model and force for positivism for so many.

C.J. Bunce

One comment

  1. When an individual’s persona becomes so much larger than life, it’s easy to forget that they’re no less mortal than the rest of us. Surely that would account for the terrible shock I felt when first learning of Mr. Nimoy’s passing. Both on and off-screen, he exhibited the kind of integrity and intelligence that was impossible not to aspire to. That people around the world, myself included, looked to his Vulcan alter ego as a real-life role model is hardly surprising.

    By any measure, Leonard lived his life to its absolute fullest. That we, as fans, were able to share in his remarkable journey was indeed our good fortune.

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