March 26, 1931 – February 27, 2015
Leonard Nimoy is best known for portraying one of the most iconic characters in the science fiction genre: Mr. Spock from Star Trek.
Born in Boston, Nimoy moved to Los Angeles at the age of 18 to pursue an acting career. Three years later, he landed his first leading role in a film, playing the character Paul 'Monk' Baroni in Kid Monk Baroni. The same year he played Narab in the film Zombies of the Stratosphere, making his science fiction debut. Nimoy starred in a variety of roles in television and film, made appearances in The Twilight Zone in 1961, The Outer Limits in 1964, and played key roles like The Great Paris for Mission: Impossible between 1969 and 1971 and Dr. William Bell for Fringe between 2009 and 2012.
Nimoy's most notable character was Star Trek's half-human, half-alien Spock. The original series ran for three seasons, from 1966 to 1969. In 1973 an animated series of Star Trek launched with Nimoy voicing Spock. In 1979, Star Trek hit the big screen with Star Trek: The Motion Picture, followed by five other successful motion picture films where Nimoy again portrayed the character. Nimoy even played Spock Prime in a different dimension in 2009's Star Trek, which revitalized the franchise with a new cast, and he made a cameo in the sequel Star Trek Into Darkness in 2013.
With his two autobiographies titled I Am Not Spock in 1975 and I Am Spock in 1995, Nimoy appears to have struggled with his identity as Spock, just as Spock struggled with his own identity in Star Trek. Perhaps the real struggle Nimoy experienced explains why he portrayed the character so well. Nimoy received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1985.
Zombies of the Stratosphere (1952)
Mission: Impossible (1969)
Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984)
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989)
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)
Star Trek (2009)