LEONARD Nimoy, who achieved worldwide fame playing the pointy-eared half-Vulcan Mr Spock in the cult science fiction series Star Trek, has died. He was 83.
The actor, who played the ever-logical first officer of the Starship Enterprise from 1966-69, passed away yesterday morning at his home in Bel Air, Los Angeles.
His son Adam said his father died of end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, the lung condition.
Nimoy, a former smoker, revealed last year he had been battling the disease which he attributed to years of smoking which he quit 30 years ago.
The actor had checked into the UCLA medical centre last Thursday after suffering intense chest pains. He had been admitted to hospital on numerous occasions over recent months.
Nimoy was recently pictured looking frail and using an oxygen cylinder as he was wheeled through JFK airport.
He referred to his famous Spock motto “Live long and prosper” – usually accompanied by a Vulcan salute – at the end of what proved to be his last tweet on 22 February.
It said: “A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memories. LLAP.”
His first role was in 1952 when he appeared in Kid Monk Baroni, about a street thug turned boxer. He also played a Martian pilot in Zombies of the Stratosphere (1952).
After his three years in Star Trek he appeared in TV’s Mission: Impossible playing an ex-magician and make-up expert.
This was followed by a number of big screen appearances including the Western Catlow (1971) and the sci-fi remake Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978). His onstage performances included Sherlock Holmes and Fiddler on the Roof.
His directing credits included Three Men and a Baby (1987), Funny About Love (1990) and Holy Matrimony (1994)
He stopped attending Star Trek conventions in 2011 but made a cameo as Spock in the 2013 film Star Trek Into Darkness, and a number of guest appearances in the science fiction series Fringe, which ran until 2012.
Nimoy was the only actor from the original series to return for JJ Abrams’ recent film versions. In 2009, he returned to play an older version of his iconic character in the film Star Trek, who meets his younger self, played by Zachary Quinto.
Nimoy was born in Boston to Jewish immigrants from Russia, he grew up in the city’s Italian quarter where he said he felt the sting of antisemitism.
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