Leonard Nimoy, RIP.

The New York Times and numerous other media outlets are reporting that Leonard Nimoy died earlier this morning at the age of 83. Our thoughts today are with his family and friends.

NYTimes.com: Leonard Nimoy, Spock of ‘Star Trek,’ Dies at 83

StarTrek.com also has a very nice tribute to Mr. Nimoy, chronicling his extensive career on the stage, television, and the silver screen as well as his writing, poetry, photography, and other pursuits:

StarTrek.com: Remembering Leonard Nimoy, 1931-2015

Last year, after he had become a regular, active presence on Twitter, he announced that he was suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and he attributed this to his years of smoking. Mr. Nimoy gave up the habit decades ago and even allowed his image to be used by the American Cancer Society to promote smoking cessation programs. I still have one of the posters from back in the late 80s in which Spock advocated, “Don’t Smoke. Live Long and Prosper. Leave the Pack Behind.”

Upon making his announcement last year, he continued urging people to give up smoking, using himself as the picture for what happens when you wait too long. He became a “Grandpa” to anyone who would listen to him on the subject:

nimoy-tweet

There really can be no understating Mr. Nimoy’s impact on Star Trek. His is the one character who is the throughline for everything that has come since the first pilot was developed in 1964, including linking the original continuity to that of the newer films. If there is a “Six Degrees of Spock” exercise to be conducted, I’m sure the results would be, to borrow one of his expressions, “Fascinating.”

spock-stii
There really can be no understating Mr. Nimoy’s impact on my own life. My earliest memories involve watching reruns of the original Star Trek series, and Spock–along with a healthy dose of Captain Kirk, of course–was the key component; the connective tissue holding everything together. Through the cartoons on Saturday mornings (Yes, I watched them first-run) to books and comics and toys t0 Star Trek‘s cinematic rebirth and eventual evolution into what we now call “the Star Trek franchise,” Spock is right there at the heart of it. Leonard Nimoy is right there at the heart of it. The show and its characters, including Spock, continued to pull me back and allow me to find something new to appreciate with each subsequent viewing.

Now here I sit, decades later and a writer of stories featuring the very characters I grew up watching, and it all tracks back to that TV show I’d run home to see every day after school on that little black and white television in my room. The influence of the show, including the character of Spock as portrayed by Mr. Nimoy, is undeniable.

nimoy-lasttweet

As Doctor McCoy said at the end of Star Trek II: “He’s really not dead, as long as we remember him.” I think it’s safe to say that Spock, and the man who breathed so much life into him for more than fifty years, will not soon be forgotten.

Rest in peace, Mr. Nimoy, and thank you for so very many wonderful moments and memories.

spock-chair

A slightly edited version of this piece was published on StarTrek.com on February 27th, 2015.

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About Dayton Ward

Freelance word pusher. Husband. Dad. Trekkie. Rush fan (the band). Tampa Bay Bucs fan. Observer/derider of human behavior. I know where my towel is.
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23 Responses to Leonard Nimoy, RIP.

  1. Doug Daniel says:

    My younger co-workers don’t understand why I am so very sad right now. God bless you, Mr. Nimoy, and rest in peace.

    Like

    • Dayton Ward says:

      I’ve been in and out of a daze all day. On the one hand, I didn’t really know the guy. We weren’t friends, and I never talked to him beyond the confines of an autograph line. Still, he had an impact on my life. I felt the same way the day Neil Armstrong died.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Scott Parker says:

    I quit smoking shortly after he announced this. So thank you, Mr. Nimoy for the inspiration. May you live long and prosper in our hearts forever.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Phil Friel says:

    So, so sad. He is irreplaceable. I feel so down at this news. 😦

    Like

  4. Phil Friel says:

    Reblogged this on Tales of Time & Space… and commented:
    I rarely keep up with the celebrity news, so I got a real shock when I read this on Dayton Ward’s excellent blog a wee while ago. I’m sitting here stunned, in tears. I’m gutted. Totally gutted.

    Even though Leonard Nimoy was old and in pretty bad health, and this sad news should come as no great surprise to anybody, I’m still gutted. He was always my favourite Star Trek character, and more than any other actor/character in TOS, he epitomized the whole ethos of Trek for me. Star Trek has always been a major part of my life, ever since I watched its first run on UK television as a starry-eyed eight year-old back in 1969-1970, and Spock was always the main man for me.

    Leonard Nimoy may once have written a book titled “I am NOT Spock”, but, as far as I’m concerned, he IS and always WILL be Spock. No disrespect intended to Zachary Quinto or any other talented newcomers who try to fill Nimoy’s huge shoes, but the man is irreplaceable.

    Live Long and Prosper my friend, wherever you may be.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Nimoy simply *is* not only Spock but also Star Trek in my mind and heart. Thanks for sharing this tribute to him.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Mike Sandborg says:

    To all of us, Leonard Nimoy shared his talent, his ups and downs, indeed, his life with us, touching our hearts and our minds with one simple request:

    “Remember.”

    We will. Always.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dayton Ward says:

      I don’t typically get misty over the passing of a celebrity. If it’s one whose work I enjoyed, I’ll post a tribute of some sort, but this one definitely had an effect. It’s tough to see your childhood heroes pass on.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. marcase says:

    A worthy piece, thank you, sir.
    That empty chair sure made me misty eyed.

    Like

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  9. archersangel says:

    reading what others have said about nimoy & deforest kelly meting up on the other side reminded me of a story i read after kelly passed on in 1999.
    near the end he told a friend that he had a dream that he went to heaven & met with gene roddenberry. he was trying to start a trek production up there. shakespeare was going to write it, cecil b demille was going to direct & michelangelo was doing the sets. they were just waiting for mr. kelly before they got started. i think the quality of the production will improve now that mr. nimoy is there.

    Like

    • Dayton Ward says:

      I wish Nimoy and Kelley had started some kind of 2-man show at conventions, maybe reading a play or skit they’d developed together, for example, and keeping the debates going between Spock and McCoy. That would’ve been fun.

      Like

  10. ronny says:

    I’ve recently started watching the 2 years Nimoy was on Mission Impossible on Netflix. Just silly fun but I’m getting a kick out of watching Nimoy in it.

    When James Garner died a few months back I was thinking I couldn’t start to add up the number of hours of entertainment he’d given me and that’s even truer of the output of Leonard Nimoy.

    Like

  11. Pingback: “Remember.” | The Fog of Ward

  12. Pingback: Looking back at my 2015. | The Fog of Ward

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