Beyond Spock: We Say Farewell to Leonard Nimoy

Image CC-BY-SA Gage Skidmore
Image CC-BY-SA Gage Skidmore

Even the non-geeks among us recognize Leonard Nimoy for the years he spent as Spock on the original Star Trek series. But he was so much more, as an actor, a director, an author, a musician, and more. His contributions will leave a long impression in the arts.

Nimoy was no stranger to TV or movies when he landed that memorable Vulcan role. He was on many of the memorable programs of the 50s and 60s to varying degrees, including Dragnet, Sea Hunt, The Twilight Zone, Bonanza, and The Outer Limits.

Then came Star Trek, three Emmy nominations, and a lifetime of being recognized as Spock, a character he played in multiple Star Trek TV shows and movies over the years.

Over those subsequent years, he played many roles while alternating between embracing the Spock character and the occasional desire for some distance. His two autobiographies, I Am Not Spock and I Am Spock discuss how that character affected his life and in many ways became a part of him.

But he was so much more than Spock, with a master’s degree in education and creating works as an artist of many stripes, working in photography, poetry, and music. He had his first photography exhibit in a gallery in 1973 and eventually published three books of photos, Shekhina (2002), The Full Body Project (2007), and Secret Selves (2010). He also had seven books of poetry published from 1973 to 2002.

He was also a philanthropist and activist in art, music, Holocaust remembrance, and other causes. In 2001, he and his wife donated $1 million to help create the 190-seat Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon theater at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles based on their belief in the importance of astronomy education. In 2003, they established the Nimoy Foundation to support artists and fund their work.

So while many of us and you reading this will miss Mister Spock or perhaps Dr. Bell from Fringe, Leonard Nimoy will be deeply missed well beyond our geeky circles for his influence in so many areas.

But Nimoy also invented the Vulcan “live long and prosper” hand symbol, based on a Jewish blessing. Thus to say farewell, the GeekMoms send those wishes on to all of you. Live long and prosper, and carry on fulfilling your dreams and acting on your beliefs in the way that Nimoy did for his 83 years.

Image by Samantha Cook
Image by Samantha Cook
Image by Patricia Vollmer
Image by Patricia Vollmer
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Image by Melanie Meadors
Image by Maryann Goldman
Image by Maryann Goldman
Image by Jackie Reeve.
Image by Jackie Reeve
Image by Natania Barron
Image by Natania Barron
nimoy tribute
Image by Lisa Tate
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Image by Sarah Pinault

 

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By day, Ruth works to make open source software communities better. The rest of the time, she makes things, which means her husband and kids know to watch out for stray sewing pins and to ask before eating anything made of fondant.