Leonard Nimoy Was Wonderful

The iconic actor died today at the age of 83.

Best known for portraying everyone’s favorite half-vulcan, half-human, Leonard Nimoy died today at the age of 83. In addition to his work on Star Trek: The Original Series from 1966-1969, Star Trek: The Animated Series from 1973-1974, eight feature films, and several video games, Nimoy appeared in Mission: Impossible, chased the paranormal in the series In Search Of and regularly strolled onto Fringe, among many other programs. He also leant his iconic, gravel-and-honey voice to everything fromThe Simpsons (in which he played himself twice) to the opening monologue that welcomed so many of us to the Dolby Digital Sound experience. Nimoy was also an accomplished director and helmed Star Trek: The Search for Spock, as well as Three Men and a Baby, in which Ted Danson, Steve Guttenberg and Tom Selleck’s mustache tried to raise a child. It’s way better than it has any right being.

Beyond the screen, Nimoy was an accomplished poet, wrote two best selling autobiographies, and was  a champion for positive body image, publishing “The Full Body Project,” a collection of photography that celebrated the female form in all its shapes and sizes. He  donated his time and money to myriad causes, including the American Cancer Society, and began his own The Nimoy Foundation, which provided grants to independent artists.

Perhaps Nimoy’s most beloved, accomplishment, however, was that, while he never took himself  seriously, he always respected the impact his character had on Sci-Fi culture. Never anything but grateful for the pointy-eared role that made him so famous, Nimoy gladly attended Star Trek signings, conferences, and appearances and always treated the costumed diehards that clung to his characters’ logical sayings and iconic Vulcan hand gesture with grace and respect. Nimoy was wonderfully weird himself, as evidenced in this incredible video for “The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins” in which he sings the praises of the titular Hobbit while looking like Allen Ginsberg’s number one fan as pixie-cutted 60’s girls prance around him. He fit in so well with the Comic Con crowd because he was one of them himself.

It was his character that told others to live long and prosper, but it was Nimoy who truly embodied the saying.