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Leonard Nimoy Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (5) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trade Mark (3) | Trivia (74) | Personal Quotes (45) | Salary (2)

Overview (5)

Date of Birth 26 March 1931Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Date of Death 27 February 2015Bel Air, Los Angeles, California, USA  (end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
Birth NameLeonard Simon Nimoy
Nickname Lenny
Height 6' (1.83 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Leonard Simon Nimoy was born in Boston, Massachusetts, to Dora (Spinner) and Max Nimoy, who owned a barbershop. His parents were Ukrainian Jewish immigrants. Raised in a tenement and acting in community theaters since age eight, Nimoy did not make his Hollywood debut until he was 20, with a bit part in Queen for a Day (1951) and another as a ballplayer in the perennial Rhubarb (1951). After two years in the United States Army, he was still getting small, often uncredited parts, like an Army telex operator in Them! (1954). His part as Narab, a Martian finally friendly to Earth, in the closing scene in the corny Republic serial Zombies of the Stratosphere (1952), somewhat foreshadowed the role which would make him a household name: Mr. Spock, the half-human/half-Vulcan science officer on Star Trek (1966) one of television's all-time most successful series. His performance won him three Emmy nominations and launched his career as a writer and director, notably of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986), the story of a humpback whale rescue that proved the most successful of the Star Trek movies. Stage credits have included "Fiddler on the Roof", "Oliver", "Camelot" and "Equus". He has hosted the well-known television series In Search of... (1976) and Ancient Mysteries (1994), authored several volumes of poetry and guest-starred on two episodes of The Simpsons (1989). In the latter years of his career, he played Mustafa Mond in NBC's telling of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World (1998), voiced Sentinel Prime in the blockbuster Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011), and played Spock again in two new Star Trek films, Star Trek (2009) and Star Trek Into Darkness (2013).

Leonard Nimoy died on February 27, 2015 in Bel Air, Los Angeles, California, of end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He was 83.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Spouse (2)

Susan Bay (1 January 1989 - 27 February 2015) (his death)
Sandi Nimoy (21 February 1954 - 1987) (divorced) (2 children)

Trade Mark (3)

Deep baritone voice
Mr. Spock on Star Trek (1966) and eight of the Star Trek films
Lanky frame

Trivia (74)

Had a pet store in Canoga Park, California during the 1960s.
His father had a barber shop in Boston, where one of the more popular haircuts given was the "Spock cut".
Was William Shatner's best man at his third wedding to Nerine Kidd.
Attended Antioch University, where he received his Master's degree in Education. He later received an honorary doctorate from the university in fall 2000.
Attended and graduated from Boston University in 1953. He later received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from the university in May 2012.
Stated at a 1993 convention in Toronto, Ontario, Canada that he has contracted out his signature, and can only sign items the company he has a contract with authorizes, and therefore does not sign for fans, otherwise he could be sued for breach of contract.
The "Vulcan nerve pinch" concept on Star Trek (1966) was invented by Nimoy when he and the series' writers were trying to figure out how an unarmed Spock could overpower an adversary without resorting to violence.
When Richard Widmark left, Nimoy became the Friday night host for "The Mutual Radio Theater" on Mutual Radio (1980).
Served in the United States Army, under the service number ER-11-229-770, from December 3, 1953 to November 23, 1955. Received an honorable discharge with the rank of Staff Sergeant (SSG).
Hit #121 on the Billboard Singles Chart in 1967 with "Visit to a Sad Planet" (Dot 17038).
Lent his famous voice to the introduction at the Mugar Omni Theater (The Museum of Science, Boston).
Because of his schedule, part two of the Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) two-part episode "Unification" was filmed before part one.
Is an accomplished photographer (specializing in black and white images) and has given exhibitions of his works.
Has two roles in common with voice actor Frank Welker. Welker provided the screams for the young Spock in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984). Welker also provided the voice of Galvatron in the third and fourth seasons of The Transformers (1984), a role which Nimoy had voiced in The Transformers: The Movie (1986).
Was approached to direct Star Trek: Generations (1994), as well as appear as Spock in the film. He declined because Spock's role in the movie would have been a cameo. Nimoy stated that he did not want to play Spock, or direct any Star Trek movie in which Spock was not an integral part of the plot. Spock's character was consequently edited from the script.
The sign that Spock makes with his hand is half of what is commonly done by the Cohanim, the Jewish Priests, when they bless the congregation.
Is an avid writer of poetry and has written many books.
Is the only actor to appear in every episode of the original Star Trek (1966) series.
Along with Majel Barrett, he is one of only two actors to appear in both the first and last episodes of the original Star Trek (1966) series.
At 6' 1", he was the tallest member of the cast of the original Star Trek (1966) series.
Is the only actor to appear in both pilots of the original Star Trek (1966) series.
He appeared in episodes of six different series with William Shatner: The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (1964), Mission: Impossible (1966), Star Trek (1966), Star Trek: The Animated Series (1973), T.J. Hooker (1982) and Futurama (1999).
He appeared in four different productions with Malachi Throne: Star Trek (1966), Mission: Impossible (1966), Assault on the Wayne (1971) and Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987).
Due to their similar deep voices, it was rumored for years that Nimoy actually recorded the bulk of Orson Welles' dialogue as Unicron in The Transformers: The Movie (1986). Welles died before the film's release, but voice actress Susan Blu has gone on record saying that Welles recorded all his lines before his death.
He was born only four days after his Star Trek (1966) co-star William Shatner.
He appeared in episodes of three different series with James Doohan: Star Trek (1966), Star Trek: The Animated Series (1973) and Duckman: Private Dick/Family Man (1994).
He appeared in episodes of three different series with George Takei and Nichelle Nichols: Star Trek (1966), Star Trek: The Animated Series (1973) and Futurama (1999).
When Mark Lenard and Jane Wyatt were cast as his parents on Star Trek (1966), they asked him if he had any advice on the Vulcan characters and culture, seeing as how he was the series' main Vulcan character. He replied that he felt the Vulcans were very much a "hand-oriented people", and so Lenard and Wyatt came up with a hand gesture in which they touched and held their fingers together to indicate a sense of intimacy.
Suffers from tinnitus (ringing in the ears), along with Star Trek (1966) co-star William Shatner. Nimoy's right ear and Shatner's left ear are affected. Their hearing was apparently damaged during the filming of the episode Star Trek: Arena (1967), when they were both close to a special effects explosion.
Born in Boston to Ukrainian Jewish immigrants.
Parents are Max and Dora Nimoy; has one brother: Melvin Nimoy, five years older.
Opened an exotic pet shop in 1970 after the original Star Trek (1966) series' cancellation.
Often nicknamed "the other Dr. Spock" for his degrees in Biology and Photography.
As a non-commissioned officer in the United States Army, Nimoy was in charge of a platoon that included a Ken Berry. Berry later said in an interview that he confided to Nimoy his ambitions to be a dancer and performer and Nimoy encouraged him to go to California at the end of his enlistment.
Father of Adam Nimoy and Julie Nimoy. Has one stepson, named Aaron.
Got his famous role of Spock on Star Trek (1966) in part because discussions among writers and producers of the series about the character of Spock led them to put out the word that they were looking for "a tall, thin guy" to play the role of an alien crew member. Casting director Joseph D'Agosta remembered Nimoy from his work in an earlier World War II series, The Lieutenant (1963) and gave him a call about this role. And so was born his most famous role and start as a popular culture icon.
The mineral Yominium Sulfide in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986), is named after him. If you notice the first five letters spells "Nimoy" backward.
In books over the years, the "unpronouncable" full name of his Star Trek character is S'chn-T' Gaii Spock, son of S'chn-T' Gaii Sarek (of Skon and Solkar) of Vulcan.
Along with Majel Barrett, he is one of only two actors to have appeared on Star Trek in every decade from the 1960s to the 2000s.
His wife, Susan Bay, is a cousin of Michael Bay. Nimoy voiced the reemerged Megatron, known as Galvatron, in The Transformers: The Movie (1986). Bay altogether reinvented Megatron for Transformers (2007).
Mentioned by Will Ferrell's character Brennan Huff in the comedy film Step Brothers (2008).
Speaks Hebrew and Yiddish fluently.
During an interview with Al Roker on Today (1952), to promote Star Trek (2009), it was revealed that the news anchor Ann Curry had a major crush on him. They showed several clips of her stating that she was in love with Spock. Roker then called her out on stage. She came on stage, and immediately hugged and kissed Leonard Nimoy, and told him how great she thinks he is. Leonard was very flattered and told her she had great taste.
Along with David McCallum, Cliff Robertson, Barbara Rush and Peter Breck, he is one of only five actors to appear in both The Outer Limits (1963) and The Outer Limits (1995).
After the success of (former Trek castmate) Walter Koenig's "Raver" comics, he sold issues of his "Primortals" comics in 1996.
Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6651 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on January 16, 1985.
Father-in-law of Gregory Schwartz. Ex-father-in-law of Nancy Nimoy.
Best friends with his Star Trek (1966) co-star William Shatner.
Is a vegetarian.
Has five grandchildren.
Second cousin, once removed, of Jeff Nimoy.
(April 21, 2010) Retired from acting after 60 years in the motion picture industry.
In 2011, he announced his decision to both retire from acting and stop appearing at conventions, expressing his desire for private life with his family.
He played the same character (Spock) on three different series: Star Trek (1966), Star Trek: The Animated Series (1973) and Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987).
He played two characters whose boss is named "Jim": Captain James T. Kirk on Star Trek (1966) and Jim Phelps on Mission: Impossible (1966).
Runs an online shop with his granddaughter called shopllap.com.
Announced his retirement from motion pictures. [September 2002]
Has come out of retirement to reprise his iconic role of Mr. Spock for the Star Trek (2009) remake. [January 2008]
(February 5, 2014) Announced that he is suffering from chronic obstruction pulmonary disease, one month after he was seen in a wheelchair in New York.
In many interviews since the beginning of Star Trek (1966), Leonard Nimoy has recounted the origin of the Vulcan salute, which he introduced into the series. In one such interview (with The A.V. Club in July 2010), he explained, "The gesture that I introduced into Star Trek, the split-fingered Vulcan salute, we'll call it... that came from an experience -- I'm going all the way back to my childhood again -- when I was about 8 years old, sitting in the synagogue at high holiday services with my family. There comes a moment in the ceremony when the congregation is blessed by a group of gentlemen known as Kohanim, members of the priestly tribe of the Hebrews. And the blessing is one that we see in the Old and New Testament: 'May the Lord bless you and keep you; may the Lord cause His countenance to shine upon you', and so forth. When they give this blessing, you're told not to look! You're supposed to avert your eyes. I peeked, and I saw these guys with their hands stretched out - there were five or six of them, all with their hands stretched out toward the congregation - in that gesture, that split-fingered gesture. Some time later, I learned that the shape that hand creates is a letter in the Hebrew alphabet, the letter shin, which is the first letter in the word Shaddai, which is the name of the Almighty. So the suggestion is that they're using a symbol of God's name with their hands as they bless the congregation.".
Grandfather of Madeleine Nimoy and Jonah Nimoy.
Best known by the public (and by many sci-fi fans) for his starring role as Mr. Spock on the original Star Trek (1966) series.
Nimoy is the only actor to have portrayed the same "character" in two separate American mediums (television, then film) longer than anyone else. From 1966 to 2013 (47 years), he was Mr. Spock. "Was" is the key here, as Spock was finally killed off. Also, character is in quotation because Jack Benny and the Three Stooges were on from the radio days to movies, then television, but they played their roles using their real names. Some soap opera stars also have beat this in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia but are only a character on television exclusively. Also of note is that Spock is a worldwide known character.
On February 19, 2015, he was rushed to UCLA Medical Center for severe chest pains after a 911 call and has been in and out of hospitals for the "past several months".
His final Tweet, posted four days before his death, was "A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP" (Live Long and Prosper).
Leonard Nimoy passed away on February 27, 2015, a month away from what would have been his 84th birthday on March 26.
Leonard Nimoy and Luke and the Tenderfoot: The Boston Kid (1955) co-star Richard Bakalyan both died on February 27, 2015.
His Twitter account has 1.1 million followers. He followed the Twitter accounts of: Spencer Schwartz, Walter Koenig, Jonathan Frakes, Patrick Stewart, Greg Grunberg, Ian McKellen, Dana Delaney, Michael Powell, Gerard Way, Simon Pegg, George Takei, Bruno Mars, Aaron Bay-Schuck, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, TrekMovie.com, Ben Stiller, Barack Obama, The Futuristics, Hammer Museum and Zachary Quinto.
Prior to performing on Star Trek (1966), Nimoy played various roles on the series Wagon Train (1957). The original title of Star Trek was Wagon Train to the Stars.
He died only five days before Harve Bennett, with whom he worked on Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982), Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984), Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986) and Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989).
Following his death, he was interred at Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery in Culver City, California.
An asteroid discovered on September 2, 1988 has been renamed 4864 Nimoy in his honor.
He had two roles in common with Carl Steven: (1) Nimoy played Spock in Star Trek (1966) and its numerous spin-offs while Steven played the nine-year-old version of the character in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984) and (2) Nimoy and Steven both played Mel Mermelstein in Never Forget (1991).

Personal Quotes (45)

[on working with William Shatner on the original Star Trek (1966) series] Bill was very passionate about the work. Unfortunately, Bill was passionate about everything.
Spock is definitely one of my best friends. When I put on those ears, it's not like just another day. When I become Spock, that day becomes something special.
[on being asked to executive-produce the proposed sequel series Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987)] I thanked him and wished him well with the project, but explained it simply couldn't work. I felt the original Star Trek (1966)'s success was due to many factors: the themes, the characters, the chemistry between the actors, the timing (the future-embracing 1960s)... There was simply no way, I told him, that anyone could duplicate all those things and be successful with a second Star Trek show. And so I opted out... While my argument sounded perfectly rational at the time, my ego was certainly involved. When I said to Frank Mancuso and the assembled execs, "How can you hope to capture lightning in a bottle again?", part of me was *really* saying, "How can you ever hope to do it without *us*?"... You know, crow isn't so bad. It tastes like chicken.
My folks came to the US as immigrants, aliens, and became citizens. I was born in Boston, a citizen, went to Hollywood and became an alien.
[on the death of Spock] I thought everything was managed in excellent taste. I feel proud. When it was first suggested to me that Spock would die, I was hesitant. It seemed exploitative. But now that I've seen how it was accomplished, I think it was a very good idea.
Logic is the beginning of wisdom, not the end.
That is the exploration that awaits you! Not mapping stars and studying nebula, but charting the unknown possibilities of existence.
The miracle is this: the more we share the more we have.
I think about myself as like an ocean liner that's been going full speed for a long distance, and the captain pulls the throttle back all the way to 'stop', but the ship doesn't stop immediately, does it? It has its own momentum and it keeps on going, and I'm very flattered that people are still finding me useful.
I think it's my adventure, my trip, my journey, and I guess my attitude is, let the chips fall where they may.
Which is probably the reason why I work exclusively in black and white... to highlight that contrast.
But if you're talking about fine art work, then I think you have to ask yourself some pretty deep questions about why it is you want to take pictures and what it is you want to say.
Other times, you're doing some piece of work and suddenly you get feedback that tells you that you have touched something that is very alive in the cosmos.
My wife and I are affiliated with a temple here in Los Angeles. We feel very close to the congregation and to the rabbi, who happens to be my wife's cousin and who I admire greatly. I talk to him regularly but I consider myself more spiritual than religious.
I did not move into developing or processing color. I stayed with black and white. I still think to this day that I prefer to work in black and white if it has to do with poetry or anything other than specific reality. I have worked in color when I thought it was the appropriate way to express the thought that I was working on.
A neighborhood friend showed me how it was possible to go to a camera shop and pick up chemicals for pennies... literally... and develop your own film and make prints.
You know, for a long time, I have been of the opinion that artists don't necessarily know what they're doing. You don't necessarily know what kind of universal concept you're tapping into.
I am not Spock.
I'm attracted to images that come from a personal exploration of a subject matter. When they have a personal stamp to them, then I think it becomes identifiable.
That's true, because I'm a photographer now.
For a period of time, I carried cameras with me wherever I went, and then I realized that my interest in photography was turning toward the conceptual. So I wasn't carrying around cameras shooting stuff, I was developing concepts about what I wanted to shoot. And then I'd get the camera angle and do the job.
My dream concept is that I have a camera and I am trying to photograph what is essentially invisible. And every once in a while I get a glimpse of her and I grab that picture.
I became hooked on the idea of being able to shoot an image and process it myself, and end up with a product.
What I'm exploring right now is the subject of my own mortality. It's an area that I'm curious about, and I'm researching it to see if there's a photographic essay in it for me. If images don't start to come, I'll go to something else.
Some words having to do with the death of the people in the World Trade Center attack had been added, and when I got to it, I had this overwhelmingly emotional experience. I struggled to get through the words; tears were streaming down my cheeks.
I'm touched by the idea that when we do things that are useful and helpful - collecting these shards of spirituality - that we may be helping to bring about a healing.
You proceed from a false assumption: I have no ego to bruise.
Boston was a great city to grow up in, and it probably still is. We were surrounded by two very important elements: academia and the arts. I was surrounded by theater, music, dance, museums. And I learned how to sail on the Charles River. So I had a great childhood in Boston. It was wonderful.
This time, there have been a lot of interesting discussion about the subject matter and I've had a good time talking about it. And in some of the cases, I'm not just signing books; I'm showing slides and talking about the work.
Years ago - in the '70s, for about a decade - I carried a camera every place I went. And I shot a lot of pictures that were still life and landscape, using available light.
My memory of those places is better than my pictures. That's why I get much more satisfaction out of shooting thematic work that has to do with an idea that I'm searching for, or searching to express.
I became involved in photography when I was about thirteen years old.
I also do my own processing, so it means a big commitment in lab time.
The book tour has been really interesting and very gratifying. I have not book toured before. I've never had quite as much pleasure, as much satisfaction.
I became enamored with photography when I was about 13 or 14 years old. I've been at it ever since. I studied seriously in the '70s.
Most of my images have been done in-studio, under very controlled lighting conditions. There have been a few that have been shot in nature, but even then they were shot almost exclusively at night, and again, under controlled lighting conditions.
I began working with a family camera. It was called a Kodak Autographic, which was one of those things where you flopped it open and pulled out the bellows. And I've been at it ever since; I've never stopped.
I'm not an equipment nut. I tend to use whatever's to hand. I have several cameras, of course, but I'm not emotional about any of them.
I deal with this spiritual issue every day - either shooting or processing or sorting or discussing or having conversations - I'm in constant contact with it.
For me, it's all about personal vision; is there something about a subject that uniquely speaks to me.
I use a computer. I don't know if that qualifies me as a techie, but I'm pretty good on the computer.
I've been working with photography for many years.
That's the most difficult issue for me... to find a subject that holds my interest long enough that I'm prepared to go to work and spend the time and energy to shoot the subject.
I certainly don't live in a kosher home although I was raised in a kosher environment.
I have a master's degree in photography as a fine art, and I would call my work primarily conceptual. I don't carry cameras with me wherever I go. I get an idea of a subject matter I want to deal with and I pull out my cameras.

Salary (2)

Zombies of the Stratosphere (1952) $500
Star Trek (1966) $1,250 /episode (first season)

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