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"Biography" Leonard Nimoy: Spock and Beyond (1996)

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Leonard Simon Nimoy Works Long and, Well, Prospers

7/10
Author: WeatherViolet from United States
24 June 2010

This episode focuses upon the live and career of actor Leonard Nimoy, and begins with his parents' separately escaping from Russia into the Ukraine, where they meet as children, and one day meet again, in Boston, Massachusetts, where Dora Spinner and Max Nimoy marry, welcome son Melvin Nimoy, and in 1931, son Leonard.

Leonard begins working, selling newspapers as a youth, while Max operates a barber shoppe. Dora and Max instill the virtues of hard work in their sons during their formative years, but are said to be stunned at Leonard's announcement that he plans a career in acting, after appearing in school plays.

While his parents eventually come around to accepting Leonard's decision, it is not before he leaves Boston on a train for Hollywood, in 1949, to pursue his life's dream career.

His debut film, "Queen for a Day" (1951) (not to be confused with the television game show program), prepares the young hopeful for performing in a series of low-budget films, in addition to television series' guest roles, which he compiles to forge a respectable career.

But, in 1966, when Producer Gene Roddenberry auditions Leonard Nimoy for what may become his most famous role, Leonard reports experiencing second thoughts because he'd have to wear pointed synthetic ears and risk becoming typecast, but he decides in favor of steady employment, which the television series "Star Trek" would have to offer.

After a three-season run (1966-69), Leonard does find himself typecast as Vulcan/Human Spock and, as opportunities for film roles become scarce, he attempts to reinvent his persona on stage and in such television series as "Mission: Impossible" (for two seasons, 1969-71) and "In Search of..." (1977-81).

But throughout the 1970's and beyond, "Trekkie Fever" would sweep the nation, and so Leonard is often requested to appear at conventions, to receive rave applause, and to appear in film adaptations of the original television series, which he has to think about, but often does anyway.

This episode does not feature nearly as many film and television clips as fans may expect to see, but guests discuss Leonard Nimoy's talents in acting, writing and directing, and his decision-making process to a welcoming degree.

Interview Guests for this episode consist of Leonard Nimoy (Self), Susan Bay (Wife), Julie Nimoy (Daughter), Adam Nimoy (Son), William Shatner (Actor), Jeff Corey (Actor/Teacher), Harve Bennett (Producer), Gene Roddenberry ("Star Trek" Creator), Mark A. Altman (Editor: "Sci-Fi Universe"), Elliot Silverstein (Childhood Friend), and Ben Brenner (Childhood Friend), with Peter Graves or Harry Smith (Host) and Anthony Mason (Narrator).

Still Photographs include Leonard Nimoy, Dora Spinner Nimoy (Mother), Max Nimoy (Father), Melvin Nimoy (Brother), Sandra Zober Nimoy (former Wife), Pat Boone, Al Hirt, Richard Chamberlain, Jane Wyatt and DeForest Kelly.

Archive film footage includes Leonard Nimoy, U.S. President John F. Kennedy, Jeffrey Hunter, William Shatner, Nichelle Nichols, George Takei, and various unidentified performers.

Film and Television Clips include scenes from Queen for a Day (film, 1951), Kid Monk Baroni (1952), Zombies of the Stratosphere (1952), The Brain Eaters (1958), "Twilight Zone: A Quality of Mercy" (1961), "Gunsmoke" (unidentifed episode, circa 1961-62), "Star Trek" (pilot, 1966), "Star Trek: The Naked Time" (1966), as well as footage from Star Trek conventions.

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