Leonard Nimoy’s passing has broken the hearts of every Star Trek fan. Spock has been a fan favorite for almost half a century, an iconic character who symbolizes Trek the way Darth Vader, Yoda, or Artoo symbolizes Star Wars. With Nimoy gone, William Shatner, Nichelle Nichols, George Takei, and Walter Koenig are all who remain of the original series main players.
I watched Star Trek in reruns as a little kid and as mentioned before, I was huge into Trek before Star Wars. So Nimoy had been a big part of my pop culture life ever since I was a pre-schooler. I even remember seeing his 1974 autobiography “I Am Not Spock” on the shelves of a bookstore and as a five or six-year-old, knowing who it was. Years later he wrote a follow up called “I Am Spock” and when a talk show host said, “I thought you said you weren’t Spock,” Nimoy replied, “If I am not Spock, then who is?”
But Nimoy was a man of many talents. Aside from watching Trek re-runs, I also used watch Nimoy in reruns of the original “Mission Impossible” t.v. series. The show Nimoy did though that had perhaps an even more profound effect on me than Trek was the series “In Search Of.” Nimoy narrated the groundbreaking program that featured mysterious disappearances, UFOs, cryptids, ghosts, natural disasters, strange science, conspiracies, lost treasure, ancient civilizations, Nazis on the loose, famous unsolved crimes, etc.. Shows like “Unsolved Mysteries,” “Ghost Hunters,” “Ghost Adventures,” “Expedition Unknown,” “Ancient Aliens,” “America Unearthed,” Travel Channel’s “Mysteries At The Museum/Mysteries At The Castle,” History’s endless supply of Nostradamus shows, “Monsters And Mysteries In America,” “Finding Bigfoot,” “Lost History,” “Close Encounters” on Science, etc. wouldn’t exist today without “In Search Of.” I watched that show religiously and it fueled my interest in all of those topics, even if it occasionally made it hard to sleep that night!
Nimoy also did a one-man play about Vincent Van Gogh and his brother, he was a photographer, he recorded music (who can’t love his tribute to Bilbo Baggins?), and he was a successful film director, even helming one of the Star Trek flicks. He was the only original cast member to appear in JJ Abrams’s Trek movies. He had no problem reaching out to the younger generations, doing YouTube interviews with Pharrell Williams or guest shots on “The Big Bang Theory,” and being active on social media up until his death.
On Twitter he was always reminding his followers to “live long and prosper,” abbreviating it to LLAP, even in his final tweet just a few days ago. While Nimoy certainly lived up to his advice, he will be missed. Fans hope he will be reunited with his old friend DeForrest Kelley, Gene Roddenberry and Majel Barrett, and Jimmy Doohan. I also hope he’ll learn what happened to Amelia Earhart and if the Loch Ness monster is real.