So, I was crazy about Star Trek from the minute my mom deemed me old enough to watch the reruns of the show with my older brothers. Even though it was a bit before my time (I grew up with Star Trek: the Next Generation) the original was always the best. Say what you will about Captain Kirk and how the man could not keep a shirt on, Spock was always my guy. Even when Gene Roddenberry tried to throw in a little something for the FanGirls with that cute little Chekov, nope-my heart belonged to Spock.
Leonard Nimoy played Mr. Spock with a cool and effortless grace, his elegantly arched brow, the slightest smirk when truly amused. But I loved best his personality: his belief that logic paved the way to a moral existence, and that evidence-not emotion-points the way to truth. There was no question that Leonard was pretty much doomed to a life of connectivity to Star Trek, even though his autobiography in 1977 protested “I Am Not Spock.”
(Ironically, he reversed that decision nearly 20 years later, confessing in his “dotage” that he simply couldn’t live without the universe he’d built in Gene Roddenberry and the other Trekkies. )
Nimoy went on to Star Trek immortality with a degree of grace that most of the original cast couldn’t manage (cough, William Shatner, cough!) unless you count that truly horrifying “The Ballad Of Bilbo Baggins” proof that Hollywood did a LOT of acid in the 60’s.
The Todd and I had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Nimoy twice. I tried to honor him by asking about projects other than Star Trek, but the man knew what we all wanted to hear. He talked about faking the terribly staged fight scenes, his favorite of the Star Trek films (the one HE directed, of course: Star Trek: The Voyage Home), how he felt about Zachary Quinto taking the reins. He was simply wonderful.
Leonard Nimoy passed away today at the age of 83. I think this news hit me hard because he reminded me so much of my oldest brother Tym-strikingly alike in appearance, brilliance and personality. We lost Tym just before Christmas to a brain tumor, and it feels a bit like losing him again today. The most beautiful line that described both Leonard Nimoy and my brother was spoken in “The Wrath Of Kahn” – “Of all the souls I have encountered in my life, his was the most…human.” Rest in peace, Mr. Spock.