“A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory.”
Leonard Nimoy, the man we all know and love as the original Mr. Spock, tweeted the above line on February 22nd. He passed away this morning at his home in Bel Air at 83 years old.
Last year, he announced that he had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a result of years of smoking. He was hospitalized earlier in the week and his wife, Susan Bay Nimoy, confirmed his passing.
Nimoy was best known for playing Mr. Spock – the half-Vulcan, half-human – on Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek. This show launched him into stardom. Despite its cancellation after three seasons, Star Trek: The Original Series has endured with spin-offs, movies, and, most important to Nimoy, conventions, which he often attended to meet the fans who love the show as much as him.
However, Nimoy did not begin and end with Mr. Spock, evidenced by his two autobiographies: I Am Not Spock (1977) and I Am Spock (1995). He expressed that he identified deeply with the character, but felt there was so much more to him than just the Vulcan.
He played a role in the Mission: Impossible television series as well as performing onstage, including Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof. He showed his skills behind the camera with directing films such as Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. He also directed Three Men and a Baby (1987).
His other true passion was the written word. He crafted prolific poetry and published books on his photography.
He posted this poem on Twitter just five days ago:
I will be sharing my poetry. Today’s is, “You and I have Learned,” which is in my book, These Words Are for You. LLAP pic.twitter.com/CsHAtmtDnz
— Leonard Nimoy (@TheRealNimoy) February 22, 2015
Today, we remember Leonard Nimoy, both as Spock and as the man behind him. Nimoy wrote: “Given the choice, if I had to be someone else, I would be Spock.”
So today we all do the Vulcan salute. We fondly recall the kind ways he treated his fans and the love he felt for his role in Star Trek. We remember a great man, with passion and generosity in his heart, who gave us a character that we will not soon forget.
Live long and prosper, Mr. Spock. We will miss you forever.