IN SEARCH OF... LEONARD NIMOY. A sensitive, talented artist - but you don't give a crap about that, you just know him as the first intergalactic sex symbol: the half-Vulcan Spock on Star Trek.
"Well, Mr Spock, if we can't disguise you, we'll find some way of explaining you." Captain Kirk, City on the Edge of Forever
Leonard Nimoy is most famous for giving form and voice to one of the most iconic and recognizable characters in television history, portraying Mr. Spock in the original Star Trek series (1966). The half-Vulcan, half-human character was designed to look a bit alien, or at least like an overgrown elf, with pointed ears, high eyebrows, and green-tinged skin (not to mention wicked thick blue eyeshadow). His personality was also designed to be alien by having him tenaciously cling to the Vulcan philosophy of using logic and repressing all emotions - rendering some sort of bastard cross between a Buddhist monk and a computer. What hadn't been quite anticipated, most likely because none of the writers or stagecrew were sixteen year old girls, was that Mr. Spock would be considered completely dreamy by legions of young female fans.
In a somewhat ironic twist of fate, Nimoy directed the Star Trek movie The Search for Spock between publishing the books I Am Not Spock and I Am Spock.
As recently as 2009 Leonard Nimoy portayed Spock (aka Spock Prime) in the latest movie of the Star Trek franchise. But his 2009 held a lot more, including a key role as Dr. William Bell on the series Fringe, multiple photography gallery showings, and a surprise appearance on the "Weekend Update" for Saturday Night Live. Heck, he'd kicked off his 2009 with an interview on William Shatner's Raw Nerve. We can all only hope to be so active when we're 78.
Odd as it may seem, Nimoy had a whole life going on before Spock and Star Trek. He earned degrees in both photography and education. He served in the Army. He started acting for the stage as a child and before being cast as Spock already had almost 30 years on the stage and about 20 years of experience on the large and small screens.
After the original Star Trek series was canceled Nimoy went on to spend two seasons on Mission: Impossible. He wrote and starred in the one man play Vincent about Van Gogh. From 1976 to 1982 he narrated the series In Search of... He's published poetry, recorded albums, directed movies and tv shows, and yep, kept doing photography.
But the truth is, and this saddens Nimoy somewhat, that you just don't give a crap about any of that. You want Spock. In fact, there is only about a 30% chance you read this section and a 5% chance that you made it all the way to the end. If you're reading this, consider yourself a true Leonard Nimoy fan not just a Spockmania freak. Or you're actually Leonard Nimoy, starved for whatever crumbs of not-Spock love I can give you.
Way before Adam Sandler made it somewhat almost kinda cool to be a Jew, Leonard Nimoy was totally rocking the Jewishness. That Vulcan hand salute and the accompanying phrase "Live long and prosper"? Based on a traditional Jewish blessing.