Live Long: Leonard Nimoy, AKA Mr. Spock, Turns 80 Years Old

Published 4 years ago by

spock star trek 80 leonard nimoy1 Live Long: Leonard Nimoy, AKA Mr. Spock, Turns 80 Years Old

Trekkies are celebrating a second birthday this week as original Enterprise crew member Leonard Nimoy turned 80 yesterday, March 26th. William Shatner, who played Captain Kirk in the original Star Trek, passed the same milestone on Tuesday.

Nimoy was born in Boston in 1931. He began his acting career as a child and after serving the Army reserves, he returned, making the rounds in early TV series like Dragnet, Bonanza and Get Smart. Nimoy and Shatner worked together for the first time in 1964 on an episode of The Man From U.N.C.L.E., playing opposing secret agents in the Cold War.

Unlike Shatner, Nimoy was cast in the original Star Trek pilot and retained his role on the second pilot. Nimoy played Mr. Spock in all 79 episodes from 1966-1969. He received three Emmy nominations for the portrayal, but no wins. He reprised his role in the short-lived animated series and all six of the original-cast Star Trek movies, and directed the third and fourth films.

Again in contrast to Shatner, Nimoy has been a constant figure in the Star Trek universe for over forty years. He appeared in a crucial arc when the franchise was reinvigorated in Star Trek: The Next Generation. By that point in the timeline, Spock had become an ambassador to the Romulans (Vulcans live even longer than sci-fi actors).

star trek 2 nimoy as spock Live Long: Leonard Nimoy, AKA Mr. Spock, Turns 80 Years Old

He was also the only original cast member besides Majel Barrett (who voiced the ship’s computer) to return for the reboot in 2009. Spock and Nimoy were the thread that connected the original series to the new, alternate version, where Zachary Quinto takes over the role of “young Spock”.

Nimoy struggled with the attention he got from Star Trek for decades, feeling that his more serious work was being ignored. In 1977 he wrote the autobiography I Am Not Spock. He eventually got over this frustration, though – in 1995 he wrote a second book entitled I Am Spock.

His role in Star Trek has cemented Nimoy as a pillar of geek culture, and allowed him to be a staple of science fiction television and movies for decades. Aside from playing himself in over a hundred TV shows and specials, he provided voices for animated movies like The Pagemaster and Atlantis: The Lost Empire and several video games. Nimoy’s last turn at the science terminal was in the MMORPG Star Trek Online.

leonard nimoy fringe Live Long: Leonard Nimoy, AKA Mr. Spock, Turns 80 Years Old

Today, Nimoy is still appearing at science fiction events and guest-starring on TV shows like Futurama. None has been a more happy or frequent user of his talent than Fringe (recently renewed for a 4th season), where he plays dimension-hopping genius William Bell. Unsubstantiated rumors mention Nimoy as a possible contender for the voice of Smaug the dragon in upcoming The Hobbit movies.

Happy birthday, Leonard. You are, and always shall be, my favorite.

TAGS: Star trek
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  1. not as colorful a career as Shatner but still an icon and talented actor the same.

    Happy Birthday, live long and prosper.

  2. Happy Birthday Mr. Nimoy! I’m sure you’ll hear this all day (and probably the rest of your life…maybe even afterlife…chuckle), Live long and prosper sir!

  3. So the voice of Galvatron could become the voice of Smaug?

    I like this ‘news’ very much.

    Happy birthday Mr Nimoy.

    • He did an excellent job as Galvatron, really wish they continued with G1.

  4. Happiest of birthdays to you, Leonard. Many happy returns. I wish that he had done more mainstream movies in his acting career.

    Whether they admit it or not, when J.J. Abrams, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman came up with the alternative reality idea, they automatically came up with a way to include William Shatner in the film series. As this is an alternative reality, this new James Kirk can go on to live a long, full, rich and happy life, get married and have a family. A flashforward of an old James Kirk played by William Shatner would suffice just like when Harrison Ford made a special guest appearance on The Indiana Jones Chronicles television series.

  5. It’s also Tarantinos bday.

    • I was gonna say something about that too Sully.

      • I will hold my comment.

  6. Live long and prosper.

  7. Happy Birthday wishes to one of my all-time favorite actors.

    Live long and prosper Mr. Nimoy!

  8. Happy birthday.
    Live long

  9. Many happy returns, Mr Nimoy. A class act and a true gentleman.

  10. Indeed, peace and long life.

    I was astounded at a 2007 Trek Con in Minneapolis at his ability to wow a crowd, and when I came through a line of people getting autographs, what must have been like a factory line, I said, “Thanks for being here, and for the body of your work.”
    He looked up at me (the only person from what I could see), and said, “Thanks.”
    He didn’t have time to say much, but from then on, and later, reading his writing, I felt he has a lot of soul. A true star in the old school Hollywood fashion.

  11. Absolutely agree – my favourite. Happy Birthday! You are the best!

  12. Happy birthday, Leonard. You are, and always shall be, my favorite

    “Tis logical. The needs of the geeks outweighs the needs of the stuffy”

    “Doctor, your continual predilection towards geekness is astounding”

    He was my favorite when I started watching Trek, and he has remained my favorite. “Live Long and prosper”, “May the Prophets be with you”, “qaPlaq”, “Jolantru”, “May your vault be forever filled with Latinum”, and may you have many more.

  13. Brillant idea to make him Smaug, he will do brillantly to play an aging dragon.

    Happy belated B-Day Mr Nimoy.