He Lived Long and Prospered: Leonard Nimoy, 83

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Leonard Nimoy 2015 Age 83 Spock Star Trek Critical Blast

Leonard Nimoy, star of stage and screen, and idol to millions of science fiction fans everywhere for his portrayal of the logical Vulcan, Spock, on STAR TREK, has passed away at age 83 from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

There will be numerous articles appearing almost immediately detailing Nimoy's illustrious career. This isn't one of those. This is rather my personal remembrances of this actor, author, photographer and -- yes -- singer and musician.

Like many people, my first true recollection of Leonard Nimoy was for his role as Science Officer Spock, starring across from William Shatner on Gene Roddenberry's STAR TREK. I'm sure I saw him doing guest appearances on several other shows -- walk-ons and one-offs -- that happened earlier in his career, but as a child I would see those and say, "Hey, they got Mister Spock to appear on [insert rerun here]." Nimoy's Spock was the mascot for logical thinking -- for cutting through emotional blocks to see just facts and reason. And yet, for all that, his Spock had defining moments on what it truly means to be human (the character only being half-Vulcan and half-human).

After STAR TREK, Nimoy continued to feed my fascination for fringe science as the host of IN SEARCH OF. This was probably the roots for my love of conspiracy theories, as Nimoy presented stories about UFOs, Noah's Flood, and an alternate history of Butch Cassidy -- all the fodder from which great stories could arise in a fledgling writer.

I didn't truly appreciate Nimoy's acting talents, however, until in my early twenties, and I saw Nimoy headling a television movie called NEVER FORGET. As Mel Mermelstein, Nimoy gave a stirring portrayal of a Holocaust survivor, brought to testify and bring proof that Jews were exterminated at Auschwitz. This was a Nimoy I hadn't seen before, and true to the movie's title, I could never forget.

As my science fiction consumption continued, Nimoy perennially showed up in memorable locations. His guest appearance -- while in voice only -- on THE BIG BANG THEORY is one of the best episodes of the entire series, and his role as William Bell on FRINGE helped make that series a standout among fans of the genre.

I never met Leonard Nimoy. Maybe because of that, I shouldn't feel sad at his passing. But I do anyway. I feel that, through the screen and through his writings, he has been and always will be... my friend.