Star Trek legend Leonard Nimoy dies aged 83

The actor best known as Mr Spock passed away after suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

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Leonard Nimoy, known for his iconic role as Star Trek’s Mr Spock, has passed away at the age of 83. 

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His wife, Susan Bay Nimoy, confirmed his death, saying the cause was end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Last year, Nimoy announced that he had the disease, which he attributed to years of smoking, a habit he had given up three decades earlier. He had been hospitalised earlier in the week.

Nimoy found fame with his role as the hyper-logical Vulcan Spock in the original series of Star Trek, which ran from 1966 to 1969, and the subsequent movies. Spock himself became known for his cold, calculated mindset, Vulcan salute and the catchphrase, “live long and prosper.” His on-screen relationship with William Shatner’s Captain Kirk would also endure as one of television’s most famous friendships.

Beyond Star Trek, however, Nimoy possessed a love of artistic pursuits – poetry, photography and music – as well as acting. He released five music albums, had photos exhibited and also directed several TV shows and films, including 1987 comedy Three Men and a Baby. 

But his career was dominated by Spock, a character he knew he would be forever synonymous with, as made clear in the titles of two autobiographies, “I Am Not Spock,” published in 1977, and “I Am Spock,” published in 1995.

In the first, he wrote, “In Spock, I finally found the best of both worlds: to be widely accepted in public approval and yet be able to continue to play the insulated alien through the Vulcan character.”

In 2009, he reprise the role in JJ Abrams’ feature film reboot of Star Trek, opposite a younger version of the character, played by Zachary Quinto, and again in 2013 sequel Star Trek Into Darkness.

Co-star Simon Pegg, who played Scotty in the films, tweeted this tribute following the news of Nimoy’s death: “RIP Leonard. Lived long and prospered.”

Just last week, having already been admitted into hospital, Nimoy sent what was to be his own final tweet: a poignant reflection on life. 

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Besides his wife Susan Bay Nimoy, he is survived by his children, Adam and Julie Nimoy, stepson Aaron Bay Schuck, six grandchildren and one great-grandchild.