WATCH: Yiddish and English speaking actor based his “live long and prosper” gesture on the way kohanim recite the priestly blessing.
By Ben Ariel, Canada
Jewish Actor Leonard Nimoy, who won fans worldwide for his generations-spanning role as the pointy-eared half-human half-Vulcan Spock in the “Star Trek” television and film franchise, died Friday at age 83, AFP reported.
Nimoy, who suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, died at his home in Los Angeles. His wife, Susan Bay Nimoy, confirmed the death to the New York Times.
He was born in Boston on March 26, 1931, to Yiddish-speaking Orthodox Jewish immigrants from Iziaslav, Soviet Union, in what is now Ukraine.
Nimoy left for Hollywood at the age of 18, winning a sprinkling of small parts in 1950s television series.
In 1966, he was cast in his greatest role as the ever-logical Spock, in the television show “Star Trek.” Aboard the spaceship USS Enterprise, science officer Spock and its crew ventured around the galaxy exploring new worlds in death-defying odysseys.
Spock was the cool counterpoint to hot-headed Captain James T. Kirk, played by William Shatner, and the even-tempered sparring partner of ship doctor Leonard “Bones” McCoy, played by DeForest Kelley.
The three had ratings-boosting chemistry that sustained “Star Trek” during its initial four-year run.
The character of Spock would be resurrected for several feature films after “Star Trek” snowballed into a cultural phenomenon in the 70s and 80s, making Spock’s Vulcan salute and salutation “live long and prosper” — a touchstone of the science-fiction world.
Nimoy would later reveal he based the hand gesture on his childhood memories of the way the kohanim would hold their hand when giving the priestly blessings..
In addition to acting, Nimoy was an accomplished director. He directed two of the Star Trek films including one of the most well received, “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.” Nimoy also directed 1987 box-office hit “3 Men and a Baby” starring Tom Selleck.
In 1975, he authored the book “I am Not Spock” attempting to open up space between himself and the character that had so captured people’s imaginations.
While “Star Trek” fever built, Nimoy starred alongside Donald Sutherland and Jeff Goldblum in “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” in 1978, and then alongside Ingrid Bergman in 1982’s “A Woman Called Golda”, a movie based on the biography of former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir.
Nimoy would eventually embrace his role as an authority figure in the sci-fi world. He wrote a rebuttal to his earlier memoir in “I am Spock” in 1995.
Nimoy had two children with his first wife, and was married to his second wife Susan since 1989.
He built off his sci-fi and Spock fame for the rest of his career, lending his voice to documentaries, video games and television shows.
He sold “Live Long and Prosper” apparel, and waved the Vulcan salute at “Star Trek” conventions.
He returned to “Star Trek” and an older version of his Spock character in the franchise’s reboot directed by J.J Abrams in 2009 and in a 2013 sequel.
AFP contributed to this report.
View original Arutz Sheva publication at: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/191928#.VPDYQeFbg8I
Leonard Nimoy’s last tweet was sent February 23, and somewhat poetic.
A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP
— Leonard Nimoy (@TheRealNimoy) February 23, 2015
Here is a very delightful pictorial tribute to ‘Spock’, Leonard Nimoy Tribute – RIP
Here he’s on an open mike to his fans. His humor just resonates.
"I loved him like a brother. We will all miss his humor, his talent, and his capacity to love." -William Shatner http://t.co/U8ZN98tVYp
— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) February 27, 2015
It is with sadness that I heard of Leonard Nimoy's death. I was lucky to spend many happy, inspiring hours with him. He won't be forgotten.
— Patrick Stewart (@SirPatStew) February 27, 2015
my heart is broken. i love you profoundly my dear friend. and i will miss you everyday. may flights… https://t.co/WPJmt1X4ox
— Zachary Quinto (@ZacharyQuinto) February 27, 2015
— Jonathan Frakes (@jonathansfrakes) February 27, 2015
Through Spock, Leonard showed us that things like compassion, mercy, dignity, wit and friendship were actually logical.
— Ronald D. Moore (@RonDMoore) February 27, 2015
Farewell Leonard. Glad I knew you. Thinking of Susan, Adam, and his entire family. And his vast extended family of Star Trek.
— Brent Spiner (@BrentSpiner) February 27, 2015
— LeVar Burton (@levarburton) February 27, 2015
— KQED (@KQED) February 27, 2015
I am genuinely saddened by Mr. Nimoy leaving us. I got to tell him once that his work truly inspired me as an actor. http://t.co/iaCsDyv3zE
— Hank Azaria (@HankAzaria) February 27, 2015