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'Star Trek' Actor Leonard Nimoy Dies at 83

  • VOA News

FILE - Leonard Nimoy arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of "Star Trek Into Darkness" at the Dolby Theater, May 14, 2013.

FILE - Leonard Nimoy arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of "Star Trek Into Darkness" at the Dolby Theater, May 14, 2013.

Actor Leonard Nimoy, immortalized as the half-human, half alien Mr. Spock on TV's Star Trek, died in Los Angeles Friday at age 83.

Nimoy had been suffering from lung disease, a condition he blamed on smoking.

Nimoy was born in Boston, the son of Orthodox Jewish Ukrainian immigrants. His dark features and vaguely oriental appearance made him a frequent choice for offbeat parts.

He played countless minor movie and television roles before he was cast as Mr. Spock for Star Trek's 1966 debut.

As half-human, half-alien, Spock was immediately recognizable by his trademark pointed ears. He fought a non-stop war between human emotion and cold alien logic. His calm demeanor was a foil to the mercurial nature of the ship's Captain Kirk as the two men and their crew explored new worlds beyond Earth

The original Star Trek went off the air after just three years, But it has been seen in reruns ever since and has a fanatical following, especially with young males.

Nimoy also starred in another popular TV show, Mission: Impossible, and hosted the documentary series In Search Of, but was never able to shake the Spock image.

FILE - With a likeness of his Vulcan character, Mr. Spock, in the background, Leonard Nimoy speaks to the residents of the town of Vulcan, Alberta, April 23, 2010.

FILE - With a likeness of his Vulcan character, Mr. Spock, in the background, Leonard Nimoy speaks to the residents of the town of Vulcan, Alberta, April 23, 2010.

He grew to have a love-hate relationship with the character, but learned to embrace Spock, returning to play him in several Star Trek movies and accepting Spock as someone who made him a major star.

Nimoy wrote two autobiographies - 1975's I Am Not Spock and 1995's I Am Spock.

President Barack Obama, who like many baby-boomers grew up watching Star Trek, said Friday he "loved Spock," describing the character as "cool, logical, big-eared and level-headed, the center of Star Trek's optimistic, inclusive vision of humanity's future."

Obama said upon meeting Nimoy in 2007, he greeted the actor with Spock's signature wish for all - "Live long and prosper."

His final tweet, posted February 23, read: "A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory."

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