Leonard Nimoy played a half-alien-half-human character — Spock — who seemingly was going to live forever. He survived having his brain removed, being bitten by a deadly alien creature and other harrowing experiences. Later, he actually did give his life to save his crew but was resurrected. And he was transported through time in the Star Trek universe to spend his life across hundreds of years. But the very human Nimoy died earlier today at age 83, leaving a legacy of not just an enduring science fiction character, but the generations of scientists and explorers he inspired.
Nimoy had been hospitalized earlier in the week and his agent confirmed his death on February 27, saying the cause was end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Nimoy announced that he had the disease last year and attributed it to years of smoking, a habit he had quit nearly 30 years ago.
Nimoy was active on social media, and for the past couple of months, he seemed to be sending farewell messages to his fans with words of wisdom and sentiment that ended with “LLAP” — “live long and prosper” — a phrase made famous by Nimoy and his character Spock:
A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP
— Leonard Nimoy (@TheRealNimoy) February 23, 2015
So grateful for blessings. Wish the same to all. LLAP
— Leonard Nimoy (@TheRealNimoy) January 1, 2015
Now, following the announcement of his passing there has been an outpouring of sentiments for Nimoy and his character on social media, with expressions of how Nimoy inspired generations to look up and reach for the final frontier.
I’m a planetary scientist bc of Star Trek. I know I’m not the only one.
— Sarah Hörst (@PlanetDr) February 27, 2015
Leonard, you lived long and prospered, and were an inspiration to me and to millions. Rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/NESJKvTepm
— Chris Hadfield (@Cmdr_Hadfield) February 27, 2015
“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
Leonard Nimoy has died. I’ve set my phaser on “weep.”
— Gary Shteyngart (@Shteyngart) February 27, 2015
Journalist Nadia Drake shared her memories and provided Universe Today with the lead image for this article:
Once upon a time, I wanted to be a poet, and among other work, my parents gave me Leonard Nimoy’s poems to read. LLAP pic.twitter.com/S7pHkgQHCS
— Nadia Drake (@slugnads) February 27, 2015
The Spock character was known for Vulcan logic and pointy ears, and Nimoy was a favorite with Star Trek fans of all ages. Nimoy not only appeared in the original Star Trek but he reprised his role in later Trek incarnations. He appeared in a total of eight Star Trek movies, and three different Star Trek series (original, animated and Star Trek: the Next Generation).
In addition to Star Trek, Nimoy appeared in “The Twilight Zone,” “Mission Impossible,” “THEM!” “The Brain Eaters,” “Sea Hunt,” “The Outer Limits,” “Get Smart,” “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.,” “Night Gallery,” and was host of “In Search Of.” He also wrote two autobiographies (“I Am Not Spock” and “I am Spock,”) wrote and performed on 5 albums (one was titled, “Leonard Nimoy Presents Mr. Spock’s Music from Outer Space,”) was a photographer and poet, contributed to vocal acting, and directed 6 feature films, including “Star Trek IV: the Voyage Home,” and “Three Men and a Baby.”
He is survived by his wife, Susan, as well as two children and six grandchildren from his first marriage to Sandra Zober.
Spock has now reached the final frontier. Tonight we’ll toast his legacy of the “good of the many.”