(born March 26, 1931) is the actor who is best known for playing Spock
on Star Trek: The Original Series
. He was so much remembered for this role, and little else, that he went on to write an autobiography called I Am Not Spock
, a reference to the fact that he didn't like being typecast and taken less seriously as an actor. The title led to a lot of confusion by fans, who assumed he resented Spock as a role, obliging him to write a second
book entitled I Am Spock
Beginning with Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
, he started up a low key directing career that included Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
and Three Men And A Baby
. As well, his distinctive voice has led to several roles in animation and video games.
He also has recorded several albums in the late 1960s. Surprisingly, he isn't as bad as you would think — or at least, not as campy as Shatner. Nimoy appeared on many of the Golden Throats collections issued by Rhino. The earlier albums are especially great for a laugh, especially when he actually was
portraying Spock. He's also fairly well-known for his campy
song "The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins," which is a jaunty re-telling of Tolkien's "The Hobbit."
He has been in semi-retirement since the mid-'90s, only taking on the occasional role that really interests him. Retired from on-screen acting completely after a stint as The Ghost
William Bell in Fringe
, and now basically says "If you want to talk about Spock from now on, speak to my replacement
." He still does voice acting, as he plays the voice of Sentinel Prime in Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Otherwise he is enjoying a hobby in photography.
Nimoy announced in early 2014 that he has COPD
(chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), as a result of smoking in his earlier years.
- Played a car driver in the music video for The Bangles' "Going Down to Liverpool.
- Played a grumpy version of himself in the alternate music video for Bruno Mars's "The Lazy Song".
- Paris in Mission: Impossible
- He was also the narrator on In Search Of, a paranormal documentary series that came on between 1976 and 1982. Was parodied on Saturday Night Live during its eighth season (on the episode hosted by Ron Howard) with Joe Piscopo as Nimoy.
- William Bell on Fringe.
- Voiced himself on two episodes of The Simpsons: season four's "Marge vs. The Monorail" and season eight's "The Springfield Files" (a.k.a "the Crossover episode with Mulder and Scully from The X-Files")
- Also voiced himself on two episodes of The Simpsons' sister show, Futurama as one of many celebrities whose heads have been preserved in jars in the year 3000: the premiere episode "Space Pilot 3000" and the Star Trek Shout-Out episode "Where No Fan Has Gone Before."
- Voiced a Spock action figure in The Big Bang Theory episode "The Transporter Malfunction".
- Hosted Standby: Lights, Camera, Action!, a 1980s Nickelodeon behind-the-scenes series documenting the making of movies.
- The villain's put-upon secretary in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. episode "The Project Strigas Affair." The episode also featured William Shatner, two years before Star Trek, though they don't have any scenes together.
Tropes associated include:
- The Alcoholic: Used to be
- Becoming the Mask: Discussed in his autobiographies, I Am Not Spock and I Am Spock.
- Catch Phrase: Nimoy has adopted Spock's classic greeting "Live long and prosper" and accompanying hand gesture for use in real life. He even signs all his tweets with "LLAP".
- Cool Old Guy: Especially in the Bruno Mars' Lazy Song video.
- Fascinating Eyebrow: Hail to the Master.
- Guttural Growler: Particularly in his more recent villainous roles, his voice has a unique and impressive quality, rumbling and growling like he's older than the Earth itself.
- Hollywood New England: Born and raised in Boston, his accent sneaks in from time to time.
- I Am Not Spock: Later he wrote a follow-up book I Am Spock...
- Judaism: Nimoy considers himself to be Modern Orthodox.
- In fact, he based the Vulcan 'Live Long and Prosper' salute on the hand gesture Kohanimnote used when delivering the Priestly Blessing.
- Judaism almost certainly helped the reconciliation between Nimoy and William Shatner: Shatner was raised a Conservative Jew, and credits Nimoy—whose Modern Orthodoxy isn't too far away from Conservative Judaism—with helping him get back in touch with his Jewish roots.
- The Mentor/Intergenerational Friendship - To Zachary Quinto after the latter was approved by Leonard himself to be the successor to the role of Spock.
- Older than They Look: He's in his eighties and still looks very good.
- The Power of Love: Nimoy says he has not touched a drop of alcohol since finding love with his new wife.
- 10-Minute Retirement: Keeps saying he's going to retire. Keeps coming back.
- Yiddish as a Second Language: Literally and justified. He grew up in a Yiddish-speaking household (his parents were Jewish immigrants from Ukraine).