Leonard Nimoy, best known for his role as Mr. Spock on the iconic classic sci-fi series Star Trek, truly did “live long and prosper.” The prolific, multi-talented actor, director, photographer, singer and poet passed away this morning at his Los Angeles home. He died of complications from end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He was 83.
The Boston-born entertainer and philanthropist – who garnered an active and devoted fan base worldwide for his stoic portrayal of officer Spock on TV starting in the ’60s and in several subsequent Star Trek movies – was also revered for his commitment to furthering several charitable causes.
During a vibrant, accomplished acting career that spanned a year shy of six and a half decades on the stage and screen, Nimoy remained active in supporting the American Cancer Society, the American Foundation for Equal Rights, Beit T’Shuvah and March of Dimes. In 2003, Nimoy and his second wife, Susan Bay Nimoy, cousin of film director Michael Bay, launched The Nimoy Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting visual artists. He was also a proponent of same-sex marriage and of embracing all body sizes and types, having published The Full Body Project (Five Ties Publishing, 2007). The book features artful photographs of nude full-bodied women in repose that he himself snapped.
Nimoy, a first-generation American fluent in Yiddish, whose parents were Jewish immigrants from the Ukraine, came to reject, and then later embrace his fame for playing a half-human, half-alien “Vulcan.” The Army veteran and published author eventually made a comeback as the unflaggingly rational, sharp-eared hybrid in several top-grossing recent Star Trek movies.
In remembrance of Nimoy’s indelible imprint on the entertainment industry, his passion for the arts and his crusade for equal rights for all, here are 10 of his most memorable quotes, both as the split finger-saluting Spock and as himself:
1. “Change is the essential process of all existence.” — Spock, Star Trek: The Original Series
2. “I’m touched by the idea that when we do things that are useful and helpful – collecting these shards of spirituality – that we may be helping to bring about a healing.” — Leonard Nimoy
3. “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one.” — Spock, Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan
4. “You know, for a long time I have been of the opinion that artists don’t necessarily know what they’re doing. You don’t necessarily know what kind of universal concept you’re tapping into.” — Leonard Nimoy
5. “Insufficient facts always invite danger.” — Spock, Star Trek: The Original Series
6. “Logic is the beginning of wisdom, not the end.” — Leonard Nimoy
7. “Change is the essential process of all existence.” — Spock, Star Trek: The Original Series
8. “Computers make excellent and efficient servants, but I have no wish to serve under them.” — Spock, Star Trek: The Original Series
9. “I think it’s my adventure, my trip, my journey, and I guess my attitude is, let the chips fall where they may.” — Leonard Nimoy
10. “Once you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” — Spock, Star Trek