It's not often that the death of a celebrity hits me hard (the death of Joey Ramone being one of those occasions), but the death of Leonard Nimoy is genuinely saddening. Mr Nimoy's alter ego was a guest in our house at 6PM Eastern Time almost every Saturday, when one of the local TV stations broadcast episodes of the syndicated Star Trek original series. Even though he played the stoic, unemotional Vulcan science officer, Mr Nimoy was able to convey a wry sense of humor with the mere lift of an eyebrow, and his terse responses to the emotional DeForest Kelley formed much of the appeal of the show (as puberty raised it's hairy, hormonal head, the usual parade of hawt space chix was also an undeniable part of the show's appeal).
Leonard Nimoy was one of those exceptional actors who was as noble as the hero he portrayed on television. He insisted on supporting actor's pay equity for Nichelle Nichols and used his clout to ensure that Ms Nichols and George Takei were included in the vocal cast of the "Star Trek" animated series (tip of the hat to Alicublog commenter FMGuru). Mr Nimoy was every bit the activist that castmates Nichelle Nichols and George Takei have been. Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry likened Mr Nimoy to the "Conscience of Star Trek".
I'll forgive Mr Nimoy for his rare lapses in taste, such as lending his gravitas to the pseudoscience extravaganza In Search Of... and whatever you wish to call this. Besides his acting career, he was a film director, a photographer, and a poet. His last tweet, as reported by Tengrain was a perfectly lovely example of Mr Nimoy's grace and wit:
A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP
Speaking of tweets, perhaps my favorite "Spock" moment from the original Star Trek series was his straight faced delivery of the line Logic is a little tweeting bird chirping in meadow. Logic is a wreath of pretty flowers which smell bad."
And what other actor could emote like a ham while interacting with a pulsating pool of plastic puke without looking utterly ridiculous?
Cutting through the patina of cheesy Sci-Fi, that scene represents a plea for tolerance, mutual understanding, and the need to break out of a cycle of violence and vengeance... man, it's hard not to get a little misty-eyed even despite the cheese factor.
Also in the comments at Roy's place, Megalon clued me in to a Spocksploitation movie that Leonard starred in in 1973... guess what I'll be watching this weekend:
For many of us, losing Leonard Nimoy was like losing a friend, and to cerebral, cool-headed guys, a role model. The universe is a little sadder, and a little less logical, with his passing.