Leonard Nimoy, the actor who portrayed the character of Mr. Spock on Star Trek TV shows and movies for much of his acting career, died this week at 83.
More than any other character of the franchise, Spock was iconic of Star Trek, a character recognized worldwide and cherished within the Trek community. No doubt volumes will be spoken about Mr. Nimoy, and the great acting talent that shaped and formed the concept of Vulcans for the generations. I’d just like to contribute this:
The character of Spock was much more than his emotionally-suppressed countenance: He was the voice of reason in trying and emotional times. He provided wise counsel and offered a shoulder to lean on.
And if you ever watched closely… you also discovered that Spock was clumsy as hell. Nimoy could barely run, apparently. His fighting skills were not very impressive. But through his talent (and clever scene setups), you probably never noticed.
And his eyebrows. They weren’t just mobile; given that in many scenes, Nimoy was restricted in his expressions and movements, he made those eyebrows positively manic in compensation. And today, it’s pretty much impossible for anyone in America to cock an eyebrow and not conjure up images of Mr. Spock to everyone around them.
But most importantly, Mr. Spock was the outsider trying to be a part of a team, and in the process becoming a trusted and needed member of a family. He was emblematic of Gene Roddenberry’s vision of disparate peoples coming together, defeating prejudice and distrust of the stranger, and working together in harmony.
The combination of Roddenberry’s imagination and Leonard Nimoy’s talents gave us one of America’s most enduring characters, one which will live on in legend and hold its iconic status for generations.
Leonard Nimoy—and Mr. Spock—will both be missed.