Leonard Nimoy, immortalized as Spock on Star Trek, died Friday morning at age 83. Nimoy revealed he suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease this month as a result of 30 years of smoking. “Smokers, please understand. If you quit after you’re diagnosed with lung damage it’s too late,” Nimoy tweeted. “Grandpa says learn my lesson. Quit now.”
Nimoy was teaching Method acting when he was cast in the original Star Trek series. His career would continue through the ensuing decades, starring in Mission: Impossible, appearing on the stage, directing movies, and publishing poetry and photography collections. He was nominated for the Emmy four times, but never won. Nimoy recently had a cameo in the recent J.J. Abrams reboot of the film franchise.
Nimoy was born in Boston on March 26, 1931, to Max and Dora Nimoy, who were Ukrainian immigrants and Orthodox Jews. He started acting at age 8 and landed his first parts in film in 1951’s Queen for a Day and Rhubarb. Nimoy also served in the U.S. Army for two years, reaching the rank of sergeant. Nimoy was married twice, first to actres Sandi Zober and then to Susan Bay Nimoy, who survives him along with his son Adam, daughter Julie, and stepson Aaron.
Late on Friday, President Obama proclaimed, “I loved Spock,” in an official statement revealing that he had the chance to meet Nimoy in 2007. “It was only logical to greet him with the Vulcan salute, the universal sign for “Live long and prosper.” And after 83 years on this planet—and on his visits to many others—it’s clear Leonard Nimoy did just that. Michelle and I join his family, friends, and countless fans who miss him so dearly today.”