RIP, Leonard Nimoy

He passed away today at 83. Here’s the New York Times obituary. Doubt there are many people in the world who were so plainly and simply admired as he was, and is.

And rather than to be entirely sad about the end of a life lived well and prosperously, here’s a couple of music videos for you.

Rest in peace, Leonard Nimoy. We are, will always be, your friends.

75 Comments on “RIP, Leonard Nimoy”

  1. There has never been a time since the very first Star Trek episode I saw him in that I did not admire and respect this man. 83 years on the planet, and I can’t even think of one single negative comment made about him verbally or in the media.

    John, the comment about the end of a life well lived is certainly apropos.

    My hat is off to you, Mr. Nimoy. May you rest in peace, Sir.

  2. Given the news about his health, I’m not surprised, but I am upset. Such an accomplished man, with the well-deserved admiration of most everyone. LLAP is exactly what he did.

  3. Not unexpected, but I’m stunned all the same. And in tears. He did as he asked us to do. He lived long, and he prospered. He will be missed.

  4. Oh, that’s sad. He was a gentleman, in all sense of the word, and he truly lived long and well.

  5. A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP – Leonard Nemoy’s last tweet.

  6. He will be missed. Godspeed, Leonard! Thank you for all the joy your work has brought to the world.

  7. Reblogged this on Darling Afflatus and commented:
    When I was a little girl, I had an Uncle who was the closest thing I had to a grandfather in my life. An 80 + year old, ex- WWII vet, my uncle had no filter and had seen more in life than most of us could even imagine. Many of the children in the family feared him. Except for me. I loved my Uncle and his quirky, misunderstood ways. He was my darling, sweet, slightly rough Uncle. I miss him all the time.

    Our bond started with Star Trek. I would stay up long past my bed time to watch re-runs of Star Trek with him. I hung on every plot line, every word spoken. Together we would discuss what we had watched, and why it was essentially great! This started a love for all sci-fi related material. And my endearing, if comically one-sided crush on Spock!

    Leonard Nimoy was an Icon. He will be sorely missed.

  8. Nimoy, and more specifically his alter-ego in Star Trek, was important to me as a kid. I had a TON of anger issues, and the Vulcan was an inspiration on how to control myself.

    Spock’s fictional example of controlling his emotions even while maintaining and cultivating deep and meaningful friendships with his fellow crew helped me to find a way to suppress my negative impulses.

    I can think of worse things than being known for Spock.

  9. It’s so strange when someone who’s been such a formative part of one’s life, who’s been so influential and ubiquitous passes. My emotional mind feels the loss keenly, though I never had the pleasure of meeting the man. I will miss seeing him and his unique performances. He always seemed like a very gentle man, even when he was in his shouty roles. Thank you for everything, Leonard Nimoy And, LLAP to us all.

  10. ‘We are, will always be, your friends.’


    I have, very honestly, never been able to picture a life without Leonard Nimoy. It might sound dramatic, but he was – and will remain, at least in some ways – such a ubiquitous entity within my life. Trying to imagine existing without his influence is like trying to imagine existing without poetry, music, art, or drama. It’s just not possible, until suddenly you find yourself without it, and you’re simply forced to evolve into a creature that exists without it.

  11. Oh man! He was my first role model. Back in the early ’70s there was a little kid who tried to look at the world through science and not just what he felt about things. It was neat finding out that Leonard Nimoy was even cooler than Mr. Spock.

  12. I’ve been thinking about The Naked Time ever since I heard the news. If no one remembers it, there’s a moment in that episode where–due to a virus spread by touch that removes inhibition–Spock has an emotional breakdown. Apparently, Nimoy devised and wrote that scene himself during shooting and nailed it in one take. It’s immensely moving and astonishing. So was Leonard Nimoy. LLAP.

  13. Like many here, Nimoy and the immortal character he created were a big part of my childhood. He was a class act, and will be missed, but never forgotten.

    Here is Mr. Nimoy reading stories by Ray Bradbury. And on a lighter note, here is a classic quizzical Spock image.


  14. My high school girlfriend was nicknamed “Spock” because of her geeky ways. I still remember her and I crying together at the end of “Star Trek II.” Today’s news makes me sad. We will miss you, sir. LLAP.

  15. 564 likes

    Whenever someone I know (either in person or not) dies, I am always reminded of these lines from my favorite book:

    “I believe that there is one story in the world, and only one. . . . Humans are caught—in their lives, in their thoughts, in their hungers and ambitions, in their avarice and cruelty, and in their kindness and generosity too—in a net of good and evil. . . . There is no other story. A man, after he has brushed off the dust and chips of his life, will have left only the hard, clean questions: Was it good or was it evil? Have I done well—or ill?”
    “It seems to me that if you or I must choose between two courses of thought or action, we should remember our dying and try so to live that our death brings no pleasure to the world.”
    ― John Steinbeck, East of Eden

    I cannot believe that anyone feels anything other than sadness at such a wonderful man’s death. That he was a talented actor, and photographer, and had a good sense of humor (that Bilbo song is just one of many amusing things he did) would normally have been enough to show he’d lived his life well. That he was also brave enough to embrace the burden of so many people having a serious case of ‘hero worship’ of him with more grace and humility than almost anyone else in history, showed even more what a good man he was. While he didn’t come up with the concepts of Vulcan philosophy, he portrayed them so well that I started looking at many things in life differently (even going vegetarian for 13 years), and I appreciated how those things improved my life. Yes, I will miss him greatly.

  16. He was always perfect in his small cameos, such as his turns in The Simpsons.

    Adding some cliche here would spring from useless human emotions. Not logical at all.

  17. I’m reading these comments while sitting in a hospice watching my grandfather slip away, breath by breath. Suffice to say that this has been a shitty week.

  18. As I’ve posted on my own site today, I think I speak for all Star Trek fans when I say we’ll all be standing in for Doctor McCoy now, and carrying Spock’s katra within us forever.

    Rest in peace, sir. We will miss you.

  19. When I read the article from the NYTimes today, I instantly had Bilbo Baggins running through my head.

    Thank you for reminding me of that Bruno Mars video. *That’s* how I want to remember him.


  20. Mr. Spock was my hero and one of my earliest crushes. Thank you Leonard Nimoy for the character that let so many of us know it is ok to be smart, and different. I am heartbroken. LLAP

  21. Star Trek: TOS was the only science fiction show I had growing up, and Spock was…pretty much all of it for me. And my dad was a huge fan and read the novels and would pass them to me after he read them. My parents were separated, so once I’d caught up on the back catalog, I started buying the new ones with my allowance.

    There’s a lot of authors in that group that I owe a lot to, but I wouldn’t have read any of them if not for Nimoy’s Spock.

  22. I watched TOS as a kid when it was still in production. Interestingly, Spock had more of an impact than any other character on people who were into the show. We liked the action, the novelty and the ‘science’ but Spock was the character that we identified with. I understand that he got more fan mail than the other actors as well. Consider the accomplishment of creating a character who was not entirely human, yet having him connect with adolescents. Quite a feat.

  23. Leonard Nimoy has lived long and prospered. And it sucks that that is in the past tense. But Spock has entered the collective consciousness and lives on.

  24. I think what a lot of people don’t GET about Vulcans is:
    they aren’t emotionless– they are frighteningly PASSIONATE.

    That’s why they were forced to develop their philosophy, so they could SURVIVE their passion.

    Chose a passionate actor to play this, and you get an icon. Thanks, Mister Nimoy.

  25. Everybody’s talking about Spock.

    Me, I’ll remember him as the voice of Civilization – literally.

  26. +1 to both of mythago’s sentiments. Mr. Nimoy’s work had a profound effect on me in my formative years. The world feels emptier without him.

    @Andrew: For what little it may be worth, I’m sorry. I went through that a few years ago and it sucks.

  27. I really wonderful person. I have admired him since I was a young child. I will miss him greatly.

  28. I thought Spock never dies. or, like Kenny, dies and comes back to life in the next episode.

    I’m pretty sad. what a fantastic guy. He did a lot to show the beauty of fat women in his photography. It was clearly done with a skilled eye and a love of the subject.

    I will say that the Bruno Mars video was perfect. perhaps Leonard is sitting on a celestial couch in his comfortable robes and smoking a huge joint. that idea makes me happy.

    Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations – rest well, Mr. Nimoy. good job well done.

  29. I so hope that he is able to know how much everyone loved him. I’m sorry we didn’t tell him when he was around.

  30. I am so glad Nimoy got as far as he did. I remember a long, dry spell – post ST:TOS, pre-internet, where new work of his (or any of the cast) was hard to come by, and – at least within my own household – was held up for scorn and ridicule.

    My own pre-teen response to his journey was, “Yeah, but at least he’s *trying*!” Despite the expressions of distain from my father, I’d repeat-play the borrowed record of Nimoy’s work, reveling in the notion that my favorite science fictional icon was also a fan – of fantasy! too!! And his reading of Desiderata gave me words to live by that were truly healing in a household where emotional survival meant keeping one’s head down.

    Nimoy had a once-in-a-lifetime role – and it suited him perfectly. He both grew beyond it and yet always remained its vessel. He was inspiring to watch, and will be inspiring to remember as I traverse my remaining time. I’m sorry he had to go, as we all must go someday. His absence, even at the remove of a distant fan, is like a hole torn into fabric, now with fraying edges. I’m knotting together threads, having had to practice with the departures of Roddenberry, Kelly, Doohan, Barrett,…

    “The man who marries culture is soon a widow.” On the other hand, I will always treasure Mr. Spock, and the man who played him for us.

  31. Always loved that ‘Aleve’ commercial, showed he could have fun with the Spock thing

  32. On the tangentially related subjects of Loss + Trek + Scalzi: My boss (an absolutely splendid wonderful man) died of a heart attack over the weekend, yet I’m here at work on Monday and there’s data to be entered and reports to be run. I popped on the Redshirts audiobook while going about these mindless but required tasks, and it’s helped me take my mind off of the misery for a while. So, thanks for the diversion.

  33. Oh, Dana, I tried so hard to avoid that video. I thought I was ready. I was not.

  34. I couldn’t really get it together to write until now. I knew he was an icon, but I didn’t know what a good person he was until recently.

    I did know that he shaped my childhood—and one of my ears, because I kept pinching my ears in a vain attempt to make them pointy, and managed to actually damage the cartilege in one of them. This did not make it pointy, it just made it more…flexible. It’s healed now, and I can’t actually remember which ear it was.

    I do remember that I was allowed to stay up past my bedtime on September 8, 1966, to watch the premiere. I was a few days from my 7th birthday, but already building nothing but spaceships when I played with Legos. At that time, all the spaceships we’d seen (or at any rate all the ones I’d seen) were either rockets or flying saucers. The Enterprise was, as far as I’d ever known, a completely new design.

    And then there was Spock.

    My parents approved of Spock, and I was young enough to want their approval, so I approved of Spock too. Of course, I was also a weird little kid, so weird that I thought telling other kids that I was from another planet would make them more understanding. I wanted to be from another planet; I was certain I didn’t belong here.

    I tried being Spock for a while. It didn’t work. I didn’t have anyone to teach me emotional discipline. But I remained an admirer of his, even after I figured out how utterly fucked up Vulcan philosophy is! And the fact that he struggled sometimes gave me hope.

    When I was a little older, and saw the Star Trek blooper reels, I realized that Leonard Nimoy wasn’t just a cool, unflappable person…he was ACTING. Of course, his acting wasn’t as good as it later became, but at that age I didn’t even notice what a horrible actor Shatner was, so I could hardly be expected to judge.

    Anyway, I learned from Spock that it was possible to be different, stay different, and be loved. More recently, I’ve learned from Nimoy some more of what it means to be a good man.

  35. I haven’t had the strength to watch the video Dana linked to. It keeps coming up in my online spaces and I get watery-eyed just remembering it. I was able to watch the “Spock vs. Spock” Audi ad with Zach Quinto, that’s as close as I got (And how sad ZQ must be; they’d become great friends in the past few years).

    He also gave a lot to charity and was active in his synagogue. Thanks to him, every geek who holds up their hand in the Vulcan salute is also giving a Jewish blessing.

    His final tweet is the best epitaph for a life well and fully lived. We’re lessened without him, but what a boon he was to this pale blue dot.

  36. @Xopher, it’s mutual.
    Let us live together in our old age in a home staffed by buff young blond men, and make them watch TOS with us.

  37. “His final tweet is the best epitaph for a life well and fully lived. We’re lessened without him, but what a boon he was to this pale blue dot.”

    Well said! We shall search hard to find his like again.

  38. Xopher, I once wrote an essay describing why Vulcan emotional repression was completely illogical. Don’t have it any more. Still, the lesson that one’s mind is a powerful tool should be kept alive.

    PS Shatner had his moments – See ‘Return to Tomorrow’ or ‘A Taste of Armageddon’

  39. Thank you for this, John, and thank you all the commenters who have put it so well that I have nothing to add.


  40. I didn’t start crying until I saw Sam Cristoforetti’s photo on Twitter. A woman looking back at the planet from the ISS, with a ‘Fleet comm badge on her shirt and one hand in the ta’al. I just . . . . *sniff*

    The eulogy from the funeral is here, for those who haven’t seen it yet.

    Ave atque vale — or, as Diane Duane wrote for a fictional funeral: “Light with him always, and with us.”

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