Leonard Nimoy is a personal hero of mine. I’m sure that I’m not alone.
I can only say that I met him once, albeit very briefly, but he was just as gracious and good natured as you’d expect. He was most known as Spock from Star Trek, the logical first officer of the USS Enterprise. There was so much more to Mr. Nimoy than his most iconic work. So much so that the writing of any tribute in the wake of his passing today is a terrifying proposition. I’m not sure I have the words to truly sum up what Mr. Nimoy meant to several generations of fans, but I do know this: he was a special human being.
In his backstory, we see a shining light of persistence. He left Boston for Hollywood at 18 and worked for 16 years before being cast as Spock in Star Trek. Through his work on Star Trek, he showed us that neither logic nor differences in species can stop the makings of true friendship. In his interactions with fans throughout the years, he showed us that celebrity does not precede being a kind and decent human being. Through his poetry, he showed us his immense capacity for love. Through his photography, he showed us his love of the human form and his belief in body positivity. Through his charitable works, he was a constant supporter of science. He was a performer, a filmmaker, a musician, an activist and most of all, beloved by those around him.
Perhaps the most touching tribute came today from Star Trek co-star George Takei in an interview with MSNBC: “The word extraordinary is often overused, but I think it’s really appropriate for Leonard. He was an extraordinarily talented man, but he was also a very decent human being. His talent embraced directing as well as acting and photography. He was a very sensitive man. And we feel his passing very much. He had been ill for a long, long time, and we miss him very much.”
He was more than just Spock – in fact, he wrote an entire book about it – his talent went well beyond his most famous role. And that’s how I’ll choose to remember him, as a very special person. His work is the kind that I will share with friends and family for years to come. He is the kind of icon who connects generations of my family, from my mother who watched the original Star Trek episodes with her father as a kid to me, who came on board much later and first knew him as one of the voices in the Transformers cartoons. He left us all with so many memories. And as he said when he passed along his final message to the world, these memories are what matter most:
A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP
— Leonard Nimoy (@TheRealNimoy) February 23, 2015
Goodbye, Mr. Nimoy. You have been and always shall be a great friend to us all. You lived long, you prospered and we were all lucky to have you.