Leonard Nimoy turns 82 today, so below are a few fun facts to celebrate this momentous day.
He’s more than an actor.
The multitalented Nimoy does more than act. As a director, he helmed Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, and several other non-Trek related projects. As a writer, he’s written two autobiographies, I Am Not Spock and I Am Spock, plus he’s released seven books of poetry. And as a photographer, his photos have appeared in the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art and the R. Michaelson Galleries. (In one of his projects, “Secret Selves,” he photographed people in their alter egos, such as a wood sprite or a shark.)
He sings too.
Unlike his friend and fellow Trekker, William Shatner, who tried to sing but ended up wailing instead, Nimoy has a decent soft rock/ballad voice. Click here for a listen to “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town” and “If I Was a Carpenter.”
Star Trek wasn’t his first science fiction role.
No, that honor belongs to the B-movie Zombies of the Stratosphere. Later, Nimoy appeared in the wonderfully underrated giant-ant movie, Them! And let’s not forget his role in The Twilight Zone episode, “A Quality of Mercy.”
He created the character of Spock based on the words “Be different.”
Nimoy told the Archive of American Television (AAT) that he was in a scene where the Enterprise was in danger. Nimoy explains that all of the actors on set were reacting, and he got caught up in the moment and spoke his one line a little overenthusiastically: “Fascinating!”
Nimoy said he received a note from the director (which the AAT later attributed to Joseph Sargeant) that said,“Be different. Be the scientist. Be detached. See it as something that’s a curiosity rather than a threat.”
And with that, Nimoy delivered the line with the Vulcan restraint that made the character famous. Nimoy said, “A big chunk of the character was born right there.”
Another person who helped him develop the role of Spock was Shatner. According to Nimoy, Jeffrey Hunter, who played Captain Christopher Pike in the pilot episode, “The Cage,” played a quiet character, which forced Nimoy to bring more energy to the scene. When Shatner came aboard the Enterprise as Kirk, Nimoy was able to reel in his character and perform a more thoughtful role.
He can take himself as unseriously as Shatner.
This video of Bruno Mars’ “The Lazy Song” proves it.
He has his own store.
Etsy, the craft website, contains thousands of individual “shops,” and Nimoy’s is one of them. Mostly he sells t-shirts. Previous sales included “hand-made” t-shirts with his autograph.
Although not as prolifically as, oh my, George Takei, Nimoy sends us e-love whenever he gets to it. And he ends all of his messages with the letters, “LLAP.”