Star Trek icon Leonard Nimoy has died.
The 83-year-old was hospitalized in Los Angeles after suffering severe chest pains last week. He passed away at his home in Bel Air on Friday.
His wife, Susan Bay Nimoy, has confirmed the sad news, revealing the cause of death was end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Ukrainian immigrants and Orthodox Jews, Nimoy found his passion for acting when he was a young boy, appearing in local theatre productions. He headed to Hollywood to chase his dream of becoming a professional in the late 1940s and landed his first role in Queen for a Day in 1951.
He scored a series of small roles in forgettable films and TV series like Zombies of the Stratosphere.
His first starring movie role came in 1952 when he portrayed a street-gang leader-turned-boxer in Kid Monk Baroni.
After serving in the U.S. Army, where he organized variety shows for the Special Services branch, he returned to his Hollywood dream, while studying acting at the Pasadena Playhouse in California.
His roles started to get bigger with parts in television shows like Wagon Train, Mission: Impossible and Rawhide, and he quickly became a household name when he signed on to play Vulcan Mr. Spock on Star Trek – a part he played on TV from 1966 to 1986, and in several movies, including J.J. Abrams’ 2009 film Star Trek and its 2013 sequel Star Trek Into Darkness – Nimoy’s last film credit.
He also directed and co-wrote two Star Trek films in the 1980s – Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Nimoy also directed the hugely successful Three Men & a Baby movie in 1987.
He landed four Emmy nominations for his work as Spock and as the husband of Golda Meir, the prime minister of Israel, in 1982 movie A Woman Called Golda, but he never won. He also hosted popular TV show Ancient Mysteries, and provided the voice for animated characters in 1986’s Transformers: The Movie.
Aside from his film and TV work, Nimoy was a respected photographer, acting teacher, poet, author and he also enjoyed unlikely music success with covers of songs like “If I Had a Hammer.” His debut album, Leonard Nimoy Presents Mr. Spock’s Music From Outer Space, is still considered a novelty classic.
He returned to college in his 40s and earned a master’s degree in Spanish from Antioch University Austin. The college later awarded him an honorary doctorate.
Nimoy was married twice and is survived by his widow, children, Adam and Julie Nimoy; a stepson, Aaron Bay Schuck, six grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. His two memoirs, I Am Not Spock and I Am Spock were published in 1977 and 1995, respectively.
The beloved actor left fans with a philosophical thought on his Twitter blog late on Sunday, when he wrote, “A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory.”
A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP
— Leonard Nimoy (@TheRealNimoy) February 23, 2015
Flowers were placed on his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Friday morning, hours after the news of his death broke.
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