Leonard Nimoy Biography

(Known for Playing 'Spock' in The 'Star Trek' Franchise)

Birthday: March 26, 1931 (Aries)

Born In: Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Leonard Simon Nimoy was an American actor, photographer, author, and film director. Starting his acting journey in his early-20s, he struggled for almost a decade; initially, he landed roles in low quality as well as B-grade movies. It was only after his role as ‘Mr. Smock’ in ‘Star Trek’ that he became a popular actor with ‘Mr. Smock’ becoming one of the 50 greatest TV characters. The half-human half-Vulcan character of ‘Spock’ remained in the limelight since its first episode till its last in 2013. Some of his other well-known works include his roles in ‘Mission: Impossible,’ ‘A Woman Called Golda,’ and ‘Fringe.’ He also became famous for hosting a documentary series called ‘In Search Of…’ His other works include his performance as a stage actor, voice actor, song writer, and singer. Acclaimed with a number of awards for his commendable acting skills, Leonard also tried his hand at direction. Also, his participation in ‘Standby: Lights, Camera, Action,’ a children’s educational show, was appreciated by the audience. He was also appreciated for his production skills in ‘Never Forget’ in 1991 and in a play titled ‘Shakespeare’s Will’ in 2007. Nimoy remained a successful and versatile professional his entire life.

Quick Facts

Also Known As: Leonard Simon Nimoy

Died At Age: 83


Spouse/Ex-: Susan Bay (m. 1988), Sandra Zober (m. 1954–1987)

father: Max Nimoy

mother: Dora Nimoy (née Spinner)

siblings: Melvin

children: Adam Nimoy, Julie Nimoy

Born Country: United States

Quotes By Leonard Nimoy Jewish Actors

Died on: February 27, 2015

place of death: Bel Air, Los Angeles, California, United States

Notable Alumni: Antioch College

Ancestry: Ukrainian American

City: Boston

U.S. State: Massachusetts

More Facts

education: Antioch College

  • 1

    What was Leonard Nimoy's iconic character in Star Trek?

    Leonard Nimoy's iconic character in Star Trek was Mr. Spock, the logical and unemotional Vulcan science officer.

  • 2

    In addition to acting, what other art form was Leonard Nimoy known for?

    In addition to acting, Leonard Nimoy was also known for his photography.

  • 3

    What was the title of Leonard Nimoy's autobiography published in 1995?

    Leonard Nimoy's autobiography published in 1995 was titled "I Am Spock."

  • 4

    Which space documentary series did Leonard Nimoy narrate in the 1990s?

    Leonard Nimoy narrated the space documentary series "In Search Of..." in the 1990s.

  • 5

    What was Leonard Nimoy's famous hand gesture associated with his character Mr. Spock?

    Leonard Nimoy's famous hand gesture associated with his character Mr. Spock was the Vulcan salute, accompanied by the phrase "Live long and prosper."

Childhood & Early Life

Leonard Simon Nimoy was born on March 26, 1931, in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, to Dora, a homemaker, and Max Nimoy, a barber. His parents were Jewish immigrants from Russia.

Nimoy got involved in acting at the tender age of eight when he appeared in a play.

He was always driven by his passion for acting. He even went against his parents’ wish who wanted him to study and choose a stable career.

While at ‘Boston English High School,’ he was actively involved in various acting projects. Post his graduation he got enrolled at the ‘Boston College’ in 1949.

At the age of 17, he took up the role of ‘Ralphie’ for the renowned Clifford Odets’ production ‘Awake and Sing.’

After undergoing career counseling from one of Clifford Odets’ team members, he applied for California’s ‘Pasadena Playhouse’ wherein he started following Konstantin Stanislavsky’s method acting concept rigorously.

He was inspired by method actor Marlon Brando, so much so that he chose him as a role model.

He also joined the ‘United States Army Reserve’ in 1953, which he left after a span of 18 months. While in the U.S. army, he spent most of his time with the ‘Army Special Services’ and organized shows that were conceived and narrated by him.

During his services with the military, he directed and acted in ‘A Streetcar Named Desire,’ in association with the ‘Atlanta Theater Guild.’

Nimoy completed MA in Education from ‘Antioch University’ in 1977.

From the little earnings that he had from selling vacuum cleaners and working at ice cream parlors, he shifted base to the West Coast.

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He appeared in minor roles in more than 50 B-grade movies and television series, such as ‘Dragnet,’ ‘Perry Mason,’ and ‘Zombies of the Stratosphere.’

In 1954, he acted as an army sergeant in the science fiction thriller ‘Them!’ He then acted as a professor in a science fiction movie titled ‘The Brain Eaters.’

During the ‘60s, he was seen in many films like ‘The Rebel,’ ‘Bonanza,’ ‘Combat!,’ ‘The Untouchables,’ ‘Two Faces West,’ ‘The Eleventh Hour,’ ‘Rawhide,’ ‘Perry Mason,’ ‘Daniel Boone,’ ‘The Outer Limits,’ and ‘The Virginian.’

He became well-known for his portrayal of ‘Spock,’ a half-human, half-Vulcan character in ‘Star Trek.’

After becoming famous for his portrayal of ‘Spock,’ Nimoy joined the cast of the popular film series ‘Mission: Impossible.’

In the 1970s, he appeared in several television films like ‘Assault on the Wayne’ (1970), ‘Baffled!’ (1972), ‘The Alpha Caper’ (1973), and ‘The Missing Are Deadly’ (1974).

Nimoy hosted the ‘Adventure Night’ segment of the radio drama series ‘Mutual Radio Theater’ in 1980.

He also voiced ‘Mr. Moundshroud’ in the animated TV movie ‘The Halloween Tree.’

He then voiced the character of ‘Atlantean King Kashekim Nedakh’ in the Disney animated film ‘Atlantis: The Lost Empire’ in 2001.

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Nimoy appeared as a surprise guest in the ‘Weekend Update’ segment of ‘Saturday Night Live’ in May 2009. He appeared alongside Zachary Quinto and Chris Pine.

Nimoy reprised his role as ‘Spock’ in 2013 when he made a cameo appearance in ‘Star Trek Into Darkness.’ He became the only actor to appear from the original series in Abrams' ‘Star Trek’ films.

Awards & Achievements

He received an ‘Emmy Award’ nomination for his work in a TV film titled ‘A Woman Called Golda.’

Leonard Nimoy was a private pilot and owned an airplane. He was honored with the ‘Douglas S. Morrow Public Outreach Award’ by the ‘Space Foundation’ in 2010 for inspiring people to learn about the universe.

He was the reader for ‘Selected Shorts’ at the ‘Symphony Space’ in New York, which were broadcast on radio. ‘The Symphony Space’ honored Nimoy by renaming the ‘Thalia Theatre’ as ‘Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theatre.’

His hometown Boston has been honoring him since 2009 by celebrating November 14 as ‘Leonard Nimoy Day.’

He has a star on the ‘Hollywood Walk of Fame.’

A 10 km (6.2 mi) wide asteroid ‘4864 Nimoy’ was named after him on June 2, 2015 by the ‘Jet Propulsion Laboratory.’

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Personal Life & Legacy

Leonard Nimoy got married to actress Sandra Zober in 1954. The couple had two kids; daughter Julie, born in 1955, and son Adam, born in 1956.

He had keen interest in photography since childhood. He studied photography at the ‘University of California’ in the 1970s with the intention of changing his career.

In 1987, he divorced Sandra. He then married actress Susan Bay, cousin of director Michael Bay, in 1989.

In 2001, he disclosed that he had become an alcoholic and drug addict while working in ‘Star Trek.’

Due to excessive smoking, Leonard Nimoy was suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which was only revealed in February 2014.

Despite undergoing treatment, he succumbed to his ailment on February 27, 2015, at his home in Los Angeles. His body was buried in Los Angeles on March 1, 2015.

Facts About Leonard Nimoy

Leonard Nimoy was a talented photographer and published several books featuring his artistic work.

He was a passionate advocate for the arts and supported various cultural organizations throughout his life.

Nimoy was an accomplished poet and released several volumes of poetry during his career.

He had a deep interest in science and technology and often explored these topics in his personal projects.

Nimoy was known for his philanthropic efforts, supporting various charities and causes over the years.

See the events in life of Leonard Nimoy in Chronological Order

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