Live Long and Prosper: Remembering Leonard Nimoy

Posted March 2, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment

On February 27, 2015, the world lost beloved actor Leonard Nimoy. He was 83. With a career that spanned over 60 years, Leonard will perhaps always be remembered for his iconic portrayal of Mr. Spock on Star Trek.

In honor of his memory, here are some things about his life you may not have known:


Image: Wikimedia Commons

1. Leonard was born on March 26, 1931 in Boston, Massachusetts. He grew up in Boston’s West End and sold newspapers in Boston Common with his brother, Melvin.

2. His parents, Max and Dora, were Yiddish-speaking Orthodox Jewish immigrants from Iziaslav, Soviet Union (now Ukraine). Max was a popular local figure and enjoyed life as a barber in the West End. His maternal grandfather, Samuel Spinner, born Schloime Spiner, was a saddle maker and leather worker. He immigrated to Boston, Massachusetts on August 22, 1912.

Leonard Nimoy’s family tree on Geni

3. Leonard was very active in the Jewish community. He could read and speak Yiddish, having learned it as a first language.

4. He began acting at the age of 8 in a neighborhood theater and, with encouragement from his grandfather, knew he wanted to pursue a career as an actor. However, his parents wanted him to go to college and pursue a stable career – or at the very least, learn to play the accordion, which his father advised he could always make a living.

5. Leonard didn’t get his big break until he was well into his thirties. In 1966, Star Trek premiered and the world was introduced to the human-Vulcan alien named Spock. Leonard was actually the one who came up with the famous Vulcan greeting, “Live long and prosper.” He stated that it was based on the Orthodox Jewish blessings he remembered from his childhood. The role would earn him three Emmy award nominations.


Image: Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

6. On New Year’s Day in 1989, Leonard married Susan Bay, who is a cousin of director Michael Bay.

7. Leonard’s successful career spanned across several mediums, proving he was much more than Spock. A gifted photographer, poet and writer, he published several books and a two-volume autobiography. He also released five music albums, including Mr. Spock’s Music from Outer Space. Leonard was also a successful director, helming two Star Trek films and the 1987 hit, Three Men and a Baby.


Image: Wikimedia Commons

8. He was active on Twitter and signed off every tweet with the acronym of his Vulcan greeting, LLAP. His final tweet was exceptionally poignant:

RIP Leonard Nimoy. You will be missed by us all.

Post written by Amanda

Amanda is the Marketing Communications Manager at Geni. If you need any assistance, she will be happy to help!

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