Friday, March 25, 2011

Happy Birthday Leonard Nimoy!

The Flaming Nose salutes one of our all time favorite actors on his milestone 80th birthday. Born March 26, 1931 in Boston, MA to Yiddish speaking parents from the Ukraine, Mr. Nimoy has enjoyed a very long, diverse and accomplished career in television, film, theater and the arts. He has also long been associated with friend and fellow actor William Shatner, whose 80th birthday was honored just a few days ago on the Nose by a lovely post from Lisa. So much has been written about Leonard Nimoy over the years. In spite of an amazing list of credits (check out this imbd) that stretches over decades, he will always be linked with a little sci-fi TV series that first ran in 1966 called Star Trek. It was his role as the half-human, half Vulcan First Officer on the starship Enterprise that helped spawn an empire of TV series, movies, conventions and merchandise. He also helped inspire countless real-life astronauts who said if it hadn't been for Star Trek, they might never have chosen NASA and space exploration as their career. Very well known trivia fact: Nimoy created the split fingered Vulcan salute based on childhood memories of blessings given by kohanim Jewish priests. Little known trivia fact: NBC and the producers of the original Star Trek series knew they had a break-out character with Spock when they started receiving hundreds of pounds of fan mail, much of which was from women professing their undying love for the pointy eared science officer. Illogically, many of the letters also included detailed drawings of what these ladies imagined Vulcan reproductive anatomy (Spock's in particular) might look like. Fascinating. I totally understand that line of thought, having developed a huge crush on Mr. Spock in my early adolescence which basically ruined me from truly appreciating human males forever more. Interestingly, the speculation about Vulcan sexuality continues to this day, only now the fantasies are spelled out more graphically with music and video before being uploaded on YouTube. I shall not be posting any here today folks, this is a birthday tribute! Although I'm sure Mr. Nimoy would find many of them quite hilarious. Ah well, at the end of the day we are all jealous of Nurse Chapel. Leonard Nimoy appeared in countless other television series, including Gunsmoke, The Virginian, Mission Impossible, The Outer Limits, and more recently the Fox science fiction series Fringe. He also acted in seven motion pictures based on the Star Trek series, including the 2009 J.J. Abrams effort where he was featured as the character "Spock Prime". Nimoy also lent his authoritative voice to the narration for several terrific non-fiction series, including In Search Of and Ancient Mysteries which aired on A&E. Not content with only a robust and colorful show biz career, Mr. Nimoy has also enjoyed success as an artist and photographer. He continues to explore many different genres with his vast creativity and intellectual curiosity. An extremely talented photographer for many years Nimoy recently released a book called "Full Body Project" which includes pictures of sizable women, many of them nude. It reminds me a bit of Diane Arbus, but without the freak show ambiance. One gets the feeling that the man who has played the most famous space alien in the world, actually likes human beings a great deal. One of my favorite aspects of Leonard Nimoy has to do with his career, but only in an oblique manner. I absolutely love thinking about his long friendship with William Shatner, which has gone on for over 40 years. Apparently they continue to enjoy dinners, and Passover celebrations together. I was disappointed to read the other day that they share a solemn vow to not speak about Star Trek when they see each other socially. They are the only two people on Earth who know how completely weird it is to be...them. And yet they won't talk about it. Minions of adoring Trek Nerds can only imagine. However, I was delighted to find a recent snippet of Shatner interviewing Nimoy on his BIO cable show "Raw Nerve" where they talk about other items. Here's a little piece where Bill prompts Leonard to speak about his parents and his childhood. Mr. Nimoy, on behalf of the Flaming Nose and all our readers, we thank you for your long and wonderful career and wish you a very Happy Birthday. And because your fans circle the globe and beyond...we want you to "Live Long and Prosper" in ten languages. We love you Leonard Nimoy!

  • Larga vida y prosperidad

  • Longue vie et prospérité

  • Живите долго и процветать

  • --ライブ長く繁栄

  • --Lev länge och blomstra

  • להתקיים זמן רב--

  • Kuishi kwa muda mrefu na kufanikiwa

  • Beo fada agus rathúil

  • 长寿与繁荣

  • Live mahaba at yumabong


Lisa said...

Sigh...I have been, and always shall be, one of his biggest fans. Such an intellect, such soul, so smart. How perfect that we were able to see him in Abrams' wonderful Trek reboot and how good he was in it, too.

Spock -- thanks to Nimoy -- is one of Television's most intriguing characters ever.

Wonderful tribute to him, Jane!

Jane said...

I wanted desperately to include a clip of him in Star Trek the movie with the young Spock. I literally searched YouTube for over an hour but could not find. I did find multiple fan tributes however. Mostly clip shows, I was tempted put one in this post, but the background music was uniformly dreadful.

Lisa said...

May I also say that after watching the "Raw Nerve" bit, that I can't believe either of those guys are 80. They are both amazing and I need to watch that whole episode! Thanks for including that great clip here!