As we’ve discussed on the show, I am a huge Star Wars fan. As a kid, I thought I had to choose one or the other, so I never got into Star Trek. Kids sometimes have dumb ideas. Of course, that didn’t stop me from knowing who Mr. Spock was.
It also helped that Leonard Nimoy was so much more than Mr. Spock. I’ve been a fan of The Twilight Zone all my life. The 15th episode of the third season, “A Quality of Mercy,” which revolves around a group of World War II soldiers stars Mr. Nimoy, alongside Dean Stockwell (who would become a favorite of mine during his time on Quantum Leap). He also appeared on other television shows in the 1950s and 1960s, like Dragnet, Bonanaza, and Gunsmoke, before the role and tv series that he would become most know for.
Even though the original Star Trek series would only last 3 seasons, the movies would cement his legacy as the human/Vulcan first officer of the Enterprise, Mr. Spock. Following the cancellation of Star Trek, he joined the cast of Mission: Impossible, as The Great Paris, a magician who joined the Impossible Missions Force, as a replacement for Rollin Hand, played by Martin Landau.
He also voiced the character Galvatron in the motion picture, The Transformers:The Movie. I know that my Podvocacy co-host, Jason has said that he reads Galvatron with Leonard Nimoy’s voice in mind.
His biggest role in my life, though, was as the host of a show on Nickelodeon in the 1980s called: “Standby: Lights, Camera, Action.” This was the first show of its kind that I’m aware of. It was a show aimed at kids that endeavored to show them how movies were made. They talked about acting, costumes, special effects, and most other aspects of movie making in a way that let kids in on the process and didn’t talk down to them. The show also featured interviews with people who were involved in making movies.
I don’t think it’s overstating the facts to say that this show, and by extension, Mr. Nimoy himself, is at least partially responsible for my own forays into acting.
RIP Mr. Nimoy. Thank you for all of your contributions to our culture. You will be remembered fondly.