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Born on this day

Thursday, March 26, 1931. :   Star Trek actor Leonard Nimoy is born.

     Leonard Simon Nimoy, who gained worldwide fame as Star Trek’s Mr Spock, was born on 26 March 1931 in Boston, Massachusetts. He was the second son of Jewish immigrants from Iziaslav, Ukraine. The interest he showed in acting from a very young age was encouraged by his grandfather. He undertook acting lessons, first at Boston College, and then at the historic Pasadena Playhouse in California. Here, he found himself drawn to “method acting”, which enabled him to develop a more intense understanding of characters’ psychologies, allowing for a better stage presence as an actor. Nimoy took Marlon Brando as his role model, even dressing as Brando did.

Nimoy’s first role was role in the 1952 film Kid Monk Baroni, in which he played the main character. Although not a huge success at the time, the film attracted a greater audience while Nimoy served with the US Army Reserve in 1953-54: by the time he left the Army Reserve, he had gained prominence as an actor. He was offered numerous roles in television shows such as Dragnet, The Rough Riders, Sea Hunt, Bonanza, Rawhide, The Untouchables, The Twilight Zone, Dr Kildare and Perry Mason. However, it was after Nimoy appeared in a 1965 episode of The Lieutenant that his talents attracted the attention of producer and writer Gene Roddenberry, who was casting for the new science fiction series Star Trek.

Nimoy was perfect for the role of half-Vulcan, half-human science officer Mr Spock, and Roddenberry encouraged him to make the role his own, adding unique touches to cultivate the stoic and practical character. The iconic Vulcan salute was developed by Nimoy himself, and is believed to have been based on a Jewish blessing. The Vulcan nerve pinch was also Nimoy’s idea, as he wanted a more “sophisticated” method than phasers for rendering enemies unconscious. The original series of Star Trek aired from 1966 to 1969 and earned Nimoy three Emmy Award nominations. It became more popular after it was sold into syndication, and stations were able to air it at times more suited to its fans and potential audience. A new audience created a broad market for the franchise, thus paving the way for the success of six Star Trek movies based around the characters of the original series, all of which featured Mr Spock. After his Star Trek years, Nimoy continued to be involved in a number of other acting and directing projects, both on-screen and on stage.

Leonard Nimoy died on 27 February 2015 from complications arising from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which he had developed as a result of years of heavy smoking earlier in his life.


Today in History

Thought For Today
Remember the covenant you made with us. There is violence in every dark corner of the land.
Psalms 74:20 (c) GNB
God has promised to protect and deliver the afflicted who live according to His ways. When things look hopeless - hang on to your faith.

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