I have heard this morning that Leonard Nimoy had died today. An actor, poet, musician, and photographer. One of the few renaissance men in the entertainment industry. Despite some things he’d gone through both professionally and personally, we hardly heard anything bad about him, no scandals, nothing!
A man of humble beginnings born in Boston to Jewish immigrants, he’d gotten his start in the 1950s while in the military where he ranked to Sergeant. The first decade of his career had some hits and misses, but Star Trek, despite lasting only three seasons, and eventually becoming a movie franchise, was his golden goose. He had written two autobiographies: 1) I Am Not Spock, and 2) I Am Spock. Both of which has sold well.
Throughout his decades-long career, he has entertained as well as taught younger audiences with his photography, and his poetry. In the 70s, he hosted “In Search Of”, and had had many appearances on various TV shows, including an appearance on William Shatner’s T.J. Hooker (he and Bill were very close friends). His first marriage had ended in divorce, and he had also overcome alcoholism accomplishing many years of sobriety.
While there remains many bloggers who share their feelings on this multifaceted entertainer, one thing about both him and Spock that really got my attention (and I couldn’t put my finger on it years ago being a child at the time), was the Vulcan greeting with the thumb by itself, two fingers in one direction, the other two separate forming a “V” symbol, meaning “live long and prosper”. He revealed that originally the Vulcan greeting was an ad-lib gesture from Judaism, where one time he was in the synagogue and he had heard some chanting, or shouting going on in the congregation, and everyone had covered their eyes for some reason, but Leonard had peaked and saw one of the Rabbis blessing someone with his hands forming that exact same symbol that he had made famous for decades on end. And prior to his death, people would greet him with the “V” gesture, and whether the people passing through knew it or not, according to Jewish tradition (if I’m not mistaken), they were blessing each other.
In recent years, the Star Trek franchise was resurrected with Nimoy portraying a much older version of Spock in contrast to the current actor, Zachary Quinto, portraying him. Nimoy appeared on both films, even advising his younger counterpart in both films as well.
An actor whose career spanned at least three generations. My parents grew up watching him, I grew up watching him, and to the younger cats who have reached legal age in recent years, they, too, can say that they grew up watching him. in every way, he was truly a master of many crafts. One of the few renaissance men in the industry.
I close with the words both Nimoy and Spock made famous, yet poignant.
Live long, and prosper.
That he did. I hope we get to see him in the resurrection.