When thinking of Leonard Nimoy’s death, the words “totally logical” come to mind. Why, Mr. Spock himself would probably agree. After all, death is simply a part of life and “how we deal with death is at least as important as how we deal with life.” (Well, those are Kirk’s thoughts on the subject anyway.)
Spock would certainly agree that it’s the next logical step after the long, full life Mr. Nimoy experienced. However, that still doesn’t account for the lasting impact both Spock and Nimoy (one and the same at this point) have had around the world.
The prototype for Spock was born in 1964. Audiences began to see traces of the now familiar Vulcan mannerisms early on in Star Trek. For instance, Spock was the first relatable extra-terrestrial. Before Star Trek, Sci-Fi’s concept of aliens was Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Thing From Another World, and War of the Worlds. Spock became the only non-emotional alien with a sense of humor, and for women there was just something appealing about those ears!
But before Nimoy the actor ever tried on the ears, before there was ever a starship Enterprise or a Hollywood career, there was Kid Monk Baroni. Nimoy gets a lead role right off the bat as a young boxer, insecure with his misshapen face. An appropriate start to a career knowing that it was The Hunchback of Notre Dame that inspired him to become an actor.
A string of guest parts in episodic TV eventually put him in contact with future ST co-stars, including the short-lived The Lieutenant. Nimoy also worked with a young Gene Roddenberry here, who became the future creator of Star Trek.
Leonard Nimoy in a western? It happened in those early days with Bonanza, Rawhide and even Gunsmoke, seen below. The indian character he plays here is calm, level-headed, and yes, one might even say “logical.”
Paris, the Magician was supposed to be a character replacement for Rollin’ Hand in the 4th season of Mission: Impossible. (Star Trek had been canceled at this point). Nimoy considered the role very similar to Spock, and that’s one reason he ultimately left to pursue other projects. (Is that Spock’s father we see there?)
But a guest role in two classic science fiction shows would prove to be a fitting segue for the Star Trek character that he portrayed for 25 years, not including his appearance in the franchise reboot in 2009 and the sequel in 2013.