Leonard Nimoy was born 26 March 1931 in Boston, Massachusetts, United States (West End, Boston) to Max Nimoy (1901-1987) and Dora Spinner (1904-1987) and died 27 February 2015 Bel Air, Los Angeles County, California, United States of complications from COPD. He married Sandra Zober (1929-2011) .



Offspring of Leonard Nimoy and Sandra Zober (1929-2011)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Adam B Nimoy (1956-) 1956 United States Nancy Unknown (living)

Leonard Nimoy

Nimoy at the 2011 Phoenix Comicon.
Born Leonard Simon Nimoy
March 26, 1931(1931-03-26)
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Died February 27, 2015 (age 83)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Resting place Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery, Culver City, California
  • Actor
  • author
  • film director
  • singer
  • songwriter
  • photographer
Years active 1951–2015[1][2]
  • Sandra Zober (m. 1954–1987) «start: (1954

-06)–end+1: (1987 -07)»"Marriage: Sandra Zober to Leonard Simon Nimoy (1931-2015)" Location: (linkback:

  • Susan Bay (m. 1989–present) «start: (1989

-06)»"Marriage: Susan Bay to Leonard Simon Nimoy (1931-2015)" Location: (linkback:

Children 2, including Adam Nimoy

Leonard Simon Nimoy ( /ˈnmɔɪ/; March 26, 1931 – February 27, 2015) was an American actor, film director, photographer, author, singer, and songwriter. He is best known for playing Spock in the Star Trek franchise, a character he portrayed in television and film for almost fifty years, from a pilot episode shot in late 1964 to his final film performance in 2013.[1]

Nimoy began his career in his early twenties, teaching acting classes in Hollywood and making minor film and television appearances through the 1950s, as well as playing the title role in Kid Monk Baroni. Foreshadowing his fame as a semi-alien, he played Narab, one of three Martian invaders, in the 1952 movie serial Zombies of the Stratosphere. From 1959 to 1962 he appeared in four episodes of Wagon Train.

In February 1965, he made his first appearance in the rejected Star Trek television pilot "The Cage", and went on to play the character of Spock until the end of the production run in early 1969, followed by eight feature films and guest appearances in later spin-offs in the franchise. The character has had a significant cultural impact and earned Nimoy three Emmy Award nominations. TV Guide named Spock one of the 50 greatest TV characters.[3][4] After the original Star Trek series, Nimoy starred in Mission: Impossible for two seasons, hosted the documentary series In Search of..., made several well-received stage appearances, and played psychiatrist Doctor Kibner, the lead on-screen villain, in the 1978 remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

Nimoy's public profile as Spock was so strong that both his autobiographies, I Am Not Spock (1975) and I Am Spock (1995), were written from the viewpoint of sharing his existence with the character.[5][6] In 2015, after Nimoy's death, an asteroid was named 4864 Nimoy in his honor.[7]

The documentaries For the Love of Spock (2016) and Remembering Leonard Nimoy (2017) were produced by his son and daughter respectively; they cover his life, career, and later his illness.[8]

Early life

Leonard Simon Nimoy was born on March 26, 1931, in the West End[9] of Boston, Massachusetts, to immigrants from Iziaslav, Ukraine.[10][11][12] His parents left Iziaslav separately, his father first walking over the border into Poland while his mother and grandmother were smuggled out of the Soviet Union in a horse-drawn wagon by hiding under bales of hay.[13]:7 They reunited after arriving in the United States.[14] His mother, Dora (née Spinner; 1904–1987), was a homemaker, and his father, Max Nimoy (1901–1987), owned a barbershop in the Mattapan section of Boston.[15][16] He had an elder brother, Melvin.[1] He also had a cousin, Jeff Nimoy, a writer and actor in the entertainment industry.[17] Nimoy was Jewish.[18]

As a child, Nimoy took miscellaneous jobs to supplement his family's income, including selling newspapers and greeting cards, shining shoes, or setting up chairs in theaters, and when he got older, selling vacuum cleaners.[13]:12 He also began acting at the age of eight in a children's and neighborhood theater.[14] His parents wanted him to attend college and pursue a stable career, or even learn to play the accordion, so he could always make a living, but his grandfather encouraged him to do what he then wanted to do most, which was acting.[19] Nimoy also realized he had an aptitude for singing, which he developed while a member of his synagogue's choir.[13]:17 His singing during his bar mitzvah at age 13 was so good he was asked to repeat his performance the following week at another synagogue. "He is still the only man I know whose voice was two bar mitzvahs good!" said William Shatner.[13]:18

His first major role was at 17, as Ralphie in an amateur production of Clifford Odets' Awake and Sing!,[12] which dealt with the struggles of a matriarchal Jewish family similar to his during the Great Depression. "Playing this teenage kid in this Jewish family that was so much like mine was amazing," he said. "The same dynamics, the same tensions in the household."[20] The role "lit a passion" that led him to pursue an acting career. "I never wanted to do anything else."[21] Shatner has said that Nimoy also worked on local radio shows for children, often voice acting Bible stories, adding:

Obviously, there was something symbolic about that. Many years later as Captain Kirk, I would be busy rescuing civilizations in distress on distant planets while Leonard's Mr. Spock would be examining the morality of man- and alienkind.[13]:17

Nimoy took drama classes at Boston College, and after moving to Los Angeles, he used $600 he saved from selling vacuum cleaners to enroll at the Pasadena Playhouse.[22][23][24] However, he was soon disillusioned and quit after six months, feeling that the acting skills he had already acquired from earlier roles were more advanced: "I thought, I have to study here three years in order to do this level of work, and I'm already doing better work".[13]:25

He became a devotee of method acting concepts derived from the teachings of Konstantin Stanislavsky, realizing the stage allowed him to explore the "psychological, emotional, and physical territories of life that can't be done anywhere else," inquiries which he said led him into acting in the first place.[21]:481 He took method actor Marlon Brando as a role model, and like him, wore jeans and T-shirts. Between studies, to have some income, he took a job at an ice cream parlor on the Sunset Strip.[21]:481

In 1953, Nimoy enlisted in the United States Army Reserve at Fort McPherson Georgia, serving for 18 months until 1955, leaving as a Staff Sergeant. Part of Nimoy's time in the military was spent with the Army Special Services, putting on shows which he wrote, narrated, and emceed.[25][26][27] One of his soldiers was Ken Berry, whom he encouraged to go into acting as a civilian, and helped contact agents.[28] During that period, he also directed and starred in A Streetcar Named Desire, with the Atlanta Theater Guild.[21]:481[lower-alpha 1] Soon after he was discharged, with his wife Sandi pregnant with their second child, they rented an apartment and Nimoy took a job driving a cab in Los Angeles.[13]:41

Personal life

Nimoy in September 2012

Nimoy was long active in the Jewish community, and could speak and read Yiddish.[30] In 1997, he narrated the documentary A Life Apart: Hasidism in America, about the various sects of Hasidic Orthodox Jews. In October 2002, Nimoy published The Shekhina Project, a photographic study exploring the feminine aspect of God's presence, inspired by Kabbalah. Reactions have varied from enthusiastic support to open condemnation.[31] Nimoy said objections to Shekhina did not bother or surprise him, but he smarted at the stridency of the Orthodox protests, and was saddened at the attempt to control thought.[31]

Nimoy was married twice. In 1954, he married actress Sandra Zober;[32] they had two children, Julie and Adam.[1] After 32 years of marriage, he reportedly left Sandra on her 56th birthday and divorced her in 1987.[19] On New Year's Day 1989, Nimoy married his second wife, actress Susan Bay, cousin of director Michael Bay.[33]

After two years of part-time study, in 1977 Nimoy earned an MA in education from Antioch College.[24] In 2000, he received an honorary doctorate from Antioch University in Ohio, awarded for activism in Holocaust remembrance, the arts, and the environment.[34] In 2012, he received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Boston University.[35]

In the 2001 documentary film Mind Meld, in which Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner discuss their acting careers and personal lives,[36] Nimoy revealed that he had become an alcoholic while working on Star Trek and ended up in drug rehabilitation.[37] William Shatner, in his 2008 book Up Till Now: The Autobiography, spoke about how later in their lives, Nimoy tried to help Shatner's alcoholic wife, Nerine Kidd.

Nimoy has said that the character of Spock, which he played twelve to fourteen hours a day, five days a week, influenced his personality in his private life. Each weekend during the original run of the series, he would be in character throughout Saturday and into Sunday, behaving more like Spock than himself—more logical, more rational, more thoughtful, less emotional and finding a calm in every situation. It was only on Sunday in the early afternoon that Spock's influence on his behavior would fade off and he would feel more himself again—only to start the cycle over again on Monday morning.[38] Years after the show he observed Vulcan speech patterns, social attitudes, patterns of logic, and emotional suppression in his own behavior.[1]

Nimoy was a private pilot and had owned an airplane.[39] The Space Foundation named Nimoy recipient of the 2010 Douglas S. Morrow Public Outreach Award for creating a positive role model that inspired untold numbers of viewers to learn more about the universe.[40]

In 2009, Nimoy was honored by his childhood hometown when the Office of Mayor Thomas Menino proclaimed the date of November 14, 2009, as "Leonard Nimoy Day" in the City of Boston.[41]

In 2014, Walter Koenig revealed in a Las Vegas Sun interview that Leonard Nimoy personally and successfully advocated equal pay for Nichelle Nichols' work on Star Trek to the show's producers.[42] This incident was confirmed by Nimoy in a Trekmovie interview, and happened during his years at Desilu.[43]

Nimoy has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.[44] On June 2, 2015, the asteroid 4864 Nimoy was named after him.[7][45]

Illness and death

A video about Leonard Nimoy's struggle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

In February 2014, Nimoy revealed publicly that he had been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a condition he attributed to a smoking addiction he had given up about 30 years earlier.[46] On February 19, 2015, having been in and out of hospitals for several months, Nimoy was taken to UCLA Medical Center for chest pains.[47]

On February 25, 2015, Nimoy fell into a coma,[48] and died of complications from COPD on February 27, at the age of 83, in his Bel Air home.[49] Adam Nimoy said that as his father came closer to death, "he mellowed out. He made his family a priority and his career became secondary."[50] A few days before his death, Nimoy shared some of his poetry on social media website Twitter: "A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP".[51][52]

Nimoy was buried in Los Angeles on March 1, 2015.[53] The service was attended by nearly 300 family members, friends and former colleagues, as well as Zachary Quinto, Chris Pine, and J. J. Abrams. Though William Shatner could not attend, he was represented by his daughters.[54]

Personal tributes

Cast members of Star Trek who had worked alongside Nimoy gave personal tributes after his death. William Shatner wrote of Nimoy, "I loved him like a brother. ... We will all miss his humor, his talent, and his capacity to love."[55] George Takei called him an "extraordinarily talented man" and a "very decent human being".[56] Walter Koenig said that after working with Nimoy, he discovered Nimoy's "compassion, his intelligence and his humanity."[57] Nichelle Nichols noted that Nimoy's integrity, passion and devotion as an actor "helped transport Star Trek into television history."[58] Quinto, who portrayed Spock as a young man in Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness, wrote, "My heart is broken. I love you profoundly, my dear friend. And I will miss you every day."[59]

U.S. President Barack Obama, who had met Nimoy in 2007, remembered him as "a lifelong lover of the arts and humanities, a supporter of the sciences, generous with his talent and his time."[60] Former NASA astronaut Buzz Aldrin called Nimoy "a fellow space traveler because he helped make the journey into the final frontier accessible to us all."[61]

The Big Bang Theory, which made frequent references to Spock, and to which Nimoy lent his voice in one episode, paid tribute to him after his death. A vanity card at the end of a March 2015 episode included a picture of Nimoy with the caption, "The impact you had on our show and on our lives is everlasting."[62]

As part of a campaign for the 2016 feature film Star Trek Beyond, aimed at benefiting several charities, Zachary Quinto and other cast members posted a video tribute to Nimoy,[63] and the feature film itself also paid tribute to Nimoy. Its director, Justin Lin, explained: "It's something you'll see in the film. It obviously affected everybody, because he's been a big part of our lives. There's an attempt to acknowledge that in some way."[64]

Adam Nimoy directed a biographical documentary on his father, titled For the Love of Spock, which Quinto narrated and with which Shatner was also involved.[65][66] For charity, Shatner used selfies made by Nimoy's fans to create an online tribute mosaic of Spock's vulcan salute.[67]

In June 2015, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory renamed a 10 km (6.2 mi)-wide asteroid, originally discovered in 1988, in the Solar System's main asteroid belt, 4864 Nimoy, in memory of the actor.[68]

Shatner has also written a book about his friendship with Nimoy titled Leonard: My Fifty Year Friendship with a Remarkable Man. The book was released on February 16, 2016.[69]


Partly-edited previous version of article:


  • 1 Sandra Zorber (1929-2011)(Mar.1954 - Div.1987)[70]
  • 2 Susan Bay (1943-)(Mar.1989)


  • Julie Nimoy (b.1955) & Adam Nimoy (b.1959)


1st Generation

  • 1 Leonard Simon Nimoy (1931-2015)

2nd Generation

  • 2 Max Nimoy (1901- Jul 1987)
  • 3 Dora Spinner (1905- Dec 1987)

3rd Generation

  • 4 Pinchus Nimoy (1870-
  • 5 Etta Drootin (1875-
  • 6 Samuel Spinner (1883-1963)
  • 7 Sarah Mazur (1876-


Footnotes (including sources)

‡ General
  • '
  • Wikipedia (see below), Kathleen.wright5, Robin Patterson


  1. ^ a b c d e Heffernan, Virginia (February 27, 2015). "Leonard Nimoy, Spock of 'Star Trek,' Dies at 83". The New York Times. 
  2. ^ "Nimoy glad to be back with 'Fringe'". United Press International. New York: News World Communications. May 12, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Leonard Nimoy: Biography". San Francisco, California: CBS Interactive. 
  4. ^ Jensen, K. Thor (November 20, 2008). "Spock". San Francisco, CA: IGN Entertainment, Inc.. 
  5. ^ Nimoy (1975), pp. 1–6
  6. ^ Nimoy (1995), pp. 2–17
  7. ^ a b "Leonard Nimoy, Honored: Asteroid 4864 Nimoy Named After Actor Who Played 'Star Trek's' Spock", Inquisitr, June 6, 2015
  8. ^ "New documentary by Leonard Nimoy's son honors both his dad and Spock", USA Today, September 8, 2016
  9. ^ Sammarco, Anthony Mitchell (1998). Boston's West End. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing. p. 85. ISBN 978-0-7524-1257-3. OCLC 40670283. 
  10. ^ "Biography". Coventry, England: Maggy Edwards. 
  11. ^ "Leonard Simon Nimoy". Columbia, MD: Michael Lucks. 
  12. ^ a b Ellin, Abby (May 13, 2007). "Girth and Nudity, a Pictorial Mission". The New York Times. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f g Shatner, William. Leonard: My Fifty-Year Friendship with a Remarkable Man, St. Martin's Press N.Y. (2016), ISBN 978-1250083319
  14. ^ a b "Leonard Nimoy's Mameloshn: A Yiddish Story". Yiddish Book Center. February 6, 2014. 
  15. ^ "Leonard Nimoy Biography (1931–)". Hinsdale, IL: Advameg, Inc.. 
  16. ^ "Leonard Nimoy". Sunnyvale, CA: Yahoo!. 
  17. ^ "The Nimoy Family". The Stoop. August 26, 2020. 
  18. ^ By Abraham Riesman, February 27, 2015, Vulture
  19. ^ a b "Leonard Nimoy". Shatner's Raw Nerve. The Biography Channel. No. 7, season 1.
  20. ^ Pogrebin, Abigail. Stars of David, Broadway Books (2005) p. 197
  21. ^ a b c d Fischer, Dennis (2000). Science Fiction Film Directors, 1895–1998. McFarland. pp. 480–492. ISBN 978-0-7864-6091-5. 
  22. ^ Diehl, Digby (August 25, 1968). "Girls All Want To Touch The Ears". The New York Times: pp. 173. 
  23. ^ (Spring 2005) "Story Book: Legends from the Heights". Boston College Magazine. ISSN 0885-2049.  Adapted from Legends of Boston College (2004); Boston, MA: New Legends Press. ISBN 978-0-975-55070-0. OCLC 57510969.
  24. ^ a b Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named darrach19770725
  25. ^ "Famous Veteran: Leonard Nimoy". 
  26. ^ "Nimoy, Leonard, SSG". Army: Together We Served. Retrieved February 28, 2015.
  27. ^ Curthoys, Kathleen (February 27, 2015). "Leonard Nimoy, a former soldier, dies at 83". Army Times.
  28. ^ Gates, Anita (December 2, 2018). "Ken Berry, Star of 'F Troop' and 'Mama's Family,' Dies at 85". The New York Times (New York, New York). 
  29. ^ "Freedom of Information Act Request, Leonard Nimoy", NPRC-NARA, published March 13, 2002
  30. ^ Whitney, Christa (February 6, 2014). "Leonard Nimoy 15Oct2013 Yiddish Book Center". Yiddish Book Center. 6:42–7:33. "(In Yiddish and English:) And my grandmother never learned English. So my brother and I needed to speak to her in Yiddish. But my brother ... [was] born in Boston, but his first language was Yiddish because my parents only spoke Yiddish when he was a little child. When I was born ... they were better with English. So my first language was English, but I needed Yiddish to speak with my grandparents." 
  31. ^ a b Snider, John C. (2002). "Leonard Nimoy: Shedding Light on Shekhina". Atlanta, GA: John Snider. 
  32. ^ Nimoy: "My wife's name is Sandy ..."
    Leonard Nimoy interview with KGW host Konnie Worth in Portland, Oregon, June 1967
  33. ^ Hugh Davies (October 31, 2001). "Star Trek drove me to drink, says Spock". The Daily Telegraph. 
  34. ^ (November 2000) "Dr. Leonard Nimoy". Alumni News. 
  35. ^ Laskowski, Amy (May 22, 2012). "Leonard Nimoy Urges CFA Grads to 'Live Long and Prosper'". Boston, MA: Marketing & Communications. 
  36. ^ Jaysen, Peter (Director) (2001). Mind Meld: Secrets Behind the Voyage of a Lifetime. Creative Light Video. ISBN 1-931394-15-6. OCLC 49221637. 
  37. ^ "Star Trek 'drove Nimoy to drink'". BBC News (London: BBC). October 31, 2001. 
  38. ^ "Bring Back...Star Trek". Bring Back.... Channel 4.
  39. ^ "An interview of Leonard Nimoy-SuperstarSuperfans part2/2" on YouTube. Interview with Bob Wilkins from the mid-1970s.
  40. ^ Hively, Carol (January 12, 2010). "Space Foundation Recognizes Leonard Nimoy with Douglas S. Morrow Public Outreach Award" (Press release). Colorado Springs, Colorado: Space Foundation. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
  41. ^ Clark, Shaula (November 14, 2009). "Hardly Illogical: Leonard Nimoy Day, November 14". Boston Phoenix. 
  42. ^ Nichelle Nichols Remembers Leonard Nimoy: He Made Star Trek into TV History Adam Carlson, February 28, 2015
  43. ^ Koenig: Leonard Nimoy Fought to get Nichelle Nichols Pay Equity for Star Trek + Nimoy Confirms Anthony Pascale,, July 31, 2014
  44. ^ Leonard Nimoy: Obama leads tributes to Star Trek actor BBC News, February 28, 2015
  45. ^ MPC 94384
  46. ^ Pawlowski, A. (February 27, 2015). "Diagnosed with COPD, Leonard Nimoy urged people to quit smoking". The Today Show. 
  47. ^ France, Lisa Respers (February 24, 2015). "Internet to Leonard Nimoy: Live long and prosper". CNN. 
  48. ^ "Leonard Nimoy's Son Adam Discusses His Father's Final Months [VIDEO"]. May 27, 2016. 
  49. ^ "He Was, And Will Always Be, Our Friend: Remembering Leonard Nimoy". February 27, 2015. 
  50. ^ Nimoy, Adam (August 7, 2015). "@StarTrek". 
  51. ^ Template:Cite tweet
  52. ^ Goodman, Jessica (February 27, 2015). "'Star Trek' Star Leonard Nimoy Dead At 83". HuffPost. 
  53. ^ "Leonard Nimoy's funeral held in LA". BBC News. March 2, 2015. 
  54. ^ Vulpo, Mike (March 3, 2015). "Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto Among Nearly 300 Guests at Leonard Nimoy's Funeral ...". 
  55. ^ "Leonard Nimoy, Spock of Star Trek, dead at 83". Fox News Channel. February 27, 2015. 
  56. ^ Rosen, Christopher (February 27, 2015). "William Shatner, George Takei Pay Tribute to Leonard Nimoy". The Huffington Post.
  57. ^ Koenig, Walter (February 28, 2015). "Chekov Remembers Spock: Walter Koenig On Leonard Nimoy". 
  58. ^ Carlson, Adam (February 28, 2015). "Leonard Nimoy Dead: Nichelle Nichols Comments". 
  59. ^ Quinto, Zachary (February 27, 2015). "zacharyquinto – February 27, 2015". "my heart is broken. i love you profoundly, my dear friend. and i will miss you everyday. may flights of angels sing thee to thy rest." 
    McMillan, Graeme (February 27, 2015). "How the Internet Is Remembering the Legendary Leonard Nimoy". Wired. 
  60. ^ Korte, Gregory (February 27, 2015). "Obama on death of Leonard Nimoy: 'I loved Spock'". USA Today. 
  61. ^ Aldrin, Buzz (February 28, 2015). "Buzz Aldrin: Leonard Nimoy, my fellow space traveler". CNN. 
  62. ^ Derschowitz, Jessica (March 6, 2015). "The Big Bang Theory pays tribute to Leonard Nimoy". CBS News. 
  63. ^ Domanico, Anthony (August 25, 2015). "Star Trek Beyond cast delivers touching tribute to Leonard Nimoy". 
  64. ^ "Star Trek Beyond' will pay tribute to Leonard Nimoy", Flickering Myth, April 12, 2016
  65. ^ McNary, Dave (March 27, 2015). "Leonard Nimoy's Son Plans Spock Documentary ...". 
  66. ^ "Adam Nimoy's 'For The Love Of Spock' To Premiere At Tribeca Film Festival". 
  67. ^ Hanks, Henry (August 9, 2015). "Fans and William Shatner pay tribute to Leonard Nimoy with selfie mosaic". CNN. 
  68. ^ Platt, Phil (June 6, 2015). "Leonard Nimoy Immortalized in the Asteroid Belt". 
  69. ^ "Leonard: My Fifty-Year Friendship with a Remarkable Man". 
  70. ^

External links

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This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Leonard Nimoy. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.

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