Friday, February 27, 2015

Leonard Nimoy: God Rest His Soul

photo by Gage Skidmore

I just learned of the passing of Leonard Nimoy, after a long battle with a lung disorder.

It is very strange to me that someone who had been around my entire life as an icon of the pop culture should now no longer be here.

Of course, his great fame is from Star Trek as the half-Vulcan Mr. Spock.  While his performance has been imitated countlessly through the years, that performance is actually quite remarkable.  Nimoy showed some remarkable subtlety and complexity with the role.  He understood that Spock was not without emotion, but he was someone holding his emotions in check.  When the damns burst either out of joy or sorrow, it knocked your socks off.

I don't think I recognized that when I was young.  The first time I ever really grasped that he was a talented actor was when I saw him in a television movie Never Forget.  He played a man who survived the Holocaust as a child, but as a man goes to court with a neo-Nazis group who claimed that the genocide never happened.  I remember seeing his powerful range and his ability to transform.  I actually forgot for awhile that he was the man who played Spock.

And his accomplishments as a director should not go unnoticed.  He helmed the highest grossing film of 1987 (Three Men and a Baby) and 2 of the more enjoyable Star Trek films (Search for Spock and The Voyage Home).

Nimoy was very much involved in his Jewish heritage and faith.  He caused some convtroversy with his photo series Shekhinah, which explored the feminine aspects of Judaism (with female models often in states of undress with religious objects).  But commented on growing up in Boston and being raised in a religious environment.

I will miss Leonard Nimoy.  I know it is cliche, but I can't help but think of Kirk saying goodbye to his friend at the end of Wrath of Kahn.

And on one final note.  It should be remembered that Leonard Nimoy could always make us laugh.  

Leonard Nimoy: God Rest His Soul.

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