On February 27, the world was shocked by the passing of Leonard Nimoy, famous for the role of Mr. Spock on Star Trek.
Born in 1931 in Boston to refugees from the Soviet Union, Nimoy began his acting career at the age of 8, winning several awards throughout his childhood and graduating from UCLA with a bachelor’s degree in photography. From here, Nimoy found himself in the US Army's Special Services division as an actor, featuring in various training films. After leaving the Army, he had a brief stint in the world of Western films, as well as various television appearances, before landing the role of a half-alien science officer for the pilot of a certain Sci-Fi television series...
Star Trek skyrocketed Nimoy's career, and for good reason. Though the show was cancelled after an 80-episode run because of its low ratings, it became one of the most influential works of fiction ever produced. Star Trek's utopian, futuristic view of humanity was radical for its time, prominently featuring a black female character, Russian and Chinese characters, and a half-alien Jewish character in leading roles. This made the show controversial throughout its run, as a turbulent civil rights movement rippled across America and the major powers of the world grappled in the Cold War.
Beyond the utopia, Star Trek’s crew represented what humans have always aspired to be: explorers. Tens of thousands of children watched in awe of the intrepid crew’s spirit of exploration as the Enterprisestreaked across the galaxy. Foremost in the mind of many of these children was the pointy-eared, green-blooded science officer who was, on many occasions, more "fascinating" than the anomalies he studied.