He lived long and prospered: Leonard Nimoy, best known as Spock of Star Trek fame, died this morning at the age of 83. Nimoy died at home of end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, his wife tells the New York Times. Nimoy discussed his struggle with the disease last year, blaming it on years of smoking, which he gave up 30 years prior. He was hospitalized for chest pains earlier this week, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Nimoy, born in Boston to Jewish parents, acted from a young age and was teaching Method acting at his studio when his casting in the original Trek in the mid-1960s catapulted him to stardom. He went on to other TV and movie roles and was also a frequent theater performer; he directed movies and TV shows, published books of photography, made records, gave spoken-word performances, and wrote poetry.
But it was to Spock, with his signature Vulcan salute and "Live long and prosper" catchphrase, that Nimoy was most inextricably linked, and his feelings about that can be summed up in the titles of two autobiographies: 1977's I Am Not Spock and 1995's I Am Spock. He remained tied to the character, voicing him in the Star Trek animated series, directing Trek movies, writing songs about the show, and appearing in both of JJ Abrams' recent Trek reboots as an older version of Zachary Quinto's Spock. Nimoy, who served two years in the Army in the 1950s, returned to college in his 40s to earn his master's degree in Spanish and later was awarded an honorary doctorate. He is survived by his second wife, Susan Bay Nimoy, as well as two children, a stepson, six grandchildren, and a great-grandchild. And that aforementioned Vulcan salute? That was his idea, the Times notes; he based it on a Hebrew blessing. As Kotaku notes, Nimoy's last tweet, from Feb. 22, "is pretty perfect": "A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP."