February 27, 2015 12:18 pm
Updated: February 27, 2015 8:19 pm

‘Star Trek’ star Leonard Nimoy dies at 83

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ABOVE: Global News’ Eric Sorensen reports on Leonard Nimoy’s career.

TORONTO — Actor Leonard Nimoy, best known for playing half-human, half-Vulcan Mr. Spock in the original Star Trek TV series and a number of movies, died Friday morning. He was 83.

Nimoy’s wife Susan and son Adam confirmed the actor died of end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

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Nimoy revealed last year he had the disease, which he blamed on years of smoking.

The actor, who was rushed to the UCLA Medical Center late last week suffering from breathing problems, passed away at his home in Bel Air, California.

“My heart is broken,” wrote Zachary Quinto, who played Spock in the two most recent Star Trek movies, on social media. “I love you profoundly my dear friend. and i will miss you everyday. may flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.”

Nimoy’s friend and Star Trek co-star William Shatner tweeted: “I loved him like a brother. We will all miss his humor, his talent, and his capacity to love.”

Nimoy lived long and prospered.

He was born in Boston to Jewish immigrants from Ukraine and started acting in community theatre as a young boy. He pursued the craft until taking a break to serve in the U.S. Army in the mid-’50s.

BELOW: Watch Global News Entertainment Reporter John R. Kennedy report on the life and career of Leonard Nimoy.

Nimoy landed roles in several films and in a string of TV shows, including Dragnet, Sea Hunt, Bonanza and Gunsmoke. In 1966, he debuted as Mr. Spock on Star Trek opposite Montreal-born Shatner.

Nimoy was the only cast member to appear in all 79 episodes.

Although the series lasted only three seasons, playing the science officer on the Enterprise would stick with Nimoy for the rest of his life. He starred in six of the original Star Trek movies and reprised his role for cameos in the big screen reboots Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness.

spock

Nimoy made several appearances at fan conventions in Canada, including a 2009 appearance at Fan Expo in Toronto.

He directed 1987’s Three Men and a Baby in Toronto and one of his last acting jobs was a recurring role on the Vancouver-shot series Fringe up until 2012.

Devan Daniels, tourism administrator in Vulcan, Alberta, told Global News that Nimoy’s visit in April of 2010 “was a very momentous event and will be very cherished and remembered by the people here.

“If you look at what Star Trek stands for, Spock was an ambassador to the Star Trek franchise and an ambassador to humanity in real life.”

READ MORE: Social media reacts to Leonard Nimoy’s death

Nimoy did much more than play Spock. He recorded five albums, wrote screenplays, directed, and published books of poetry and photography. Nimoy also wrote a pair of biographies: I Am Not Spock in 1975 and I Am Spock in 1995.

Nimoy was married to actress Sandra Zober from 1954 to 1987 and married Susan Bay — a cousin of director Michael Bay — in 1989.

After last week’s medical emergency, Nimoy’s former co-stars shared words of support on Twitter. Shatner said he was “uplifted by the show of love & caring tweeted to my dear friend” and wished him “a quick recovery” while George Takei asked his followers to “join me in wishing him a speedy recovery.”

William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, pictured in 2006.

Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

Nimoy’s co-star from the original Star Trek series, Vancouver-born James Doohan (Scotty) died in 2005 at 85. DeForest Kelley (Bones) died in 1999 at 79.

BELOW: Watch Leonard Nimoy appear in the 2009 Star Trek movie.

BELOW: Listen to Leonard Nimoy singing “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town.”

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