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Actor Leonard Nimoy, 'Mr. Spock,' dies at 83

The legendary actor who made being logical sound cool in his "Star Trek" role as Spock, beloved by generations of fans, died at his home in Los Angeles Friday.


Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock in the "Star Trek" episode "The Cloud Minders." The original air date was February 28, 1969. CBS via Getty Images
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Nimoy, fourth from right in the light blue suit, greets NASA officials in 1976 at the rollout of the Space Shuttle Enterprise. NASA

Actor Leonard Nimoy, beloved by geeks of all stripes for his role as Mr. Spock in the original "Star Trek" TV series, died Friday at age 83.

The legendary actor, famed for his role as first officer of the USS Enterprise on "Star Trek," died at his home in Los Angeles. He died of end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, his son Adam said, according to CBS News. He had reportedly been hospitalized earlier this week.

Last February, Nimoy revealed on Twitter that he had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, which he attributed to years of smoking. He had given up the habit three decades earlier, but not soon enough, he tweeted.

Nimoy's "Star Trek" run from 1966 to 1969 was only part of his long career in movies, television, and on the stage. But for most, he will always be known as Spock, a star of one of television and film's most revered cult series. Half-human, half-Vulcan, his character was the calm counterpoint to William Shatner's more volatile Captain Kirk, and his gracious demeanor was familiar to those who met the actor.

He portrayed Spock in numerous "Star Trek" movies and voiced the character in cartoons and video games. In addition to "Star Trek" and "Star Trek: The Animated Series," Nimoy starred in "Mission: Impossible" and "Fringe." Nimoy also hosted of "In Search of..." and narrated "Ancient Mysteries." He directed various TV episodes and two "Star Trek" films -- "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock" in 1984 and "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home" in 1986 -- not to mention the popular comedy "3 Men and a Baby" in 1987.

Acting and directing weren't Nimoy's only talents, however. He released five records and sang "The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins" in 1967 and was an avid photographer and poet. He also penned two autobiographies: "I Am Not Spock" (1975) and "I Am Spock" (1995).

Emotional tributes to the actor from fans and former co-stars immediately flooded social media Friday.

"I loved him like a brother," his longtime co-star William Shatner tweeted.

Actor Jonathan Frakes, who played First Officer Riker on "Star Trek: The Next Generation," tweeted, "RIP to the best First Officer. "

"My heart is broken," tweeted actor Zachary Quinto, who played a young Spock in the 2009 "Star Trek" reboot and in its sequel "Star Trek Into Darkness" in 2013, in which Nimoy reprised his role. "I love you profoundly my dear friend. And I will miss you every day."

Nimoy himself sent a poignant last tweet this past Sunday. "A life is like a garden," he wrote. "Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP"

LLAP, of course, stands for the Vulcan salutation "Live long and prosper."