Leonard Nimoy, who recently disclosed his COPD diagnosis, appeared on Piers Morgan Live on Monday to discuss the disease and the years of smoking that caused it.
“People were being told smoking is terrific,” Nimoy recalled, discussing the cigarette industry’s old marketing campaigns.
“You have to treat it as an addiction and understand that it’s not too early to quit,” Nimoy warned. “Young people think, ‘Maybe in 10 years I’ll quit,’ you know?’ “The damage is being done right now. Every day you light a cigarette, you’re losing cells in your lungs.”
Watch a segment of the interview below.
Nimoy commented on Twitter, prior to the appearance.
Thanks for all the outpouring of concern. Looking forward to talking to Piers Morgan on Monday on CNN. LLAP
Star Trek: The Original Series hit television airwaves back in September of 1966 and changed television forever. Now, nearly fifty years later, the show, the stars, and the future universe its creators depicted, are arguably more popular than ever.
Many of the TOS stars, now in their 70s and 80s, are prominent fixtures in pop culture and the Star Trek convention circuit. While DeForest Kelley and James Doohan have sadly passed on, William Shatner, Nichelle Nichols, George Takei, Walter Koenig, and Grace Lee Whitney are all regular fixtures at the annual Las Vegas Star Trek convention and several others across the country and around the world each year. Leonard Nimoy, who reprised the role of Spock (Prime) in Star Trek Into Darkness, retired from convention appearances in 2011.
Take a look at the crew of the USS Enterprise, then and now, in the gallery below.
According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary (PULL-mun-ary) disease, is a progressive disease that makes it hard to breathe. “Progressive” means the disease gets worse over time.
COPD can cause coughing that produces large amounts of mucus (a slimy substance), wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and other symptoms.
Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of COPD. Most people who have COPD smoke or used to smoke. Long-term exposure to other lung irritants—such as air pollution, chemical fumes, or dust—also may contribute to COPD.
Leonard Nimoy, actor, director and photographer, recently sat down with musician , producer and admitted fan, Pharrell Williams on ARTST TLK to discuss the creation of his iconic Spock character, the Vulcan salute, and the controversy behind some of his photography projects, and more.
“I had mixed feelings about it” Nimoy said about being presented with the role of Spock. “I was excited about some steady work, because I hadn’t had some steady work in a long time. I was a freelance actor. On the other hand, I was concerned about what the make-up was going to look like.”
“The fact that Shatner was overt, was broad, and theatrical, made it more interesting for me to be able to lay back and comment on what was happening, rather than act out on what was happening. So, it took a little while, but I found a way.” he said of his on-screen dynamic with William Shatner.
On the topic of the Vulcan salute and it’s Orthodox origins, Nimoy said “I didn’t think of it in religious terms, but I was looking for some magic.”
Check out the entire interview in the video below.
Leonard Nimoy, one of Star Trek’s most memorable actors, turns 82 years old today. Nimoy is best known for his role as Spock, the half-human, half-Vulcan science officer on Star Trek: The Original Series.
Aside from his well-known portrayal of Captain Kirk’s Number One, he has been involved in many projects of his own creation, some of which, to this day, remain underrated and under-celebrated. Throughout his life, for example, Nimoy immersed himself in a diverse array of acting roles on stage and screen; recorded and performed several musical albums, and produced photographic works of art showcased in exhibits throughout Massachusetts. He was also the director of successful motion pictures and authored two autobiographies and even penned a collection of poetry; such creative resourcefulness is the trademark of an exceptionally talented and brilliant artist.
Nimoy on Mission: Impossible
His acting career in science fiction started with his role as Narab, a Martian invader in the 1952 sci-fi classic Zombies of the Stratosphere. He has since played minor roles in various TV series, such as Dragnet, The Outer Limits, and The Twilight Zone, but it was not until the year 1966 that Leonard Nimoy would star as a lead character in Star Trek, one that created a new breed of scientific personalities in popular science fiction and completely reshaped the genre. He is also known for his screen depiction of the ex-magician, Paris, in the spy drama television series Mission: Impossible and for his minor role as Dr. Kibner in the 1978 remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
Nimoy as Spock from “The Wrath of Khan”
In appreciation of fantasy and science fiction genres, Mr. Nimoy wrote and recorded musical albums under a contract with Dot Records in the late 1960’s while simultaneously fulfilling acting roles in Star Trek and Mission: Impossible. His musical career, though short lived in comparison to his dedication to acting, included songs like Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Earth and Spock Thoughts. Nimoy even sang the popular The Ballad Of Bilbo Baggins, in dedication of J.R.R. Tolkein’s adventure novel The Hobbit; a music video of Leonard Nimoy’s The Ballad Of Bilbo Baggins was produced and can be found on YouTube with viewer counts as high as 1.6 million.
In 1999, Mr. Nimoy participated with John de Lancie, the actor who played the all-powerful Q in three Star Trek television series, to record their stage performance Spock vs. Q, a comedic dramatization of a philosophical and a hilariously frustrating conversation between the characters Spock and Q. It was followed with a sequel in 2000 in which Spock and Q would once again battle each other with wit, logic, and sheer godhood (on account of Q’s omnipotence). In addition to his on-stage performances, Mr. Nimoy also lent his voice for a role as King Nedakh in Disney’s Atlantis: The Lost Empire and for narrations in computer games like the turn-based strategy Civilization IV and the epic MMORPG Star Trek Online.
In a new video, Star Trek‘s Leonard Nimoy explains NASA’s Dawn Mission, which launched a spacecraft in 2007 destined for the asteroid belt. The hope of the mission is to collect data which could possibly explain how the planets formed during the origin of the solar system.
Check out the video below.
Have you ever seen a meteorite streaking across the sky? If so, you may very well have seen part of the asteroid, Vesta! Narrated by Leonard Nemoy, this fascinating video gives you a glimpse into NASA Dawn mission’s journey to Vesta & Ceres and its hope to unveil clues as to what was going on at the very beginning of our solar system’s formation!
Leonard Nimoy delivered an inspirational convocation address at the Boston University (BU) College of Fine Arts on Sunday. He said when he was asked to speak at this memorable event, by BU President Dr. Brown, the “yes” came back so fast the President may have thought he was “stunned by a phaser” and that refusing the invitation would have been “highly illogical.”
He discussed his life growing up in Boston, including memories of going to sports games, selling newspapers on a windy Arlington Street in the winter, and his Italian and Jewish neighborhood called the “West End.” He said he remains grateful to this day that the city of Boston surrounded him with an environment for academia, the arts and a “powerful wave of immigrant energy.”
Nimoy told the class of 2012 that he first stepped on stage when he was 8 years old at the Elizabeth Peabody playhouse on Charles Street, a community house established to help immigrants find their way into the culture. The establishment had a small space for theater performances and 8-year old Leonard was asked to sing a song, probably, “God Bless America,” and was cast as Hansel in a production of Hansel and Gretel.
Later, when he received his first adult role at the age 17, he thought acting gave a sense of illumination to the audience, and was convinced that if he could do that for the rest of his life, he would be happy. He was fortunate to receive a scholarship from a Jesuit priest at Boston College for the summer where the students worked so hard they sometimes they even fell asleep on stage He then ended up selling vacuum cleaners on Boylston Street in order to save money for theater school in California, but he ultimately dropped out because he was not feeling inspired. He then started looking for work on his own and played a Zombie in a project called “Zombies of the Stratosphere,” an endeavor which may have sunk because of its very title.
During the years while he was still establishing his career, he worked various jobs, joined the army for two years, and drove a cab at night in order to be available for auditions. As a cab driver, he picked up the future president John Kennedy and after chatting briefly, the two of them agreed that politics and entertainment had a lot, maybe too much, in common. Kennedy then said to Nimoy: “Just remember there is always room for one more good one.”
“Did I really want to put those pointy ears?”
It took 15 years before his famous Mr. Spock role came along but during that time Nimoy found a way to learn more than the craft of theater, but to learn about theme and subtext and about how to add something personal to a role. He admitted to the graduates that the role of Spock was not easy to accept, “ I hesitated. I took my work seriously. Did I really want to put those pointy ears?” Later, he thought that Spock was much like the immigrants from his childhood, a half-human, half-Vulcan alien with a complex inner life, a character that stimulates thought about how we establish our identity and integrity. Spock reminded Nimoy of another quote by John Kennedy, “Art is not a form of propaganda. It is a form of truth.” To Leonard Nimoy, Spock was a form of truth. Art itself, as a form of truth, demands that one walk on a “razor’s edge” between logic and emotion in order to remain truthful, a struggle and a balance that nobody embodies better than Spock.
Nimoy shared that after the last season of Star Trek, he rejected other roles that failed to carry the inner complexity and emotional depth of Spock. That’s why he encouraged graduates to try to both find and provide illumination through their art. He also asked them, somewhat in jest, “for the sake of culture, for the sake of mankind, not to create any more reality shows.”
“Since Star Trek went on the air, 46 years ago, I have never been without work.”
In another funny and touching moment during the speech Nimoy pleaded “Scotty, please, beam me out of here.” He then went on to share that, although he never worked drunk or high, he did smoke cigarettes and drink, and he was glad he gave up drinking 23 years ago. He urged graduates to respect their bodies.
The three words he wanted them to remember were “persistence, persistence, persistence. “ Even more importantly, he urged them to try to be both “creators and curators” of their own lives and, as artists, to enlighten others: “Give us your best, give us the best of your art. We hunger for it. Help us to seek ourselves, to know ourselves. “
The speech ended, logically, with the all-time favorite Vulcan salute, “Live long and prosper.”
Watch Leonard Nimoy’s entire speech, courtesy of Boston University, below.
Top photo: Boston University’s Facebook page. All other photos: Alexandra Grashkina/TrekNews.net
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
(USA, 1982, 113 mins)
Directed By: Nicholas Meyer
Executive Producer: Harve Bennett
Producer: Robert Sallin
Screenwriters: Jack B. Sowards, Nicholas Meyer
Cinematographer: Gayne Rescher
Editor: William P. Dornisch
Music: James Horner
Cast: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, Walter Koenig, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, Kirstie Alley, Ricardo Montalban, Paul Winfield
30th Anniversary Screening
Special treat for anyone who comes in character
The best Star Trek film of this or any generation, the second big screen outing is not just a sequel to the first film, but also to the 1967 TV episode “Space Seed.” Star Trek II finds Captain Kirk taking the helm of the USS Enterprise once again, as long-forgotten enemy Khan, played with glorious, full-tilt villainy by Richardo Montalbán (and yes, that is his real chest), escapes from a 15-year exile on a dead planet to exact revenge on Kirk and his crew. More action-packed and even a shade darker than the films that followed, Wrath of Khan is an all-time sci-fi classic.
In a recent interview, legendary actor Leonard Nimoy admits that titling his 1975 autobiography “I Am Not Spock” was “a big mistake.” The idea for this title was born when he described how a woman at an airport introduced him to her child as “Mr. Spock” but the child looked at the actor and could not see Spock.
This encounter inspired Nimoy to write a chapter about the differences between him and his character and about the creative process that an actor uses in building a character by both relying on personal characteristics and on elements from other individuals. The title of the chapter, which also became the title of the whole book, “I Am Not Spock” was intended to show that Nimoy was simply an actor portraying Spock.
Unfortunately, some people thought the title meant Leonard Nimoy was rejecting Spock and, as a result, did not read the autobiography. If they had read it, they would know that the deeply respected and admired Spock.
In the book, Nimoy explains:
I said if I was given a chance to identify with any character on television, I would choose Spock.
Leonard Nimoy as Spock Prime in Star Trek (2009)
It seems that he feels even closer and more familiar with his character as time passes.
Nimoy also says the made the decision to become an actor when he was 17 “not only to entertain people but to offer some kind of enlightenment to help people understand their lives and the world we live in.”
He proudly shares that being part of Star Trek allowed him to accomplish his goal of making acting an opportunity for an exchange of ideas and enlightenment. Unlike many of his castmates, who have struggled through a love/hate relationship with the series, “Mr. Spock” feels just as satisfied with becoming a science fiction legend now as he felt about 46 years ago.
Star Trek Magazine #40
Read the complete interview in the official Star Trek Magazine issue #40, which is on sale now.
Leonard Nimoy, Star Trek‘s original Spock recently sat down with the LA Times Hero Complex and the Nerdist Channel’s Geoff Boucher to discuss his work as an actor, director and photographer.
In part one of the two-part interview, Nimoy shares insight on his approach to acting and directing, his thoughts on family and Star Trek‘s lasting cultural impact.
While Nimoy may best be known for his portrayal of Spock, the now 81 year-old actor also directed Star Trek III and IV along with several other projects.
During the interview, he was asked which was best.
“It depends on the project. I can have a a great at either one. I’ve had great days at either one — and I’ve had terrible days at either one. If you’re in a project that’s not working, it’s hellish. It’s like chalk on a blackboard. It’s tough getting through the day. If it’s going well, you’re flying — whether it’s acting or directing,”
“I’ve had a lot more experience acting. Some of it’s been wonderful and some of it hasn’t. It depends on the circumstance. It depends on the project.” he said.
Leonard Nimoy directing Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home in 1985
Until the 2009 release of J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek, Nimoy’s Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home was the highest grossing film and a favorite among fans.
“When I finished making Star Trek III, I got a call from Jeff Katzenberg, who was head of production at Paramount at the time — He said ‘We want you to make another one,’ I said ‘You know ‘the one I just finished, Star Trek III, they had a pretty tight choke chain on me. Controlling what I was doing and making me answer for everything and explain everything I was doing and justify everything”
“He said ‘The training wheels are off,’ we want you to make your Star Trek movie,” Nimoy recalled.
“It was light in tone. It was a fun movie and I enjoyed making it very very much.” he added.
He went on to discuss Star Trek‘s lasting effect and impact on culture and society.
“There were very good stories that were told about circumstances outside, sociological problems, about scientific problems, about racial problems — We dealt with some interesting stuff. I think that’s why the show holds up.” he said.
Nimoy with his "Secret Selves" exhibit in 2010
For the past decade, Nimoy has been focussed on his artistic passions and photography. His “Secret Selves” series debuted in July 2010 at Boston’s Museum of Contemporary Art. He was asked to discuss his photography process and how it compares to acting and directing.
“I think the photography work was influenced by my acting and directing — Particularly the last project that I did, which was called ‘Secret Selves.’ I really approached it from the point of view of a director dealing with the human psychology and the human mind.”
Watch the video below.
The second part of the interview will be available next week.
Earlier this week we reported on several rumors, originating from AICN, regarding J.J. Abrams’ upcoming Star Trek sequel. One of them, a strong rumor that Leonard Nimoy may return to the role of Spock Prime in the film.
Throughout the week, these rumors got so hot, that Nimoy himself felt he had to respond to them.
Taking to his Twitter account on Tuesday, Nimoy wrote “I’m amazed. I talk to JJ Abrams and Zachary Quinto all the time. We’re friends. Conclusions are jumping. LLAP.”
Take it for what it’s worth, if Nimoy will indeed have a role in the film, he along with everyone else involved would like to keep this quiet for as long as possible. On the other hand, the deal may not be officially done. Either way, the Star Trek sequel, currently filming in Northern California, is due to finish shooting in the very near future.
Read Nimoy’s tweets below and let us know what you think in the comments.
I’m amazed.I talk to JJ Abrams and Zachary Quinto all the time. We’refriends.Conclusions are jumping. LLAP