I’ve never been a Trekkie (though if you try to revoke my nerd card, I’ll bite your fingers off), but I’d be remiss not to write about Leonard Nimoy, who passed away this morning in his Bel Air home due to final complications of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Often when someone dies, people speak about how unique they were, how they were one of a kind. It’s a sweet sentiment and of course, deep down, we’re all indeed unique, but I think it does apply to some more than others and to Leonard Nimoy more than everyone. I consider myself something of a pop culture junkie and I’ve spent my life (for better or worse) developing an expansive knowledge of film and television and all the players involved, but for the life of me I can’t think of anyone who reminds me of Leonard Nimoy. He truly was one of a kind. Plenty of actors brings wisdom and gravitas to their work, but Nimoy injected something mysterious and outright otherwordly into his performance, which must have made him an easy pick for the role of Spock some fifty years ago.

I’ve always enjoyed his cameos on The Simpsons and Futurama and I was excited to see him show up in Fringe a few years ago. I didn’t have to watch Star Trek to be able to appreciate Nimoy, though it was actually his role in J.J. Abrams’ 2009 Star Trek reboot that I appreciated the most. His presence solidified Abrams’ film as more than just a traditional reboot, tying it back into the franchise in twisty and clever ways.

Trekkie or not, if you’re a science fiction fan, chances are you’re very familiar with Leonard Nimoy’s work and you can recognize that an icon is now gone. At 83 years old, he lived long and he prospered, just as he wished for us all those years.

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