It's been a year since Leonard Nimoy passed away. He was revered for his acting, direction, photography and for just generally being one of Hollywood's nicest people. From campaigning for equal pay between the sexes in the '60s to his creative projects in his later years, Nimoy's achievements go far beyond Star Trek, although of course he is best known for portraying the iconic Mr. Spock.
Nimoy portrayed the character of Spock from The Original Series of Star Trek right through to 2013's Star Trek Into Darkness, making him one of the franchise's longest-running characters.
From One Generation To Another...
In the J.J. Abrams versions of the films, Nimoy starred alongside Zachary Quinto, and while promoting his new play Smokefall on The Late Night With Stephen Colbert, the young actor reminisced about his former co-star:
"We actually lost Leonard a year ago on the 27th of this month ... I miss him all the time, and I really miss him so much at this point obviously, marking the anniversary of his passing, but he was one of the greatest gifts that my career has brought into my personal life for sure."
Quinto worked tirelessly alongside Nimoy to create the character of young Spock and as a result the two became close friends.
It's clear what an impact Nimoy had on Quinto's life; Zach discussed the admiration he has for his predecessor's achievements:
"I've never met somebody actually that so fully embodied a sense of fulfillment in their life. I really haven't. He was such a tremendous artist and philanthropist and generous person, and he was so intelligent."
Nimoy inspired many people over the years, not just through his portrayals of characters in film and TV, but through his other creative and philanthropic endeavors. And here's some which we think deserve to be remembered...
Fighting For Equal Pay On The Set Of 'Star Trek'
The subject of equal pay has always been fraught with tension, and speaking up against wage inequalities can be fatal to any actor's career. Although he was just starting out, Nimoy took it upon himself to fight for co-star Nichelle Nichols' pay to be equal to that of her male colleagues.
Walter Koenig (Admiral Chekov) revealed as much to the Las Vegas Sun in 2014:
"When it came to the attention of the cast that there was a disparity in pay in that George [Takei] and I were getting the same pay but Nichelle was not getting as much, I took it to Leonard and he took it to the front office and they corrected that."
And this isn't the only time Nimoy stood up for his friends. When TrekMovie reached out to Nimoy to confirm this story, the actor also revealed that he fought for Takei and Nichols' inclusion in The Animated Series:
"I refused to do Spock until they were hired. ['Star Trek' creator] Mr. [Gene] Roddenberry started calling me the conscience of 'Star Trek.'"
Just like Spock, Nimoy seems to agree with the Vulcan philosophy of celebrating "infinite diversity in infinite combinations," and it's fitting that he should be seen as the franchise's conscience.
The Full Body Project
Nimoy is also an accomplished photographer, publishing several books of his work. His projects usually focus on topics such as religion and societal norms, and in 2007 he completed The Full Body Project. Inspired by body positivity, this project celebrates beauty in all body types.
The photographs mainly feature nude models, as Nimoy hoped that this project would encourage women to feel more comfortable in their bodies. According to author Natalie Angier, Nimoy felt "deeply troubled" to learn that women felt shame about their appearance. The Full Body Project was his way of trying to combat this, and you can learn more about it here.
The Nimoy Foundation
Along with his wife Susan, Nimoy created the Nimoy Foundation. Through this vehicle, the couple provided funding for arts organizations to administer residencies and support budding artists.
"We wanted to make an impact that would be meaningful, to help find out who the next generation of great artists could be."
Leonard Nimoy really believed in giving back, and his philanthropic actions will be fondly remembered for many stardates to come. And of course, no article about Nimoy would be complete without this song...
Nimoy released this song, a tribute to J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, as part of his second album, and it soon went down in nerd history.
Of course, Nimoy's achievements stretch far beyond this list, but it's always nice to reminisce about this Hollywood legend, a kind man who truly lived long and prospered.