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Leonard Nimoy is an actor who has played Spock in both the 1960s TV series Star Trek and several movies based on the show.
A preview of William Shatner's interview with Leonard Nimoy.
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"The truth is, every good actor has an ego," Shatner said in his book, Up Till Now: An Autobiography. "I was supposed to be the star, but Leonard was getting more attention than I was. It bothered me." Despite the show's cult popularity, Star Trek closed down production and was taken off the air by 1969.
After the series ended, Nimoy was snapped up as a series regular on the show Mission: Impossible. He spent the next two years playing the role of The Great Paris, a master of disguise and illusion. He left the show in 1971.
After recovering from a stomach ulcer, Nimoy resumed an intensive acting schedule, touring as Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof and adding made-for-TV movies to his usual roster of film and television work. During this time, he began to explore other pursuits. Nimoy stepped behind the camera, and established a reputation as a competent television director. Throughout the 70s, he issued several volumes of poetry, and in 1975, he released his self-penned (and fan-offending) autobiography, I Am Not Spock, which featured a series of imagined discussions between himself and his most famous character. However, he never strayed far from on-screen work, and in 1976, he began hosting the long-running series, In Search Of..., a show devoted to investigations of the unusual and the paranormal. In 1978, he starred in the hit remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
With the advent of the 1977 blockbuster Star Wars, America confirmed its love of big-budget sci-fi. At the same time, audiences showed a renewed interested in Star Trek as a result of re-run syndication. Paramount Pictures, determined to stay competitive with George Lucas's high-grossing creation, decided to capitalize on the Star Trek series, giving the green light to a big-screen version of Star Trek. After settling some longstanding financial issues with the studio, Nimoy signed on to reprise his role as Mr. Spock.
The film, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, was released in 1979. It was a box-office smash, and was nominated for three Oscars. Nimoy returned for 1982's sequel, Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan, and even directed the third and fourth installments in the series -- 1984's Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and 1986's Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.
The following year, Nimoy used his brief time away from the franchise to hone his directing chops further, and in 1987 he helmed the enormously successful Three Men and a Baby. That same year, he and wife Sandra divorced, and the following year, he wed actress Sandra Bay.
As the Star Trek film series ambled on, Nimoy and Shatner began to feel the strain. The two had put their contentiousness aside for the sake of the movies, but by the time 1989's Star Trek V: The Final Frontier and 1991's Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country hit movie theaters, Nimoy said his goodbyes to the franchise. The following year, he showcased his first screenwriting effort with Vincent, an adaptation of a former work that he directed and starred in.
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Learn more about the stars of the wildly popular Star Trek television and film franchise. Created by Gene Roddenberry in the early 1960s, this otherworldly series debuted on the small screen in '66 and has since seen dozens of installments, most recently the J.J. Abrams-directed Star Trek Into Darkness (2013), starring Chris Pine, Zoe Saldana, Chris Hemsworth and Zachary Quinto. Learn more about other cast members of the franchise, including William Shatner, Walter Koenig, Nichelle Nichols, Leonard Nimoy, Patrick Stewart, LeVar Burton, George Takei, Kirstie Alley and Winona Ryder. Who knows, you might even discover your inner-Trekkie.
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