TV Vulcan Who Was Really a Ukrainian Was Born in This Massachusetts City
In the days when regional summer theater was still a thing, and there were theatrical performances at such venues as the Cape Cod Melody Tent in Hyannis, I recall seeing Leonard Nimoy in the role of King Arthur in a production of Camelot.
Nimoy also performed as Teve in a tour of Fiddler on the Roof that included dates in Massachusetts.
Nimoy was cast in the role of a lifetime, Star Trek's Mr. Spock, an image that was difficult for fans – and Nimoy – to shake. It stuck with him forever.
Born in the West End of Boston on March 26, 1931, Leonard Simon Nimoy was the son of Jewish immigrants from Iziaslav, Ukraine.
Nimoy's father Max escaped from Ukraine by walking over the border into Poland. His mother Dora and grandmother were smuggled out of the Soviet Union under hay bales in a horse-drawn wagon. The family reunited in Boston.
Max Nimoy owned a barber shop in the Mattapan section of Boston.
As a child in Boston, Leonard Nimoy sold newspapers and shined shoes, among other things. He joined a neighborhood acting group when eight years old, preferring acting to playing the accordion to make a living.
Nimoy studied drama at Boston College and then the Pasadena Playhouse in California before enlisting in the U.S. Army Reserve for two years in 1953.
After appearing in countless B movies and minor television roles, Nimoy was cast alongside William Shatner's Captain Kirk as Spock in TV's Star Trek series in 1966. Nimoy played Spock until the 2013 film Star Trek: Into Darkness.
Nimoy was nominated three times for Emmy Awards for his portrayal of Spock, the only Star Trek actor ever nominated for an Emmy for the series, which ended in 1969.
Nimoy, twice married, twice divorced and the father of two children, died from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) on February 27, 2015, at age 83. He is buried in Los Angeles.