Most of those who are reading this are aware that Leonard Nimoy recently died at age 83. He was best known as Star Trek’s Mr. Spock, but his accomplishments weren’t limited to helping create his iconic character. In addition to a long acting career on stage, screen, and TV, he was a director, a writer, a poet, a photographer, and a singer — which is our focus today.
A Boston native, Leonard Simon Nimoy began his acting career in the early 1950s but didn’t find a lot of success during that period. He made the occasional appearance on TV or in movies (once as an alien in Zombies of the Stratosphere) and was the lead in one forgettable ‘B’ movie, but he finally grew disillusioned and joined the Army. After returning to civilian life he again drifted into acting and began to find a little traction, but still didn’t really click until the mid-1960s when he landed a role with a new science fiction TV show.
Although Star Trek didn’t score big ratings during its 79-episode run on NBC, it did create the beginnings of what would be the public’s endless fascination with Nimoy’s character, the pointy-eared half-Vulcan Mr. Spock. But as the years passed and Star Trek became a sensation, Nimoy wasn’t always happy with being so identified with the role. Like most actors, he hated being typecast. He even wrote a memoir titled I Am Not Spock. But he eventually realized it was inevitable and made his peace with it, even writing a followup memoir titled I Am Spock.
While continuing to appear as Spock in later movies he also found a number of other successful roles, and he expanded his talents in other directions too, including launching a singing career. He’d already sung on camera in at least one of the original TV shows (video below) and eventually began to get serious about it. In all honesty his voice wasn’t exactly crooner-worthy, but he was determined and persistent, and before it was all over he’d generated a number of albums. While some of them were filled with gimmicky sci-fi music and the like, others included his honest attempts at covering familiar songs, usually country-pop or ballads. And if a few of them made you cringe, you still somehow got the idea that he always enjoyed himself.