I woke up this morning to the sad news that Leonard Nimoy has died at 83. Nimoy had a long career in TV and Film in front and behind the camera, but will always be remembered as Spock from Star Trek.
As I have mentioned before, I never got into Trek like I did other Science Fiction works. I haven't even seen all the films (not even all the good ones). But I've long respected the show for it's rare success in taking SF ideas to mainstream audiences. And while there where many aspects to that, Nimoy's performance was clearly a big part; even people with little interest in SF know who Spock is. That is the mark of a great character and a great actor.
For myself, I will perhaps remember Nimoy most for comparatively lesser roles. His guest appearances as himself on The Simpsons were the first time I "saw" him, and thus stick in my mind. His similar appearances on Futurama were even better. And he played a small but powerful guest part in Fringe, only in a couple of episodes but they carried great weight.
Nimoy is the third member of the main seven Star Trek original actors to die, after DeForest Kelly and James Doohan. With the 50th anniversary of the show coming next year, there's some additional sadness that the cast will be one smaller for those celebrations. Additionally, with William Shatner apparently confirmed for the next reboot movie it seems we have also been denied a chance to see those two together on screen one last time. But they will long be remembered, and ultimately, that is all that most of us can hope for.