Why is Leonard Nimoy Your Favorite Actor?

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Title: Why is Leonard Nimoy Your Favorite Actor?
Creator: Sharon Emily
Date(s): 1968
Medium: print
Fandom: Leonard Nimoy, Star Trek: TOS
External Links:
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Why is Leonard Nimoy Your Favorite Actor? is a 1968 essay by Sharon Emily.

It was printed in the 1968 LNNAF Yearbook, an annual tribute to Leonard Nimoy. The essay is a more formal example of the many, many lengthy and adoring testimonials by fans reporting on either meeting Nimoy in person, or expanding on Nimoy's finest qualities. These reports and essays were thick on the ground in LNAF publications, including the club's many chapter newsletters.

The Topics

  • That Touch of Magic
  • We are Emotional Beings
  • The Alien Element
  • Nimoy, the Actor and the Man

From the Essay

Why has an actor whose current role is characterized by satanically-winged eyebrows, pointed ears, and an apparent lack of all emotions been able to capture the imaginations of millions--young and old, highly educated and non-educated?

Many experts have studied the popularity of "Star Trek" and of Mr. Spock, and the general conclusions seem to be that the program is so popular because there are many people who enjoy watching a program that does not hesitate to present thought-provoking ideas--a show that respects its viewers and does not insult their intelligence.

And why is Mr. Spock so popular? Human nature being what it is--according to one interesting article (written by LNNAFer, Jean Lorrah)--Mr. Spock's popularity may be based largely upon the fact that he generates a primitive sex appeal. Women viewers react to this appeal by wondering what the Vulcan would be like if he ever did yield to the human side of his nature, and then each woman wonders if she might be the one who could awaken his latent emotions.

That Touch of Magic:

Have you ever payed much attention to television on Saturday morning? Recently I was a captive audience, and I was quite intrigued by a program which features a genie as its hero—for his eyebrows are slanted and his ears are pointed much like Mr. Spock’s. When I looked at a copy of "The Arabian Nights", I was surprised to see that the same similarity existed in several of its illustrations.

Most of us have a nodding acquaintance with "The Arabian Nights", and we know of the Genie of the Lamp who possessed fabulous powers. Of course, now that we are adults (or almost adults) we have developed a practical attitude toward life. However, there are very few of us who have not sighed over the ever-increasing cost of living and wished in a moment of fantasy that we could find a magic ring or a lamp that we could use to summon a genie who would immediately solve all our problems for us!

Naturally, we cannot summon a genie. .However, nearly every Friday evening we can turn a dial to summon an individual who possesses fabulous powers such as telepathy and superhuman strength—a fictional being portrayed by a real person who is so talented that he can lift the burden of our problems from our shoulders for an hour by guiding our imaginations into worlds and situations totally different from anything that we will ever know in real life. Don’t believe it when someone tells you that there is no longer any magic in the world. Mr. Nimoy is the greatest magician of them all!

The Alien Element:

Whether you think that those Unidentified Flying Objects that continually appear in our skies and in our newspapers are real or not is immaterial, but have you ever given serious thought to the possibility that Earth is not the only inhabited planet? I dare you to go outdoors to look at the sky on any clear night before the moon rises and then insist that there can be no intelligent life anywhere else in the Universe! It is most illogical to assume that a world which is not even the center of the solar system of a star that is not the center of a galaxy that, in its turn, is not the center of the known Universe can be the only planet upon which God has created intelligent life!

Granted, we have no concrete evidence that we have ever been visited by beings from another planet. For all we know, however, Earth might be in the same situation as a settlement that has been bypassed by all the main highways. Certainly, a few tourists follow the smaller roads and arrive at the settlement, but the main stream of traffic continues to go in another direction. Earth, like this settlement, may be too far from the main stream of traffic to attract any attention.


The very thought that there may be Others somewhere in the Universe is upsetting enough; however, scientists have said that there are countless stars capable of sup- porting solar systems scattered throughout this galaxy alone, and that it is highly possible that many of these solar systems contain worlds populated by intelligent, civilized beings! Frightening, is it not?

And yet, if these Others should happen to be logical, brilliant, unemotional-yet- compassionate beings like Mr. Spock, the meeting i~ll not be such a traumatic experience!

If Man does encounter Others in time to come, I like to think that Mr. Nimoy's portrayal of Mr. Spock will have created a willingness to accept the Alien instead of assuming that immediate destruction is required.

Nimoy, the Actor and the Man:

Have you ever fund it difficult to enjoy a story on television because the cast made it impossible for :;rou to enter into the spirit of things? All too often there seems to be one individual in particular who makes it quite apparent that the role is nothing more than a means to obtain a sum of money-and this can be disillusioning and infuriating-both to the viewers and to fellow members of the acting profession.

But this does not happen when Mr. Nimoy is a member of the cast. Of course, "Star Trek" is so authentic in detail and in setting that it is easy to suspend belief and "live" the story. However, of all of the characters in this series, Mr. Spock is the one who seems most real. Why is this? Dedication. Certainly, Mr. Nimoy wants to provide the best of everything for his family, but he does not give the impression that his roles are sources of income and nothing more. It is evident that the character of Mr. Spock, or any role, is a challenge to his craftsmanship, a test of his talent and a proof of his adaptive abilities. Unless an actor studies his role thoroughly and actually projects a portion of his own personality into the character that he is playing, that character cannot live, move and have its being.

Surely there can be no doubt that Mr. Nimoy has devoted a great deal of time and study to the development of all of his roles! Remember the "Outer Limits" story that was based upon the book I, ROBOT? In that show, Mr. Nimoy actually seemed to be the wise-cracking reporter who became deeply interested in the cultural impact of the first humanoid robot.

Any actor who can capture the viewer's imagination to the extent that it takes several moments to return to reality after a program is finished-any actor who can

make his current role so authentic that it seems to have a life of its own, is a truly great actor. Therefore, Mr. Nimoy is a great actor, perhaps the greatest actor of this century.

Not only is Mr. Nimoy a great actor, however, he is also a great human being, that rare creature--a truly good man.

In this age of casual marriages and easy infidelities, his devotion to his wife and to his son and his daughter is a never-ending source of inspiration.

Also, even though he has achieved success in the eyes of the world, he has not allowed this success to change him. He still believes in the worth of the individual, and he is not afraid to defend those things and those values in which he believes so deeply.

Consideration of others is an important part of his philosophy of life. Not many stars are willing to take time from their careers and from their families to meet their fans, but there is no doubt that Mr. Nimoy goes beyond the call of duty for his fans.

Only a warm-hearted, compassionate, considerate person can draw the devotion and the admiration of the general public, and these words are exact descriptions of Mr. Nimoy.

Therefore, why shouldn't I say that Leonard Nimoy is my favorite actor!