March 26, 2015 | 12:48 p.m.
Leonard Nimoy, who died last month from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, would have celebrated his 84th birthday Thursday. The beloved actor is best known for playing the iconic “Star Trek” character Mr. Spock. Author Steve Hockensmith examines Nimoy’s legacy in a guest essay for Hero Complex. He was Spock — even if, as obituary after obituary recently reminded us, he once tried to deny it. Fortunately, Leonard Nimoy seemed to have made his peace with the character that largely defined his career. When he passed away in late February at the age of 83, Nimoy was a sort of benevolent father figure to the flourishing nerd culture he helped create. Though he’d officially passed the Spock mantle to another actor, he remained a supportive presence in the new “Star Trek” films, continued to (lovingly) spoof his connection to the franchise […]
March 05, 2015 | 12:00 p.m.
“Star Trek” is coming to a concert hall near you. A symphonic tribute to the music from the legendary sci-fi franchise, “Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage,” will tour 100 North American cities next year. The concert series will debut in Florida in January, with stops scheduled throughout Canada and the U.S. through April 2016. Presented by CineConcerts, CBS Consumer Products and Paramount Pictures, the concerts will touch on major themes from composers Jerry Goldsmith, James Horner and Leonard Rosenman, with a symphony orchestra performing live as footage from various “Star Trek” movies and TV shows is projected onto a 40-foot screen. A pre-tour performance is set to take place at Royal Albert Hall in London on Nov. 1, 2015. The concerts will include music from the films “Star Trek: The Motion Picture,” “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan,” “Star Trek […]
Feb. 28, 2015 | 8:06 p.m.
The death of Leonard Nimoy, who played Spock on the “Star Trek” TV and movie series, touched millions of lives around the world, perhaps none more deeply than fans of science fiction and fantasy for whom Spock was a guiding light. So it was only fitting that a day after Nimoy’s death at age 83, the Long Beach Comic Expo — a two-day comic book and pop culture convention — celebrated his life and legacy with tributes both big and small. Not long after the doors opened at the Long Beach Convention Center, thousands of attendees observed a moment of silence while holding up their hands in the iconic Vulcan salute that Nimoy originated. The salute symbolized Spock’s universally known motto, “Live long and prosper.” “Obviously, when we heard it everybody was floored,” said Gabriel Fieramosco, the expo’s marketing manager […]
Feb. 27, 2015 | 11:37 a.m.
Leonard Nimoy, known more familiarly to fans around the world as half-Vulcan logician Mr. Spock, died at home in Bel-Air at age 83 on Friday. While former cast mates and famous fans shared their memories of the actor, director, writer and artist through social media, many just wanted one more minute with Nimoy through his most famous work on screen. Full coverage: Leonard Nimoy Here are a few of Nimoy’s career highlights, both performing and revealing the back story behind those performances. “Bonanza” episode “The Ape” (1960) This western series’ run on NBC was long, but Nimoy’s time was short. He appeared in the show’s second season as a gambler looking to avenge the murder of his call girl ladyfriend Sherry at the hands of a man described as looking like “an ape.” “The Twilight Zone” episode “A Quality of […]
Feb. 27, 2015 | 9:50 a.m.
Leonard Nimoy, who played the iconic “Star Trek” character Mr. Spock, died Friday in Bel-Air. The 83-year-old actor had end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a condition he blamed on a smoking habit he had given up 30 years ago. Nimoy will forever be inseparable from Mr. Spock, his ultra-logical half-Vulcan alter ego. But over his long and productive career, Nimoy accomplished much more both in front of and behind the camera. Here’s a look at some highlights, with accompanying photos in the gallery above. Nimoy began his acting career in the 1950s, landing his first title role in 1952’s “Kid Monk Baroni,” about a street thug turned professional boxer. The movie flopped at the box office, and Nimoy spent years in relative obscurity, with parts in films such as “Them!” (1954), “The Brain Eaters” (1958) and “The Balcony” (1963). He also appeared […]
May 07, 2013 | 7:48 p.m.
A new ad from Audi pits classic Spock against new Spock, capitalizing on the hype surrounding “Star Trek Into Darkness,” which opens in theaters May 16. The car commercial features Leonard Nimoy, who played the pointy-eared Vulcan for two decades in the original series as well as in half a dozen movies (not including his 2009 cameo in J.J. Abrams’ “Star Trek”), and newcomer Zachary Quinto, who took the reins in the reboot. Full coverage: Leonard Nimoy In the ad (watch it above), Nimoy schools Quinto on a game of chess, and Quinto challenges the victor to a round of golf and a race to the country club. “Whoever gets to the club last buys lunch,” Quinto says. “Stand by to have your wallet emptied by a tractor beam,” Nimoy retorts. During the car ride, Nimoy treats fans of “The […]
Feb. 28, 2013 | 3:44 p.m.
James Marsters — the actor behind the peroxide-haired punk rock vampire Spike in Joss Whedon’s long-running series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” — found inspiration for his character from an unusual source: Mr. Spock. Marsters said he looked to his favorite character from “Star Trek” — Leonard Nimoy’s starship Enterprise science officer Spock — when he was first cast on “Buffy” for what was initially supposed to be a brief role. Marsters ended up acting in 97 episodes of the series, not to mention another 24 episodes in the spinoff “Angel.” “Spock was that side character that nobody thought would be that much, and he ended up kind of turning the theme on its head,” Marsters told Entertainment Tonight, in the video above. “‘Cause ‘Star Trek’ really was about human beings perfecting a worldview and then sharing it with the galaxy, […]
July 11, 2012 | 7:17 a.m.
Who are the 50 greatest science fiction characters in television history? We answer that question with the latest edition of Hero Complex: The Magazine, which will be distributed for free at the doorstep of Comic-Con International this week in San Diego. We’ve printed up 100,000 copies of the glossy magazine for fans headed to the world-famous pop culture expo — but if you’re not headed to the San Diego Convention Center you can also pick up a copy at six comic book stores: Meltdown Comics in Los Angeles; the Earth 2 Comics in Sherman Oaks and Northridge; and any of the three Midtown Comics in New York City. The choice we made for our cover portrait is completely logical: Mr. Spock of the USS Enterprise as portrayed by Leonard Nimoy on “Star Trek” in the 1960s. How many other Starfleet […]
May 23, 2012 | 6:52 p.m.
We’ve just posted the third episode of “Hero Complex: The Show” and it’s a good one: Part 2 of our interview with Leonard Nimoy at his home has the “Star Trek” icon talking about the origins of the Vulcan salute, the satisfactions of stage work, the vagaries of typecasting and, to top it off, we even talked him into doing an impression of … William Shatner. Yes, that’s right, Nimoy’s take on Kirk’s eulogy scene from “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.” Full coverage: Leonard Nimoy You can watch it all right here, make sure to check out Part 1. If you’re just joining us, a quick explanation of who we are and what we do: I’ve been writing for the Los Angeles Times for 21 years on a variety of things (crime, local politics and the music industry among […]
May 09, 2012 | 7:12 p.m.
HERO COMPLEX: THE SHOW We’ve just posted the second episode of “Hero Complex: The Show” on the Nerdist Channel on YouTube and it’s an exciting one for us: Leonard Nimoy is the guest. We visited the sci-fi icon’s Bel Air home a few weeks ago to talk about “Star Trek,” his evolution as a filmmaker and photographer and his philosophies on family and career. We also talked about a very special photograph — the one that shows him meeting Jimi Hendrix not long before rock’s greatest guitar hero died in 1970 at age 27. Full coverage: Leonard Nimoy “Hero Complex: The Show” premiered two weeks ago with our visit to the offices of Ridley Scott and picks up again May 23 with the conclusion of our Nimoy visit. (And just to make sure you check back, chew on this thought: In Part 2, he gives us a […]