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 15, 2013 | 7:35 p.m.
The highly anticipated sequel to J.J. Abrams’ 2009 reboot “Star Trek” opens in theaters tonight, but Chris Pine, Zoe Saldana, Leonard Nimoy and more “Star Trek Into Darkness” stars walked the silver carpet Tuesday evening for the film’s Hollywood premiere. The film follows Capt. James T. Kirk (Pine) and his Enterprise crew as they embark on a revenge-fueled manhunt to capture the man behind a terrorist attack on Starfleet. The search takes them to a war-zone world, putting the ship and the lives within it in danger and causing Kirk to question his abilities as captain. “I think a lot of maturing happens in this film for Kirk, for a man who thinks he knows everything and leads with his gut and leads with his heart, and is all kind of passion and heart,” Pine said during the film’s presentation […]
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 […]
Feb. 16, 2011 | 4:26 p.m.
The Egyptian Theatre will present all six “Star Trek” films that feature both William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy — a string of Starfleet films that spanned a dozen years — and three of them will be presented in 70 mm. Our very own Geoff Boucher will be on hand for the finale of the four-day event to handle the stage interview with Nicholas Meyer after the screening of “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.” Here’s the information directly from the upcoming American Cinematheque release (UPDATE: The press release below misstated the wording of one film, we corrected it): Thursday, March 24 – 7:30 PM STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE, 1979, Paramount, 132 min. Director Robert Wise, ably assisted by Harold Michelson’s (“Dick Tracy”) otherworldly production design, Jerry Goldsmith’s stirring score and a special effects team including Douglas Trumbull, John Dykstra and Ramon Sanchez, delivers […]
Jan. 20, 2011 | 3:10 p.m.
Jay West drops by the Hero Complex with a guest essay on the legacy of “Star Trek: The Motion Picture“ With a new “Star Trek” film ramping up it’s a good time to reflect on the history of a film franchise that dates back to the Carter administration but has a complicated legacy. Below, you’ll find a rarely seen, 10-minute featurette on the making of the first movie, “Star Trek: The Motion Picture,” which beamed down into theaters on Dec. 7, 1979. The featurette has never been released in any home-video format, amazingly, but it provides a unique and engaging behind-the-scenes look at the making of this inaugural “Star Trek” movie — showcasing some of the movie’s models (with especially interesting footage regarding the classic dry dock sequence) and sets. There are also glimpses of the main cast preparing for scenes, alien crew members donning their […]