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September 18, 2014

Leonard Nimoy Decides to Retire from Acting

by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 21st 2010 7:00AM
leonard_nimoy_smiling_star_trekLeonard Nimoy has had one of the more distinguished and iconic television careers. He'll always be known first and foremost as 'Star Trek's' Mr. Spock, but in a six-decade long run that began with movies like 'Them' and 'Kid Monk Baroni,' Nimoy has proved that he's much more than just Spock. He's a man who's made his mark as an actor, writer, director, musician and artist. And he has decided now, at the age of 79, to call it day.

In an interview with the Toronto Sun, Nimoy responded specifically to the question of whether he would play Spock again in the next J.J. Abrams' 'Star Trek' movie. He said, "I want to get off the stage. Also, I don't think it would be fair to Zachary Quinto. He's a terrific actor, he looks the part, and it's time to give him some space. And I'm very flattered the character will continue."

Nimoy is also interested in "getting off the stage,"' as he put it, while he's still wanted. That's why his guest arc on Fox's 'Fringe,' will be his professional swan song. "I love the idea of going out on a positive note. I've had a great, great time."

It's interesting to contrast Nimoy's career choices to those of his 'Trek' co-star, William Shatner. While Nimoy's ready to leave with the sound of applause still ringing in his ears, Shatner's rushing forward with a bunch of projects. He's got a CBS comedy pilot that's been getting a lot of press, 'S**t My Father Says' as well as his Biography Channel talk show 'Shatner's Raw Nerve,' and hosting a new reality series for Discovery called 'Weird or What?'

Both Nimoy's choice and Shatner's are admirable in different ways. Retiring gracefully is a classy exit, to be sure, but so too is giving it all like a trouper till you don't have anything left to contribute. The dichotomy between the two stars is -- as Spock might say -- fascinating.

For Nimoy, his legacy is assured. It would be even if he had only been Spock. But he has done much much more. On TV, for instance, he was also Paris the Great on 'Mission: Impossible,' a killer surgeon on a memorable 'Columbo,' and an Emmy-nominee for the TV movie 'A Woman Called Golda.' On stage, he was Van Gogh. In the movies, he directed 'Three Men and a Baby' and 'Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.'

Without question, Leonard Nimoy has lived long and prospered. May his retirement be a peaceful one, but he will be missed.

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John From Raleigh

Congrats to Leonard, what a classy guy to state, "...I don't think it would be fair to Zachary Quinto. He's a terrific actor, he looks the part, and it's time to give him some space."

Personally though I would have loved to see his final role be a cameo on "The big bang theory"

April 21 2010 at 10:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Well you know, Frank Sinatra retired once, in the early '70's. It didn't take.

April 21 2010 at 9:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
BC McKinney

You left out Nimoy's role as Narab in 'Zombies of the Stratosphere', one of the last Republic Pictures serials, later edited down into the feature 'Satan's Satellites'.

I fear that Shatner will end like Joan Crawford, so desperate to work and receive adulation that he'll be providing his own wardrobe and changing costumes in his limousine on location shoots of freak show B pictures--or their modern equivalent, Sy Fy made-for-TV movies.

April 21 2010 at 3:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yeah what about Fringe? They can't just make William Bell vanish, he's a central character even if he's rarely seen. Surely Nimoy can spend an hour or so every season of Fringe just playing out the role, saying a few lines. Don't need a lot from him, but just a little bit of his time is all that's needed. He shouldn't have signed on to play the part if he thought he was going to retire. Reminds me of the women who accept major roles in TV series and then get pregnant.

Of course "retire" doesn't always mean a total moratorium on doing something. Someone can retire from acting - no more movies, no more starring roles, no more plays, no new parts, etc and still show up on TV now and then. That wouldn't make him a hypocrite.

April 21 2010 at 1:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm going to miss him. He's a truly gifted entertainer.

April 21 2010 at 1:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Hats off to you, Mr Nimoy

April 21 2010 at 12:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I assume William Bell will be moving "out of the country" permanently then...

April 21 2010 at 11:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
David Gunter

What about playing William Bell on Fringe?

April 21 2010 at 11:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I assume he's quitting acting to direct a remake of his greatest accomplishment-- "3 men and a baby"

April 21 2010 at 9:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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