Actor Leonard Nimoy — Mr. Spock to his legions of Star Trek fans — has died at age 83 from a destructive lung disease called COPD, telling his fans in a poignant tweet last month: “Don’t smoke. I did. Wish I never had.”
How powerful an impression has Leonard Nimoy’s Star Trek portrayal of Spock left on American culture? Hold up your right hand in the split-fingered Vulcan salute that Nimoy invented for his relentlessly logical, dispassionate half-alien starship officer, and odds are that just about everybody in the room will get the reference.
George Takei understands the evolution of his popularity. As Hikaru Sulu in the original Star Trek TV series, he made fans of his own generation and they "raised their kids right" to form the next generation of Trekkies. Now, having made himself something of a social media rock star, Takei reaches all demographics.
When Syrian immigrant Michael Ansara enrolled at Los Angeles City College in the early 1940s, his ambition was to become a doctor. But instead he found his true calling as an actor.
If you're a fan of the original Star Trek TV series and its myriad spin-offs, you may remember the medical tricorder - a futuristic gadget with special handheld sensors that the Enterprise's intrepid crew used to check the vital signs of an injured or sick person.
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