With the recent passing of Leonard Nimoy, the nerd universe has been dealt a profound loss. While his role as Spock on Star Trek has been a major part of his 60+ year career in the arts, we figured it would be nice to highlight some of his other contributions that you might not have been aware of. 

 

5. Master Xehanort

undefined  

(When faced with bonkers Japanese games starring Leonard Nimoy, we were really tempted to pick Seaman, but then we decided to highlight something that was actually fun to play.) 

When you think JRPGs, I don't normally think of a 70-something Jewish actor, but that's what was happening in the mind of Tetsuya Nomura when he specifically requested that Nimoy play the main antagonist of the Kingdom Hearts series' portable chapters. It's said that Nomura was a lifelong Trek fan, and he also drew a connection between the heart-stealing keyblade master and Leonard's memorable role in 1978's Invasion of the Body Snatchers. In the games he nails it as someone who's getting up there in years, but still dripping with menace.

 

4. Dr. William Bell on Fringe

undefined

For the 8 of you out there who watched all of Fringe, you'll remember Leonard Nimoy's small (but memorable) role as Dr. William Bell - the enigmatic, ultra-billionaire scientist (affectionately referred to as "Belly" by Walter) who introduced the show to the zeppelin-filled alternate universe that would become the bedrock of Fringe's mythology.

While he wasn't on the show all that much (he only clocked 7 on-screen appearances across 5 seasons, although technically you could count the episode "Lysergic Acid Diethylamide", where he possesses Olivia's brain for a while and forces Anna Torv to do her Leonard Nimoy impression), he was basically the most key character in the show - and he was able to bring the much-talked-about character all the gravitas and quirkiness it deserved.

Also, he was real good at blowin' stuff up.

 

3. Galvatron

undefined

It's hard to describe just how much of an atomic blast the 1986 animated feature Transformers: The Movie was to a generation of '80s kids. Optimus Prime was dead, and Megatron was reborn as a purple ass-kicking machine known as Galvatron. There was something about Nimoy's performance, his low growl that scared me when I first saw this movie in blurry VHS form.

Leonard Nimoy is the man who finally shuts up that annoying asshole Starscream.

 

2. Narrator of Basically Every Educational Video You Watched in Grade School

undefined

One of the things about Leonard Nimoy's vocal performances is the almost ASMR-like state you can get listening to him narrate anything. If you're old enough to remember those days when the teacher rolled out that combo TV-VCR instead of actually teaching, there is a 93% chance you've been hypnotized by Leonard Nimoy's unique verbal canter. Everything from ancient mysteries, science, politics and a little cryptozoology, if you were kinda-learning, he'd be there. This entry also applies to science museums. planetariums, and of course, Civ4.

 

1. Himself

undefined

As an actor, Nimoy had a rocky relationship with show business, years after his death he'll remain a cautionary tale about how typecasting can devastate a promising career. But as he grew older he accepted how important his work had been to multiple generations of fans. Since those fans grew up to create media of their own, he was more than willing to work with them.

It seems like whenever he was just being himself, Leonard Nimoy was awesome. He was stoic yet earnest, and inhabited a bizarre space that combined humor with actorly gravitas. He's just so watchable, like in this music video for Bruno Mars' "The Lazy Song":

He was there in the first episode of Futurama, and he was amazing in his appearances on The Simpsons:

 

The man has left an indelible mark on billions of childhoods, and we'd be wise to look back fondly. As he said himself in his final tweet: