English High alumnus Leonard Nimoy dies

Leonard Nimoy, an English High School alumnus and best known for playing the part-human, part-alien Spock in the 1960s “Star Trek” series, died Feb. 27. He was 83.

Nimoy died of end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which he blamed on his years of smoking. He announced last year that he had the disease.

Born in Boston on March 26, 1931, Leonard Simon Nimoy was the second son of Ukrainian immigrants and Orthodox Jews Max and Dora Nimoy.

He started acting when he was 8 years old and continued throughout his years at English High, then still located in the South End.

English High moved to Avenue Louis Pasteur in the Longwood Medical Area in 1954, before moving to its current address in Jamaica Plain in 1989.

Nimoy left Boston for L.A in 1949, though he wouldn’t land his first movie parts until 1951.

“It’s so sad. All the kids are talking about it,” English High Headmaster Ligia Noriega-Murphy told the Gazette. “They want to sign a card and send it to the family. Even though the kids are not so familiar with ‘Star Trek,’ they still know Spock.”

“With the passing of Leonard Nimoy, we have not only lost a talented actor, but a proud product of Boston’s neighborhoods and English High School,” Mayor Martin Walsh said in a press release. “Mr. Nimoy never forgot his Boston roots and the spirit of his work lives on in the future generations of children who continue to be inspired by his iconic portrayal of Mr. Spock.”

Like his Star Trek co-star William Shatner, Nimoy appeared in a “The Twilight Zone” episode in 1961, before “Star Trek” launched in 1966.

After “Trek’s” three-year television run, Nimoy directed movies, including two from the “Trek” franchise—“Star Trek III: The Search for Spock” (1984) and “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home” (1986)—and others, including the hit comedy “Three Men and a Baby” (1987).

Nimoy also wrote poetry, published books of photography, and released albums of music and spoken word performances. His first album was called, “Leonard Nimoy Presents Mr. Spock’s Music From Outer Space.” He also performed onstage, notably as Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof.”

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