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Apr212010

Leonard Nimoy is retiring, for real

The search for Bigfoot may never conclude, but Leonard Nimoy has decided to call it a career and retire from acting and filmmaking for good. The 79-year-old just finished his guest starring role on J.J. Abram's Fringe TV show and plans to leave show business on a high note, he told the Toronto Sun.

“I want to get off the stage. Also, I don’t think it would be fair to Zachary Quinto,” he says, referring to the actor who portrayed a youthful Spock in last summer’s smash Star Trek relaunch. “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.”

...“I’ve been doing this professionally for 60 years,” he says with a laugh. “I love the idea of going out on a positive note. I’ve had a great, great time.”

Many equate Nimoy with the character of Spock, which he began playing in 1966 when Star Trek hit the airwaves, but the actor appeared in more than 50 productions before the science fiction series ever aired. Before agreeing to appear as Spock in J.J. Abrams' re-imagined Star Trek movie last year, Nimoy had been semi-retired for more than a decade, choosing instead to concentrate on art and photography, both of which he hopes to do more of in the years ahead.

Before he gives us his final "Live long and prosper" though, the actor will visit the town of Vulcan in Alberta, Canada, which holds special significance for him. 

Nimoy’s fondness for the town is well-documented. Vulcan generated worldwide headlines last spring when Nimoy backed its bid to host the premiere of 2009’s Star Trek film. Ultimately, Paramount bused about 300 residents of Vulcan — which has long capitalized on the fact it shares the name of Spock’s home planet — to Calgary for a private screening. Not surprisingly, news of Nimoy’s visit has again put Vulcan in the spotlight.

In addition to touring the town’s Trek museum, Nimoy will have his iconic Vulcan salute canonized in a handprint ceremony. He’ll also be there for the unveiling of a bronze Spock bust.

While I hope this is not the last we will see of him, I wish him the very best. Live long and prosper, Mr. Nimoy. And thank you.

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