Leonard Nimoy Talks Longevity Of Star Trek + Finding His Way In Retirement

This weekend Star Trek legend  Leonard Nimoy will receive an honorary doctorate from Boston University. He will also be giving the convocation address at the BU College of Fine Arts. In advance of the event Nimoy spoke to the college’s newspaper about growing up in Boston, and a bit about Star Trek as well. See excerpts below.


Nimoy on Trek’s longevity, finding his way in retirement & returning to Fringe

This Sunday Leonard Nimoy will receive an honorary doctorate from the Boston University College of Fine Arts, and on Saturday he will give the convocation address to the graduating classs. CFA dean Benjamin Juarez called Nimoy “an inspiring educator and a most generous philanthropist” and noted how “His career has taken the highest path to which a CFA graduate can aspire: that of a citizen artist.”

Speaking to BU Today, Leonard Nimoy talked about the event and he was also asked about the longevity of Star Trek in context with the upcoming sequel…

There’s a new Star Trek movie scheduled for release next year. Does it make you happy to see the franchise still going strong 45 years after the series debut?

I can’t say I’m surprised, but I am pleased. It’s very flattering to know that we were part of something that has durability, that has a long, long life. I’m not surprised, because even when we were making the series, I thought it could have a long future. It is set in the future, so it wouldn’t outdate itself very quickly. The way it evolved was very surprising. We finished making the series in 1969 when we were canceled, and I thought it might be in syndication for a few years and then gradually disappear. But in the ’70s it took on this whole burst of new life in syndication.

Nimoy also discussed his on again off again retirement…

What are you working on these days?

It’s really hard to say. I’m trying to find my way now. My path is not as clear to me as it was in the past. In the past I knew precisely what I was doing. I like to say that I was majoring in career and minoring in family, and now I think it’s shifted. I’m much more interested in my family now and less in my career. I’m making some choices, working on what I find interesting. I won’t go away on long jobs or travel far distances to work on projects. I’ve acted all over the United States and a number of countries, and it doesn’t intrigue me like it used to. I’m now much more interested in being with my children and six grandchildren. I’m enjoying my life. I do an occasional voice job or on-camera appearance. I did a voice appearance on the Big Bang Theory a few months back. It’s a very smart show; I enjoyed doing it.

Speaking of which, Nimoy still seems open to returning to Fringe for the fifth and final season, noting "It’s just a question of how it will play out" for his character William Bell. More from Nimoy at BU Today.

Leonard Nimoy in fourth season finale of "Fringe" – open to more

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Rocket Scientist
May 17, 2012 11:30 am

So he finally becomes Dr. Spock? ;-)

Amish Electrician
May 17, 2012 11:30 am

Whoa….Fringe rules

Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire
May 17, 2012 11:35 am

Still did not say anything about the new Trek Movie. Is he or is isn’t he in it.
But anyway. He is the greatest and a good man. May he truly Live Long and Prosper.

Spock's Uncle
May 17, 2012 11:57 am

Nimoy is the best… a great actor, a great artist (his photography is nothing short of amazing) and he’s so well grounded. He totally gets it. I’m proud to have a nephew like that….

May 17, 2012 11:59 am

Nimoy is the top of classy. Wish him all the best in whatever he does…

May 17, 2012 12:37 pm

Congratulations Leonard Nimoy. Sorry, but I have to. Live long and prosper.

Duncan MacLeod
May 17, 2012 1:28 pm

don”t feel bad saying LLAP… Mr. Nimoy does it at the end of every tweet.

May 17, 2012 1:40 pm

Very nice Rocket Scientist, very nice.

Congratulations Mr. Nimoy. You HAVE LLAP’d. Don’t stop now. (He plead selfishly)

May 17, 2012 3:10 pm

that would be so nice if they could do a Fringe movie once its all over

May 17, 2012 5:37 pm

@ 9 Ziro- Good idea

May 17, 2012 5:41 pm

always enigmatic.

Karen Brown
May 17, 2012 7:46 pm

Wonderful man. He’s always been warm and generous with fans and fellow actors, and multitalented. Actor, writer, photographer.. LLAP, much much longer, I hope.

Sebastian S.
May 17, 2012 9:00 pm

I suspect Nimoy won’t really retire…. he’s the “Cher” of Star Trek; every convention appearance will be his last; until he does another one! ;-D

He’s a real gentleman, too. Meeting him in person in 2009 (at Comic Con) was perhaps one of the most geek-tastic moments of my life. He was very gracious and kind. Posed for a picture and shook my hand. It was a nice memory for me.


May 17, 2012 10:37 pm

@1: More like Dr. BELL in “Fringe.” Yet, the name “Spock” exisited before “Star Trek.” Never confuse the late Dr. Ben Spock, (or as I say Doc Spock) with Leonard Nimoy’s Commander/Captain/Ambassador Spock or Zach Quinto’s Commander Spock.

May 17, 2012 11:53 pm

one of the greatest men I’ve ever met. LLAP.

May 18, 2012 2:20 am

Leonard Nimoy is really an inspiration in so many ways.

May 18, 2012 2:39 am

#14, I do believe that #1 was making a reference to the fact that Mr. Nimoy is getting an honorary doctorate. It was a joke about being Dr. Spock. Somehow, I think Rocket Scientist knows the difference.

May 18, 2012 2:41 am

Why does “retirement” have to be an all or nothing thing? You can go from full time work to part time to free-lance or semi-retired. Full retirement where you don’t “work” at all is for people who are to ill to work.
The 80’s can still be a time of creativity.
I hope”Leonard” keeps his creative engines on impulse power. A full shut-down is not for him.

May 18, 2012 4:26 am

He is too awesome. I can’t wait to see him as Spock one last time.

May 18, 2012 7:45 am

@14. Wow, you actually know the first name of that idot who pretended to be a parenting expert, thats completely unimpressive.

Captain of the USS Monte Carlo NCC-1986
May 18, 2012 7:57 am

@ 20 LOL ditto

Captain of the USS Monte Carlo NCC-1986
May 18, 2012 7:58 am

Dr. Spock never apparently had teenage daughters to raise!!! LOL

Rocket Scientist
May 18, 2012 8:21 am

17. Brevard

Exactly. Thank you!

Robert Bernardo
May 18, 2012 11:45 am

Wait a minute! Didn’t Bill Shatner also receive the equivalent of an honorary doctorate several months ago? So that would mean… Dr. Kirk meet Dr. Spock! ;)

Gary S.
May 18, 2012 6:50 pm

Now I understand why he cut back doing Cons .
He wants to spend time more time with family .
Good for him .