Watch: Zachary Quinto Finds “Cosmic” Connection To Mr. Spock In His Family History

Star Trek star Zachary Quinto is one of the featured celebrities on the new season of the NBC/Peacock series Who Do You Think You Are? which delves into their family history and ancestry. And the research for Zachary Quinto found a surprising connection to his character of Spock.

Quinto’s ancestor had a little Spock in him

While researching Zachary Quinto’s family tree for his upcoming appearance on Who Do You Think You Are?, found a surprising connection in his family’s past and his character, Spock. In a newspaper record from 1899, Quinto’s great-grandfather P.J. McArdle wrote a letter to the editor that closes out with “May it live long and prosper” – almost the same words used in the iconic Vulcan greeting and farewell “live long and prosper,” first introduced by Leonard Nimoy as Spock on Star Trek: The Original Series and spoken by Quinto as Spock for the Kelvin Universe films.

Zachary Quinto on Who Do You Think You Are? (NBC)

As part of his duties, Peter (or P.J.) was a frequent contributor to the union newsletter, The Amalgamated Journal. In a letter to the editor, P.J. thanks the Amalgamated Association for the quality of the publication and subscribed some of the workers from his local mill. In closing, McArdle wrote: “May it live long and prosper….”

Quinto’s ancestor said “live long and prosper” in the 19th century

NBC has provided TrekMovie with a clip from Who Do You Think You Are? where you can see Quinto find out about the Spock family connection, along with a possible explanation of why his ancestor might have used that famous Vulcan phrase.

Quinto’s full journey will air on Who Do You Think You Are? on August 14 at 7/6c on NBC and stream on Peacock.


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The question is, did Nimoy or whoever wrote it for Star Trek also get it from that play? Nimoy claimed it was a translation of the Jewish Priestly Blessing, but said blessing contains none of those words. (Wikipedia gives about a half-dozen alternatives.)

The hand gesture is what comes from the blessing, not the phrase.

My understanding is that it was the VULCAN SALUTE that was based on the Jewish priestly blessing, not the words “live long and prosper.”

It is 100% the salute (and NOT the phrase) that comes from the Jewish Priestly Blessing. During the blessing, the hand is held in such a way as to create the Hebrew letter – Shin (which kinda looks like an English W). One of the names for G0d is Shaddai, which starts with the letter Shin.

Yes, I know full well the hand gesture comes from the blessing (I perform the blessing every morning), but I recall Nimoy saying that the words do as well, unless I misheard.

Nimoy never said that. It’s the hand gesture that comes from the blessing, and he contributed that. The words are from the script writer.


I’m from Pittsburgh and travel on PJ McArdle Roadway quite often. Was unaware of Zach’s connection to him. McArdle was an important figure in the labor movement.

I believe “Live long and prosper” comes from the writer of the ST episode “Amok Time”, Theodore Sturgeon. Sturgeon took his last name from his stepfather, William Sturgeon who taught at the Drexel Institute of Technology in Philadelphia. Perhaps there is a connection with Pennsylvania?

Does anybody remember back when Roddenberry was on The Mike Douglas Show in the 70s and tried to ‘correct’ everybody saying ‘live long and prosper,’ saying it is actually supposed to be ‘long live and prosper’ or some similarly awkward phraseology? Am figuring the drugs must have already been taking effect at that point — either that or maybe he was trying to sell mail-order trinkets and didn’t want to share royalties (or the trinkets perhaps had the wording wrong? This must have been around 1976 or so, probably the same time I bought a necklace for a girl from Lincoln/Star Trek Enterprises that had the ‘where no man has gone before’ line on it — apparently it was an accurate statement for her at the time, but I never found out firsthand.)


I DO remember about the ‘long live and prosper’ “correction”, but it was in an article in a Lincoln Enterprise’ s catalog from 1978.

What is Destined to be,WILL BE!

Bearded Spock in XIV?