Nimoy, who, according to his wife Susan Bay Nimoy, died from end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, was synonymous with the character Spock, whose human and alien parentage afforded him a unique perspective on terrestrial and extra-terrestrial events, and very often provided the non-human prism that Gene Roddenberry, inventor of Star Trek, needed to artfully convey what exactly made humans tick.
Throughout his life, Nimoy admitted that Spock was, at times, an ambivalent force, one that simultaneously defined him and restrained him. His two autobiographies, "I Am Not Spock," published in 1977, and "I Am Spock," published in 1995, speak to the difficult relationship between actor and iconic role. In the end, however, Nimoy embraced his role as Spock, starring, between 1979 and 1991, in six motion pictures based on the Star Trek, two of which he directed. He would play Spock again in 2009 in the Star Trek reboot and, four years later, in its sequel.
When Nimoy wasn't playing Spock, he was acting in Mission: Impossible, lending his sonorous voice to narration, famously in the show In Search of..., writing books and poetry, and pursuing his interest in photography.
But it's Nimoy's role as Spock in Star Trek, a role Roddenberry called "the conscience of Star Trek," that will remain his most iconic and most beloved. In Spock, Nimoy realized a layered, conflicted, endlessly interesting character whose pointy ears, arching eyebrows, and logical mind are forever enshrined in the science fiction lexicon. Star Trek would not be the same without him. Science fiction in general would not be the same without him. Legions of Star Trek fans, myself included, would have poorer lives had he not invaded our living rooms with his tall frame, lean face, and baritone voice, making us smile and laugh and cry.
He will be missed.