Raised in a tenement in Boston, Nimoy began performing at the age of eight in a local community theatre, and he later joined a Yiddish theatre group when he moved to Los Angeles. He landed his first film role in the 1951 movie, Queen for a Day, and soon graduated to such classics as Francis Goes to West Point and Satan's Satellites (a.k.a. Zombies of the Stratosphere). The role of Spock must have looked pretty darn good in comparison. Spock was half-Vulcan and half-human, but belonged to neither race; Earthlings considered him emotionless; Vulcans considered him too human. Nimoy's deep monotone, punctuated with a raised eyebrow and a dependable "fascinating," was the perfect antidote to William Shatner's overly emotive delivery. He soon became the fans' favorite, despite the fact that the network wanted to drop him after the first episode. Nimoy himself invented Spock's now classic Vulcan greeting, in which the fingers are splayed into a "V." The idea for the hand gesture was borrowed from Nimoy's early experiences in synagogue, where he remembered how the kohanim (priests) would part their fingers in similar fashion to symbolize the Hebrew letter shin. For history's sake, it should be noted that during this period, Nimoy released a now-camp-classic album titled Mr. Spock's Music from Outer Space--a collection so horrifying that it should not be listened to without restraints.
When Star Trek was cancelled, in 1969, Nimoy signed on to play Paris the Great, master of disguise, on the Mission Impossible series. He left in 1971, and he then went on to provide the voice for Spock in the Star Trek animated series and to host a long-running weekly show, In Search Of . . ., which investigated such mysteries as the Loch Ness monster and U.F.O. sightings. In 1980, the Star Trek franchise was revived with Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Although the movie was panned, it made money, and the cast returned for the much-improved follow-ups. Nimoy produced the critically and commercially successful third and fourth installments (he also scripted number four), and went on to direct such non-Trek fare as The Good Mother and Three Men and a Baby. He also directed the Broadway-bound play, The Apple Doesn't Fall . . ., a comedy written by Trish Vradenburg.
Apart from his work on the big screen and stage, Nimoy serves as host of the cable TV show Ancient Mysteries, and has also served as host of Jewish Short Stories from Eastern Europe and Beyond, a series on National Public Radio. He has made peace with Mr. Spock, and though he may stray from the Star Trek fold (he declined to participate in Star Trek: Generations because the role was little more than a walk-on), he has come to terms with the fact that he can never truly escape it. Nimoy is Spock--any other conclusion would be illogical.