Leonard Nimoy 'Spock' Lived Long And Prospered, Dead At 83

It was nearly 50 years ago that Leonard Nimoy was cast as Spock on Star Trek, the role that brought him to international fame. Nimoy passed away in his home at age 83.

"Live long and prosper."

Those were the immortal words of Mr. Spock, the pointy-eared Vulcan played by the great Leonard Nimoy in the original Stark Trek series. 

Now, Trekkies around the world are in mourning with the news that Nimoy died Friday at age 83.

He was the perfect foil for William Shatner's volatile Captain Kirk. Always logical, Spock had no sense of humor and devoid of any emotion. 

Off camera, Leonard Nimoy was nothing like Spock. 

George Takei, who played Mr. Sulu spoke to CNN, saying, "He was really an amazing man, and a lovable man, a very thoughtful man."

William Shatner tweeted, "I loved him like a brother. We will miss his humor, his talent, and his capacity to love."

He was also the director of the hit comedy Three Men and a Baby.

In what may be the last interview he ever gave, in 2013 he told an extraodinary story about how he came up with the famous Vulcan split finger salute.

Nimoy said, "I think we should have some special greeting that Vulcans do, so I suggested this. He said okay, and boy, that just took off through the culture. It was amazing. Within days of it getting on the air, I was getting it on the street."

Leonard Nimoy was a heavy smoker early in his life but gave up cigarettes three decades ago. He died of Chronic Obstructive Pulminary Disease at his home in the Bel Air section of Los Angeles.

Fans had been bracing themselves for the devastating news because it was obvious to everyone that he was terribly ill.

Last year he was spotted being wheeled through JFK Airport in New York looking thin and frail. Today, friends and family gathered at his home to mourn his loss.

Nimoy wanted his fans to learn from his illness. He once tweeted this heartbreaking message: "I quit smoking 30 yrs ago. Not soon enough. I have COPD. Grandpa says, quit now!! LLAP."

LLAP of course stands for live long and prosper. And those were the immortal words from The Wrath of Kahn as the Vulcan who touched our hearts lay dying.