In an interview on Democracy Now, Star Trek’s George Takei remembered the late Leonard Nimoy as representing “the best of an inclusive American society.”
Nimoy, who played the hyper-logical half-human half-Vulcan Mr Spock in the original Star Trek series on television and later in movies, passed away in February after a long bout with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He was 83 when he died at his home in Los Angeles.
Nimoy’s death launched an outpouring of tributes from a wide range of the populace, including President Barack Obama,fellow cast members, and NASA engineers who credited the show for creating public interest in space exploration.
Speaking of Nimoy, Takei praised him for not only being a gifted actor and director, but for his commitment to diversity.
“Leonard was truly an extraordinary person because apart from being brilliantly gifted actor, he was socially conscious,” Takei explained.
Takei noted that, when Star Trek became an animated feature with a tight budget, Nimoy insisted that the voice-overs maintain the diversity that the show had become known for.
“They hired just Leonard, William Shatner, Jimmy Doohan, and Majel Barrett, to do the voices for their characters and all other voices. Majel did the female voices, the others did the male voices,” Takei remembered. “But, when Leonard found out about that, he said, this show is about diversity. The two people that must represent diversity are Nichelle Nichols who played Uhura and George Takei who played Sulu. And if they can’t be a part of this show, then I am not interested in doing it.”
“That was a very rare act, to walk away from a job. Very few actors would do that. Leonard did that. He was a good and supportive friend throughout. And we had a diverse cast. He embraced and we embraced him,” Takei continued.
Takei, who maintained a relationship Nimoy over the years, called him a “very good friend,” who represented “the best of an inclusive American society.”
Watch the video below from Democracy Now: